Has FA cup eased Arsenal’s Champions League pain?

I can see where the Arsenal centre back Per Mertesacker is coming from and of course we are all happy, relieved and proud to see the Gunners make it to Wembley for a second successive FA cup final. However, I am not so sure that even lifting the famous trophy again will really ease the pain caused when Arsenal blew our best chance in years of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

Our failure against the unfancied French club Monaco is fresh in the memory again as the second legs of the tournament are upon us and maybe that is why our Big Effin German has brought up the topic in a statement on the Arsenal website. The defender had to be replaced after picking up an injury against Reading but he had already played a key role against a fiercely determined Reading side.

Mertesacker said, “I twisted my ankle but obviously I am delighted that we are back at Wembley – that is a fantastic achievement for this group for the second consecutive time. We are really proud.

“It was a really tough game and we knew before that they would fight for their lives and give absolutely everything to keep us away from their goal and they did it fantastically. We are just delighted that we made it again.

“It is a little progress [and] it would be a great honour, back to back FA Cup wins. We were knocked out of the Champions League and that was a big blow for us but after that we responded and it is a great achievement. Let’s continue our great run.

“We just wanted to win and do something fantastic for the team and the group. You can see everyone is absolutely happy and delighted.”

It will be great for the Gunners to win back to back trophies but the FA cup is still only our third priority and it still does not get around the fact that we should be doing better in Europe. But we are almost certain to be in it again and probably without having to face the play-offs again. And with real signs of improvement at the club, perhaps next season will see Arsenal really erase the pain of our early exit by going all the way. What do you think?

Tags Mertesacker Monaco


  1. It doesn’t matter what some people in England think about the FA cup, most foreign players looking to come to play in the EPL would love to win it.

    1. Everyone says the FA Cup is a tournament where no one really plays their best team etc. but it’s funny how no one said anything when Chelsea won the League Cup, an even worse tournament.. When Chelsea won it was all ‘the first of many for this great emerging team and manager’.

      When it gets to the latter stages, every team plays their strongest 11 in the FA Cup. United played their best team against us in the quarterfinal, didn’t they? And we did the same. Just because Chelsea or Man City got knocked out, all of a sudden it’s a second-tier competition.

      Even when City were knocked out against Middlesborough, Aguero, Kompany, Silva, Zabaleta, Milner, Navas etc. all started. Hardly their second team. When Chelsea lost to Bradford, their best players may not have started, but Hazard, Fabregas, Willian etc were all on the pitch before Bradford even took the lead.

      Classic case of ‘we lost, so it doesn’t matter, we weren’t really trying of course’.

      The FA Cup isn’t the Premier League or CL, but it’s no walkover. To win it you have to beat the top teams in the country.

  2. This should be Wengers last season….if he could win it…he can leave on a high…

    time for Klopp to take over next season… Klopp can guarantee titles..

    1. I think Wenger should be given one more season in charge and after that he can move upstairs. We can see progress know that we have got more money to spend on players.

      1. no more chance….given enough for the last 10 seasons…..

        enough is enough…..he won the FA cup last season and if he win it this season that be a bonus….leave on a high….

        FA cup is the max he could take us…

        time to move on…Wenger Out!!

    2. @ Hafiz

      I think you forgot to write something else about Klopp.

      He can also make us fight for relegation, just like Dortmund .
      It would be a new challenge for a team like Arsenal

    3. You do realize it takes more than one season to build a title winning team ? He started the moment we bought Ozil, he’s been slowly building the team around him and it’s already starting to show with his current form and partnership with Ramsey. All we need is to add squad depth by getting competition for Coq and a left winger

      1. I agree GoonerLad – in my mind we starting building a PL challenging side in September 2013 when we basically trebled our transfer record with Ozil. Not everyone wants to buy in to the stadium building “excuse” but the numbers are there for anyone to take a look at. 2003-13 Arsenal average net spend was -£1.5M per annum ie: total net spend of -£15.5M for the period. Equivalent Chelski net spend £517M, City £415M. Why the f**k anyone is having an argument to suggest if we had someone other than Wenger then we should have been mopping up PL titles for fun in that period is beyond me. The last 5 PL winners (and probably soon to be 6 with Chelsea this year) have been with lightly tweaked but essentially settled squads/teams on the back of 5-10 years of heavy investment. Should remind ourselves also that we have almost a completely different team now to the one we kicked off the 2013-14 season with – only Kos and Giroud remain as more or less certain starters. If we make a couple of decent signings this summer, keep all our best players, have some better luck with injuries and we are still not SERIOUSLY challenging for the PL then I will be happy to go across to the dark side and join our loud AOB friends on here.

