Has Arsenal boss showed his FA cup hand too soon?

It is not like Arsene Wenger to give much away, whether it is about his Arsenal transfer plans (assuming he actually has any of course) or whether it is about which Arsenal players are going to start any particular match. I do not blame the boss either, because you never know when a tactical or personnel surprise switch is going to unsettle the opposing team.

So I was a little surprised to see the Frenchman show his hand so early to his opposite number at Watford, making it very easy for Quique Sanchez Flores to prepare the Hornets for the quarter final at the Emirates Stadium tomorrow. For one thing he spoke about how seriously he takes this competition and insisted that he would not be thinking about the midweek Champions League game in Barcelona until after the Watford game, as an Arsenal.com report explains.

He said, “Is it fair or not [to say we are favourites for the FA Cup]? I don’t know. I look at the teams who are still in the competition and you could say the same to three or four as well. We have a chance like everyone else and we want to play as hard as we can to give ourselves a good chance to be successful.

“I haven’t given up on the Premier League at all and I’ve said that many times, nor the Champions League. We have to take care of the next minute and the next minute is an FA Cup game.

“Is it the best chance to win a trophy? It’s still far away. We must win the next game and prove that we can show consistency again. I don’t believe anyone in my side thinks about Barcelona at the moment, or Everton, they are completely focused on Watford.”

So he has already told Flores that he would not be making the usual raft of changes but playing something close to his strongest XI. He has also spoken about Giroud going on a goal run now that he has broke his drought and talked up our Egyptian international Mohamed Elneny.

So after revealing that he also had a full strength defence available bar Laurent Koscielny, the only positions that the Watford boss does not know the players are the wide forward ones and the number 10 playmaker spot. Is this giving too much away or is Wenger confident enough that a strong Arsenal side can beat Watford anyway?

Tags Elneny Giroud Wenger


  1. Off Topic: Lukaku scored a brilliant goal (first goal). He made it all by himself dribbling Chelsea defenders. I wish our strikers can score such goals. Create something out of nothing.

    1. That regrettable moment when they thought Lukaku wasn’y good enough for em and Everton embraced him for a cool £28mil

    2. It was a brilliant individual goal, I don’t think we have anyone capable of such a goal except maybe Alexis.

      It reminded me, for its individualism, of Nasri’s goal against I think villa real in CL some years ago. I was at the emirates and had a really good view, it was awesome.

    3. we should pay what it takes to get lukaku .

      but since our goal is CL qualification, we’re just happy where we are. thats the message i read from wenger since he failed to buy last summer: we’re ok as is.

  2. Everton 2 : 0 chelski


    Arsenal Linked with roma’s Umar Sadiq ..

    Gr8!… Just what we need 4 all our aggressions and depressions!

    Another dose of the media stupidity pls

    1. the more obscure the player/league that wenger pulls from, the happier he is. he’d rather be smart than do the obvious (and probably more likely to succeed) thing. thats why he’ll never pay going rates for WC strikers.

      or maybe this is how it is: he had to pay to get sanchez/ozil bec otherwise CL qualification would be in danger and kroenke would be unhappy. so we got just the minimum to get it done. if ozil/sanchez leave, we’ll get two other WC just so we get our 50M CL bonus each year.

  3. Does it really matter if Wenger shows his hand early or not? Of the so called big 5 teams, we’re the most predictable and easiest to beat. The truth is the others are either just bad, having an off season or going through transitions. We’ve had the same manager in 2 decades which so happens to be not only the current longest serving manager in the league but also in all of Europe. Says a lot! I thought we had 1 or 2 boogie teams but this season alone has shown we have many more. We’ve lost at HOME to teams you wouldn’t have dreamt to lose to before the season even started but we made that dream a reality. This clubs has serious issues and everyone but the people who can affect change seems to know this. Henry has spoke out, Wright has spoke out, Merson has spoke out, Souness has spoke out, Keown has spoke out, Dixon has spoke out, even guys who never played for us are speaking out like Ferdinand. It’s a joke and it truly hurts and that link that someone posted on an earlier article about how Stan chooses business over player improvement doesn’t bring any better feeling either. Even if we win the FA Cup 3 times in a row it’s still not the big one that eluded us for so long and it would a shame of all season for a team like Leciester to get promoted and win it. I’ll still support Arsenal until the day I die but I’m not 1 to be fooled that most of the players we have are going to take us back to the glory days, especially jumping on the Walcott bandwagon because he scored a brace last time out but has been trash for the most part of the last 10 years. Lol that was a lot!

  4. Chelsea are out of the FA Cup unless they can score two goals in injury time
    Hopefully we won’t join them

    1. Lol….Chelsea season is basically over after the Everton defeat, they’re out of every competitions they’re in, they’re no where near the league title nor top four, they’re in to good of a position for relegation battle, and just sitting somewhere in middle of the table….. In other, they’re in middle of no-mans-land and no causes left to fight for….
      That’s such a refreshment to see them struggle after all the years of gifted successes!!!
      If I were Costa and the co., I would just go to Bahamas and take a little chill pill at the sunny beach with some hottie chicas, don’t even bother going to training ground every week in the cold ass morning LOL…

      Ps: even Liverpool are still in the mix of a trophy fight??

  5. OT: but I read and this is probably top notch BS, that we are going to bid £50M for Morata. The guy we should have went all out on last summer (Dybala) has benched him but we rather go for the 1 that got benched. Typical

    1. why would we pay 50M for anyone? we’re going to meet our goal (CL qualification and the bonus that comes with it) as it is, we’ll get in top4 and kroenke/gazidis happy. end of story.

      wenger’s a smart person, but he doesnt tell the whole truth – only what he wants us to hear.

  6. not interested if he shows his hand or not……. The man’s a gambler…. That explains his poker face … And he’s not even a good tactician ….. Many have successfully been able to beat him in his own game ….

    WeLcome to the New age

  7. In 2 games Chelsea are out of the Champions League and the FA Cup. What a sport the old football is…

    1. @JAmerican
      too true, mate. this season’s EPL may just not be a done deal yet. why, even mancity couldnt get maximum points at norwich!

    2. So u suggesting there’s a dressing room conspiracy against guus hiddink?

      *Conte puts on Armani suit and boards the british airlines to London*

  8. that will be three fa cups in a row we have avoided chelsea an man city.

    perhaps this trophy does like us 🙂

    1. so everton and watford are a walk in the park right?……. Let’s celebrate then

      where’s ur uncle’s minivan already?

      1. Everton and Watford are not walk in the park but at least we have no psychological barrier against them and we play Watford @ home….
        I will be glad if we win the FA cup again at least for the sake of some hardworking players in the team

    2. i recall manure and swansea……..the memories are still fresh as cabbage…….. That gave me nightmares to date

      1. that loss to Manu when we had to avenge our 8:2 , when manU was ravaged, when they had a 18yo at CF: bottling that : i’ll never forgive wenger for not getting his players in an appropriate state of mind for that one.

  9. I hope we do the business tomorrow and so do Utd because I want them in the Semifinals at Wembley.

      1. i’d guess it’s because we must face them in a game in which our players at least show some passion?!

        1. i want MU so we can beat them and get some respect back. that loss to rashford is our worst loss this season.
          .. and coming on top of our 3:0 thrashing of MU when they came to our ground.

  10. Articles going down hill fast….showed what hand….that we’re taking it seriously?? Thank f for that I say.

  11. Chelsea out of FA Cup is good news. If we progress in the cup we will not have to face Chelsea who we seem incapable of beating

    1. The Last time i checked, there are no cheap EPL sides anymore…….take a microscopic view

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