It is not only that the FA cup is beginning to look like the most likely chance of a trophy for Arsenal this season, according to Arsene Wenger the oldest cup competition in football should always be treated with utmost respect. So ahead of our 5th round replay away to Steve Bruce’s Hull City side this evening, the boss has dropped a big hint that he will be playing as strong an Arsenal team as injury and fitness problems allow.
In comments reported on the Arsenal website the Frenchman spoke about how all of the clubs in the other leagues around Europe treated their own cup competitions and did not play a bunch of kids to save themselves for the league matches, even the biggest clubs like Barcelona who because of the club world cup and the Champions League will most likely play more games than the Gunners this season.
And he also suggested that Arsenal having the chance of a record three FA cup wins in a row makes it even more important that we give everything to get past Hull tonight and then do the same against the waiting Watford at the weekend. It would certainly help to cheer us fans up after the recent poor run of results has left our title hopes dangling by the proverbial thread.
And while some will certainly say that Wenger is deflecting attention from our Premier League struggles, perhaps the fact that he is the joint most successful manager in FA cup history backs up his words about always respecting it.
He said, “If we were able to do it again, it would be absolutely fantastic. There’s no country where the national cup is bigger.
“In Spain and France, nobody neglects it: not Barcelona, not Madrid. Everybody plays for it 100 per cent, with a top team always.
“I personally rate highly the FA Cup. I think it’s a fantastic, prestigious competition. I believe it is treated like that because when I listen to people, should we lose a game in the FA Cup, it would be a disaster. You cannot say on one side it’s undervalued, and on the other side if we lose, it’s a disaster.
“We won the FA Cup twice in the last two years. We will try to do our best again in this competition.”
So are we set to see a full strength Gunners tonight? And which 11 players would that be if you were to pick them?