Could FA Cup Exit Benefit Arsenal? by Goonerboy
Good day wonderful Arsenal family. Our unbeaten run and FA cup defence came to an abrupt end on Saturday afternoon as we succumbed to a disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Southampton, this result leaves Mikel Arteta with a daunting task ahead if he is to secure European football next season. However, could our cup exit benefit the side as the season progresses?
With one eye on Tuesday’s night Premier League visit to St. Mary’s, Arteta rang the changes for the FA cup clash.
Players who lack game time were given the opportunities to show they are ready to be part of the first team set-up, while standout performers like Saka, Partey, Tierney were afforded some much needed rest.
Personally, the decision to rest those players is quite understandable as you can’t keep flogging the same set of players every 2-3 days and expect the same intensity, quality output and fitness levels.
If he had done so, and our key players got injured, I am pretty sure he would have been heavily criticised, that is why being a modern football manager/football player is for the mentally strong. You are subject to harsh and juvenile criticisms and opinions, where everybody thinks they are right in the way they think things should be done without having a clue as to what really goes on behind the scenes. These are the same people that think the FA cup is not a major trophy when we win, but moan when we fail to win it, what do you really want oh hypocrites!
I was deeply gutted we were knocked out, but then again it happens, you can’t win it every year and we are still the most successful team in the competition. That said, that still does not change the fact the players that were supposed to step up failed to do so.
Missing a playmaker between the lines or an offensive outlet from the left, these struggles were incurred due to the omission of some first choice players, suggesting that this Arsenal side simply does not have enough quality strength in depth to compete on multiple fronts simultaneously.
Although we are languishing in 10th place in the Premier League standings, and have played more games than those around us, there is still a lot to play for this season. Arsenal currently lie seven points off the top four and five points away from sixth place, suggesting that the gap between us and the European spots is not insurmountable and, judging by Saturday’s team selection, Arteta has faith in the first-team to bridge it.
Speaking to the official Arsenal site, the boss insisted that, despite the changes, he had named a ‘very strong lineup’ in the cup and ‘ca not complain’ about the players he has at his disposal.
However, the errors that manifested on the south coast indicate a sharp decrease in quality when a few key figures are omitted, and suggest that we will need to field our strongest side if we are to accomplish anything of note over the coming months.
We are now reaching the endgame of this rollercoaster season and the fringe players have repeatedly demonstrated their ineptitude when it comes to the big games, so maybe the reduced fixture list will enable stronger line-ups in the future and give us a better chance of achieving European success in May.
What do you think?