Hull are under as much pressure as Arsenal by Sam P
Arsenal fans are so wrapped up with our massive game against Barcelona on Tuesday that we are worried that we will be playing a much weakened team against Hull City in the FA Cup this weekend. But I will now explain why Arsene Wenger would be absolutely right to rest as many first team players as possible.
We all know that Hull are playing very well in the Championship and are currently two points ahead of the chasing pack, and I guess you all know that there manager is Steve Bruce, who is very well aware that his target for this season is to get Hull back into the Premiership. That is worth much more to him and his club than letting more FA Cup games get in the way of the Championship matches. This weekend’s game has already caused him problems.
Two weeks ago, after a great run of six wins in a row, the Tigers narrowly lost 1-0 to fourth-placed Burnley. Last weekend they bounced back to beat beat Blackburn away 2-0, then on Tuesday they were held 0-0 at home by third-placed Brighton. There is only four points between the top four so every game is a cup final to Bruce at the moment.
We are worrying about Barca being miles better than us, well Bruce is well aware that Arsenal are just as far ahead of his Hull side, so he will be resting players as the Tigers also have a crucial game on Tuesday away against Ipswich! And just three days later, on Friday, they are at home against fifth-placed Sheffield Wednesday.
The Yorkshire Post spoke to Hull’s captain Michael Dawson on Tuesday, and he was much more interested in the League games than the Arsenal game! “It is hard to look too far ahead,” he said. “We have 15 games left and that means so many points to play for. The Championship is a gruelling competition.
“Teams will always drop points along the way. It is all about keeping your focus and not get too disheartened if a result goes against you.
“We lost at Burnley (two Saturdays ago) but didn’t deserve to lose. We could have been down in the dumps but we weren’t and, instead, bounced back by winning at Blackburn.
“Against Brighton, we wanted to win. But, in the end, had to settle for a point. It means things are all so tight at the top – and we all have each other to play.
“For instance, Sheffield Wednesday are here at the KC (a week tomorrow night). All we can do is take it game by game. You can’t look at the fixtures and think, ‘We should get points there’ or ‘a draw might be okay there’. You just can’t do that.”
As you can see Hull have one thing on their mind; promotion. Bruce will not want his first team disheartened by an exhausting game, and maybe a big defeat by the Gunners, so will play a weakened team that will not affect the squad’s confidence in defeat. Not to mention risking injuries in a competition that they are hardly likely to win.
Dawson knows that Bruce has kept to his policy of playing reserves in every cup game this season, and in fact they have done very well to get this far. “The games come thick and fast so there will be changes at Arsenal,” Dawson went on. “We have a squad of players where everyone wants to play. It is frustrating when you are not involved.
“That is what you need to get promoted. Every team has injuries, we have certainly had some this season.
“Players then came in – like Harry (Maguire) for myself – and did well. Then, the FA Cup gave me a chance to get 90 minutes under my belt after time out.
“I have been back for four games now and I feel good. I needed games. That is why it can be hard for the lads not in the team to come and perform to the standard needed. I am not where I wanted to be just yet but I am getting there.
“As for Arsenal, it is a chance for other players to play and show the manager what they can do.”
So how much more proof do you need? We WILL play our reserves, and they WILL beat Hull’s reserves. So stop worrying Gooners!