Arsenal are currently in 5th place in the Premier League at the halfway stage, and although we are only 8 points behind the leaders, many Arsenal fans think we are simply not playing well enough to challenge for the title – and in fact may have a battle just to finish in the Top Four.
And it is the same thing with our draw in the Champions League. Although I would like to think we will give Bayern Munich a run for their money, there are not many people predicting anything but a usual victory to the Germans over the two legs. So these facts make it even more important that the Gunners got the better of Preston at the weekend.
This victory makes it look like the FA Cup is our very best chance of a trophy this season, and after 2 winners medals out of the last 3 seasons, we should have every chance of going all the way yet again. After the Preston game, Arsene Wenger was asked if he would change anything about the FA Cup, and he replied: “What do you want more? I think it was a great tie today. I came here with a team of quality, 80 per cent of the players who played today played at Bournemouth and the rest were out. But I think maybe the first round, the third or fourth round, people are a bit more [ambivalent]… but after when it gets to the final stages, everybody is absolutely focused on it.
“I don’t know why people have not a positive opinion of the cup. It’s more the press I think. I think so. Inside our game, I would have been devastated if we had gone out tonight. So we are all focused to compete, really. Somebody reminded me yesterday that I had not gone out in the third round in 20 years. That’s because I care about the competition, but overall, no I think it’s every year a debate. For me it’s no debate, it’s a fantastic competition.”
That sounds like a man that knows the importance of winning a trophy, any trophy, this season. So, considering the incredible quality of the competition now in the Premier League (and the Champions League!), would you lot be happy if we managed Top Four AND won the FA Cup this season. Would that be enough to earn Wenger a new contract?