    4. Klopp guarantees titles eh? What title are Dortmund going to win this year? Hate how people think getting rid of wenger will automatically ‘win us the league’

  3. Going out in the last 16
    is the the norm at Arsenal
    in fact it is celebrated.
    So too not winning the EPL
    is the norm and already
    the fans are celebrating 2nd.
    Of the two an EPL win appears
    much more likely. Next season looks very
    promising but the rumblings from
    Man Utd look very threatening.
    Me thinks Man U v Arsenal will be the go next term.

    1. @ Davidnz

      I can’t remember which English team went to the quarterfinals of CL this season,do you know which team went through?

    2. Going out last 16 may be “the norm” in the last 10 years (although we have had 2 QFs, 1 SF and a Final in that time) but it should be said we are the ONLY English club that has gotten to the last 16 EVERY year since 2004. You have to get to last 16 to be knocked out of it.

      Has anyone on here ever thought that maybe we really are only say the 10th to 20th best club in Europe and we achieve accordingly?

  4. The fa cup is still a very famous competition that is proudly respected throughout the british continent and the world! Ask any club about winning the fa cup and im sure the answer would be, ” it would be an honour”! Coyg!

  5. Anyone seen Michael Owen’s latest ‘Sterling is better than Özil’ interview?

    When asked he says Özil is a strange player and that ‘If you look at the second goal, it will go down as an Özil assist but it was all about Alexis Sanchez and a mistake by the goalkeeper’.

    No mention of the assist for the first goal Michael? Doesn’t shrprise me.

    He goes on to say that he thinks Özil is a very good player but only a few months ago Arsenal are having an awful season and were looking as if we wouldn’t make the top four, and that it’s strange the difference a few months can make.

    Funny that, considering Özil was injured back when we were struggling, returning in January. Plus his return coincided with our upturn in results, so why did Owen mention Özil when saying Arsenal were struggling a few months ago?

    Honestly it’s so pathetic..

    1. Owen is just a bitter old pundit who’s upset that Arsenal are, and always will be, better than his beloved Liverpool.

    2. Even allowing for my natural bias I would say that was a “proper” assist and the resulting goal could have only happened when married with the quality of that pass. To argue otherwise is twatish in the extreme. Oh well.

      Owen is just too thick and inept to stop digging the hole he started digging 18 months ago. And it was only a few months ago when HE was predicting we wouldn’t make top 4. As he says “strange that”. For my crimes, I have a few scouser mates – may surprise some to know that even they can’t f**king stand him.

  6. It would be a dream come through to see our “gunners” winning the “holy grail” in football the championsleague next season! Coyg!

  7. The FA cup is the 3rd best trophy we can win as a football club, to argue that is flat out lying.

    The League and the CL are the premiere trophies, and the ones we should be CHALLENGING (note I’m not suggesting we have a divine right to win them) for each year.

    I’d win the FA cup over no trophy, but no it doesn’t wash away the sour taste we have from the CL this year IMO. We haven’t challenged for the league for a number of years; I’ld be tempted to give up the FA cup if someone said we’d definitely challenge for the league next season, it’s just a far bigger deal to me.

      1. You know them all do you?

        I’m not sorry for wanting League and CL glory over the FA cup mate, you keep your knee-high aspirations to yourself.

  8. The main difference between this season and the last is that we are grinding out results against big teams by finally adjusting our tactical approach. However the way Arsene and the boys treated the 1st leg Monaco game still showed signs of inexperience in the Europian stage. They got frustrated too early in the game and seemed to forget the fact the winner is decided over 2 games and not 1.

    1. This season we had our worst start for 30 years. Worst start of the Premier League and Wenger era. The fact that we recovered from it and are now second in the table shows that we do have a very strong team. Chelsea were 18 points ahead of us by around November/December. We’ve clawed that back to just 10, not to mention catching Man City who were level with Chelsea on New Year’s Day. The fact that we can not just keep pace with rivals, but gain points on them is very encouraging.

      We’ve been in great shape for 4 or 5 months now, so it’s not just a one-off period. If we manage to stretch our form over a season then we can win the title. Easier said than done of course. But for certain we have to strengthen in the summer, a DM to replace Flamini should be top priority.

  9. When I read some of the comments here I wonder whether the writers are true Gunners or pretenders. How would anyone be unhappy about being in the final of the FA for two seasons in a row? Those of us who have been supporting the club for sometime will remember that the craze with CL is a new thing. Success in English football was judged by either winning EPL or FA. I don’t remember anyone labelling a team which had won FA as not being successful. I think this new thinking came in when foreigners bought English clubs and wanted their investments to yield fruits because the CL promised big returns. Hence in the years after 2006 the FA cup can to be regarded as less prestigious because it didn’t offer a lot of money. Furthermore the FA trophy got undermined because teams put all their energies into qualifying for CL which offered more money rather than fighting for FA. I am optimistic that with the increase in revenue from TV and other adverts the lure of CL will reduce and hence the FA cup will regain its old glamour. Already there are signs that lately more big clubs have rekindled their interest in FA and this will increase.

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