Mikel Arteta may regret throwing away the FA Cup

Were Arsenal Arrogant? By Dan Smith

Any long-term readers will know this isn’t me using the benefit of hindsight. I have long maintained we are not a good enough team to be putting our noses up to any cup competitions.
They are, and have been for years, our only chance of any kind of happiness.

I was shocked by our line-up which clearly spelt out that Tuesday was our priority. How arrogant of our manager to not recognise that of all the fixtures in the next week this was the most important.

Lose in midweek, you still have another 18 games to retrieve points, you knew losing this weekend would end your most realistic chance of a trophy.

Let me paraphrase a message I read from a Gooner on BBC website, ‘Who cares about only winning a cup, we are not Spurs. The League is our priority’.

That’s why rival supporters laugh at us.

We are 10th in January. That means League-wise, the season is done. We are not getting relegated; we are not finishing top 4. Even more reason to make this Cup a priority. Arteta seemed to understand that last year.

Even from a financial point of view, it’s a route into Europe which our owners base their transfer policy.

When you are making 55 redundancies, asking the squad for pay cuts, slashing the wage bill and can only afford loans, can we be throwing away the chance for match day revenue?

Where possible we should have kept to the line-up who beat Newcastle. Those players had earnt the baton and deserved to run with it until they dropped it.

(Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

There’s zero evidence that resting Partey, Lacazette. Tierney, Saka, Smith Rowe, etc will make it more likely we do better at Saint Mary’s in a few days’ time. If anything the Saints now have more momentum and confidence while it increases the pressure on us to win.

But let’s say we do win. Why does that make this okay? Would that justify this result?

If we win we would go to the dizzy heights of 8th! Why would I care about that more than lifting a trophy?

We are Arsenal!

Where’s our standards?

We used to mock Mr Wenger for viewing the top 4 above silverware.

How have we not gone backwards when we are resting players for a match where 8th is on the line?
Anyone saying we are only 7 points behind 4th is deluded. What have you seen to make you think we can go on the type of run needed for that to happen?

Because we have recently beaten 3 of the worst sides in the division? Because our Billionaire owner is doing ‘what?’ to help our lack of creativity?

The only positive of no more domestic cup games is that the fringe players have ran out of chances (we will go strong against Benfica).

I wouldn’t be shocked if Eddie Nketiah doesn’t start another game for us this season. He, Nelson, Willock and Niles have had enough chances. Elneny wasn’t good enough years ago and still isn’t.

It’s ironic.

Many say winning the FA Cup kept Arteta in his job. I just wonder if in the summer he will see this as the moment he lost a lot of goodwill.

It’ okay though, we are saving money by slashing the wage bill. For Arsenal that represents a good week!

Be Kind In The Comments



  1. What a load of tripe. Europe/ cup/league. Games every 3 days… Liverpool not top… You think this is normal? Grow up.

    1. Bob, You have a better understanding of the scenario? I doubt. Dan is spot on. We should have tried to win the FA cup as the league is a gone case and it will be very hard to finish top 4.

  2. Arsenal fans most of you are deluded,we are regressing, remove your rose tainted glasses and see it as it is,we are no longer a big club.Spurs will finish above us and they are going to a cup final which they may win ,they are paying a stadium debt and it is not being used as an excuse for not competing like Wenger lied to us for a decade.I have not heard a spud say we will compete and buy world-class players when we pay stadium debt.You have to keep changing managers if you want to win titles and that is an authority all over europe nothing like *rebuilding*

    1. In what way are Spurs doing better, or more competitive than Wenger’s side post 2004? Have they won the league, the CL or even the FA cup?

      Please do enlighten those of us that do not share your illogical hatred for Wenger.

  3. Arteta did not throw away this 4th round tie. Being drawn away to a resurgent Saints who do not have European commitments was a tough ask when they field their best team. One of Liverpool and Utd will be out tomorrow. The draw is a most significant factor. Arsenal lucked out this season. Arsenal would be better
    out of Europe. The Europa league is worth beger all financialy and unless you actually win it is a drain on your PL chances and no star player will come to Arsenal for the Europa league. Arteta fielded a decent side with Pepe the 70 million dollar man and Willian the 130k p/w man up front. If even one of our super expensive strikers could find a bit of form Arsenal will make top 6.

    1. @wyoming keep giving excuses for Arteta and thank you for accepting midiocrity soton are too big for arsenal.We need to world-class attacking midfielder to win games lol

    2. well then arteta should work on his tactics which is now as boring as his playing style while he played for us.. average and slow

    3. So your saying we reached a level where saints away is a tough draw yet think we are good enough for top 6?
      Which one is it ?

