Arsenal to risk first team legs for getting back to winning ways

Arsene Wenger has always used domestic cup games to rotate his squad and give some valuable game time to some of the Arsenal fringe players and the young Gunners coming through the academy. And with the Gunners coming off a three game winless streak and facing a tough match against a Southampton side that has already beaten us a few days after the FA cup clash, many of us thought he might make even more changes than usual for Burnley tomorrow.

But in his pre-match press conference reported by the Frenchman suggested that the opposite would be the case. And the reason behind his thinking is not just that he wants Arsenal to progress another step in our defence of the FA cup and get closer to that formidable three in a row record, but because he feels that we need to get back to winning ways as soon as possible.

Wenger admitted that the points total from January has not been good enough and so he clearly feels that getting back in the habit of winning tomorrow against Burnley is possibly more important than keeping his first choice players as fresh as possible. So although he said there will be some changes the boss said there would not be many, especially as he sees Burnley as being like a Premier League team.

Wenger said, “I saw them on Monday night beat Derby 4-1 and I realised when I watched them that all their players played in the Premier League, we played against most of them.

“They have Gray up front who is very efficient, they have other players like Barton, Arfield, Boyd – they have all played in the Premier League.

“They have Vokes up front with Gray, they have good players. We know that we have learnt in the Premier League that the teams who have come up from the Championship, it is not like 10 years ago – they compete at the right level.

“We have learnt something this season, we went to Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup and got quite a severe defeat. We have to show we have learnt from that.

“We have to be humble enough to accept that and to think it’s not because we turn up at the Emirates and play against Burnley that we will win the game.

“We have to earn the right to go through this round and qualify. If you don’t do that, we’ll have a bad surprise.”

But our next EPL opponents will be coming to north London after more than a week without a game, so when next Tuesday arrives will Wenger regret playing a strong side tomorrow?

Tags Burnley Southampton


  1. We should not shell out a full strong squad. We should use this match to rest players and give players coming back a bit of a run around.

    We Can beat Burnley without the likes of Sanchez, Ozil, Cech, Campbell (yes I count him as a first team pick now) Monreal and either Walcott or Giroud.

    We have enough guys to replace all of them and still Win

  2. Hey! ?.. Burnley are no mugs! They are 3rd in the championship, they are on a unbeaten run, with four straight wins, scoring 14 and conceding only 3.

    If we are serious about winning the Fa cup for a record 3rd time in a row, then we have to put out our strongest team.
    If we are winning well by half time then sub off our 3 best players.

    I’m not being funny but all this rest,rest, rest malarkey is a load of b@ll@cks!
    3 days inbetween games is more than enough.
    For example… Look at Ozil, He was on fire before he was rested a few times and all that did, was blow out his flames!

    Players should only be rested,
    when fatigue is clearly visible!

    1. Very well put. Burnley will test us more than Sunderland or Villa who ate heading to the Championship and will find life pretty hard down there.

      OT: in three years AFC will have spent 100 years in the top league…how beautiful is that record?

  3. ———- Ospina
    Bellerin – Gabriel – Boss – Gibbs
    ———- Elneny – Chambers
    Sanchez —— Özil —— Iwobi
    ————- Walcott/Giroud

    About 6 changes. Possibly Flamini in for Chambers. But this should be enough to beat Burnley. Just man mark Gray, he’s been in good form.

    1. And Sanchez in because he doesn’t need rest right now. Besides he can always be subbed off after he’s scored a hatful!

  4. Listen baby Please

    We will NOT win the PL
    Last 3 matches we got 2 points out of 9 ffs

    Play a strong team because FA Cup is our ONLY chance for silverware

    Alexis/ozil/welbeck or campbell

    1. Don’t be a defeatist, we have the same tally of point than City and 3 behind Leicester who still have to play the big boys.

      If we are top by the 29th game week we have a strong chance.

      Up to the boys to perform.

  5. Don’t forget that Arsenal has
    not won the EPL for 11 years.
    And the wait has become more
    and more insufferable as the
    years pass.
    The FA cup? Really?
    4th place? Really?
    Look at City. Yaya Toure is looking really tired now.
    De bruyne out injured in the Micky mouse cup.
    What do you want to win? FA Cup or the Premier league?
    FA Cup is a welcome bonus but EPL will do me fine.
    I know FBG wants both but he’s greedy wants the ECL as well 🙂
    No you can’t have chips with that 🙂

    1. We have won at least one PL title in each decade going back quite a bit. Lets hope this season will be the one to keep the run going, and then try to make this decade the most abundant.

    2. Some teams have never won the EPL!!!!
      11 years blah blah. We’ve competed against teams splashing out 100 of millions and we’re up there with a great squad . Know your history

  6. Ospina
    Chambers – Gab – Kos – Gibbs
    El Neny Ramsey (60/65)
    Ox Mesut (65) Alexis (60)

    Subs — TR7 (25); LeCoq (25/30); Theo (30)
    Chambers at RB since Debuchy seems to be heading on the door.
    For me, our key attacking players need to get a rhythm going together so that we can start seeing more chances being created.
    El Neny needs a chance.
    Kos and Gab play together to see if they can establish a rhythm.
    Campbell clearly above the ox, but resting him here.
    Theo has been poo lately and maybe coming off the bench would help motivate him to play better.
    Wouldn’t mind seeing Iwobi get a little run out, but not sure how he’d jump the three subs I listed earlier. Could be wrong though.

  7. I don’t trust Barton, it wouldn’t surprise me to see him trying to hurt one our star players just for the sake of denting Arsenal’s PL chances even though he’s not a PL player. He has a real nasty streak but not the good kind, very distasteful person.

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