I am sure that everyone of an Arsenal persuasion is feeling pretty nervous right now, with an away game against Manchester United standing in the way of another trip to Wembley for the Gunners. It is not the awesome power of the side standing in our way that is the concern though, but the shocking record that Arsenal have against them, especially away from home.
Arsene Wenger would clearly love for his players to end that run tonight and come away from Old Trafford smiling for the first time since 2006. And he clearly wants them to try to forget about history, or at least try to. As an ESPN report explains, Wenger feels that history should have no bearing on this match and in theory he is right.
The Frenchman said, “I know we have not won at Old Trafford for a few years but I don’t believe history plays any part in this game.
“It doesn’t matter what shirt they wear, or what stadium they play in. It is down to quality. If I’ve learnt something in my life it’s that the performance on the day decides the outcome of the day, not where you play.
“We won at Manchester City and the fact that we can win away from home, that is important. If you haven’t won away from home all season it’s more difficult. But we know we can do well away from home.
“We have lost some points in the Premier League this season that we should never have lost. The game against United was the biggest one we threw away.
“We were so dominant that the game should have been over in the first half-hour. When you look again at the way we conceded the two goals — well, we just offered them the game.
“It’s a big game, and every big win in a big game has an impact subconsciously in the belief of the team,” Wenger said.
“Once you get to the quarter-final you think that’s a good opportunity to win a trophy. Winning the FA Cup last season gave us energy. How much, I don’t know.
“But it gave us energy because we had a few years without winning a trophy and on that front it was vital. The change after winning a trophy is more linked with belief.
“This team has a good mentality because we had a slow start this season and every time when we lose a big game you see how much the players are touched. I think the mentality is very healthy, they want to do well and we will be focused on Monday night.”
On form and paper we should be able to beat Manchester United tonight, but football is played on grass. So will the Gunners be able to write a new chapter in history tonight?