Arsenal are preparing to face Brighton in defence of our FA Cup, and if the Gunners play as well as they did at Man City last week then this game will be just a formality. Many people have described our performance at the Etihad as “perfect” but Arsene Wenger is convinced that Arsenal can still improve on that performance.
“I don’t think it was perfect,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “On the spirit front and in the attitude and solidarity, it was a perfect performance. On the technical front we have room for improvement and we want to focus on that.
“But it was a very satisfactory performance because we were questioned about our ability to win big games away from home, especially after last year’s experiences. Also the way we controlled the game convinced people and gave some credit to our performance.”
“Beating Man City raises the belief and the confidence of the team but it also questions your ability to repeat that kind of performance, and to keep that consistent tenacity in your concentration,”
“That’s what will be questioned on Sunday at Brighton. Let’s show that we can produce exactly the same level of focus and the same dynamic in the team.”
Many of our top players have earned a little break to recharge the batteries, and Wenger admitted that there would be a few changes for Brighton. “As you saw on Sunday, I had a very strong bench,” he said. “Many of these players will play, but it will absolutely be the first-team squad, a top-level squad. There’s big competition at the moment for places in the team, and some players will have an opportunity to show that they are ready to play again.”
Even with the changes Arsenal should have no trouble disposing of Brighton, who we have beaten every time we have met them in this competition and, surprisingly, our last away FA Cup tie was at the same venue two long years ago.
Theo Walcott scored the winner that day, and with both him and Ozil set to start together I wouldn’t bet against that happening again. Would you?