  4. I must be sincere with Mr Arteta with due respect you have done foolishly for you not to take the game serious by not fielding your best 11 against the saints,in a competition that is more realistic for success than the league

  5. Arteta has more faults and mistakes in him than capability.. if he does not atleast come into the final of EL he should be sacked.. if somebody should be loaned out its not our youngsters but the manager.. how a rookie manager got the job is still astonishing.. he wasn’t even an arsenal legend.. pirlo, zidane and pep were atleast legends of their clubs so the players respected them and the fans loved them but that we went for an ex player without even experience with a youth team is just a joke

    1. Arteta was Elneny 2:0 as a player always passing sideways,he was championship level as much as the deluded want him to be pep it won’t happen his understanding of the game is so poor

      1. 100%; i wrote something similar in reply to wyoming..
        artetas tactic seems to be similar: slow and sideway passing

  6. Still havn’t fully understood arteta’s method/phylosophy as a coach,he is so error prone.hoping he will make a decision that makes sense one day

    1. But he won two TROPHIES in 6months he must be a coaching genius, where was he yesterday! we thought he knows something about winning trophies already

      1. That was a fluke result. Remember the FA cup final versus Chelsea and the Referee help our team a lot.

  7. I swear before God that I fell asleep watching Arsenal’s las two games, boring arsenal,we lost our identity.

  8. Not a train smash. We need our best players for the league game. We should prioritize the league and Europa games. We have strengthened the team defensively, we are still getting the midfield and striking departments sorted this will take a while. Personally I’m not upset about the FA cup loss. I think we will beat Southampton in the league game. 😀

    1. You are deluded if you think we will win the europa league, you are dreaming my friend do you know the team in that competition! And if we have improved why are 8th in the league and what makes you think we deserve better.Think! zombie

        1. @Dboy ,Like Wenger used to say judge me in may.I will want to see that europa league league and top,4 medal at the end of the season.How delusional!

  9. Our loss to Southampton shows we have many poor players.

    If we go on a good run we can finish 6th, which will take us to Europe.

    The Europa League will be difficult to win, there are many good teams there.
    Let’s see how we perform against Benfica next month.

        1. Admin i expected more from you, sorry to say but this is a really stupid “counter”
          Klopp: 2 times champion of germany, 3 times CL finalist –> 1 CL cup and the title in england
          Arteta: 1 FA cup; went out against olympiakos in the EL last season and this season already 8 losses with pitiful performances
          so obviously one has to judge based on the context which you seem to be incapable of
          with already so many losses: the loss to southampton does show that he is a poor manager

          1. The comment said s loss to Southampton meant Arteta was a poor manager. I merely pointed out that a few weeks ago Klopp lost to Southampton. That is a fact.
            The OP never mentioned any wider comparison, so do not make assumptions above my original counter

          2. lol so with your kind of reasoning one could argue that the loss of liverpool against southampton shows that liverpool has many poor players? as the OP commented “Our loss to Southampton shows we have many poor players” because if not you are being hypocritical..
            and obviously the OP does not think that as it is all in the context liverpool losing against south does not mean the have poor players but our loss can indeed show that as it’s becoming the custom
            so obviously this loss is not an exception but more of a confirmation.. so before you try a silly “counter” next time try to understand the context

            1. And you can stop squirming mate,
              YOU said a sweeping statement which indicated that anyone who lost to Southampton was a poor manager.
              I had to point out that it was idiotic thing to say, and now you are just proving I was right with your clutching at straws.
              Now shut up and stop trying to defend an idiotic statement.

          3. lol cant take a discussion you lost eh? so you are reacting childish and pitiful.. try to be better with your reasoning next time then you dont have to solve it like this and talking of facts i never said or indicated that “anyone who lost to Southampton was a poor manager” all i said was OUR loss to southampton shows we have a poor manager, so obviously i am not talking of everyone who has lost to southampton so work on your reasoning and critical thinking instead of being a stupid child

            1. In fact, your original sweeping statement was childish and pitiful (I do love an idiotic discussion now and again, with free insults thrown in!)
              How can I lose a ‘discussion’ that starts with “Our loss to southampton shows we have a poor manager”
              So if a Liverpool fan wrote that it would have meant something different??

              Give up, you can never beat the logical voice of reason mate, so don’t keep digging eh?

              Calling me a “stupid child” shows you have lost the argument and are now hoping for a slanging match. I’m not interested, but will remind you that personal abuse gets people banned, never mind if I own the site or not!

          4. Look i dont care what kind of discussions you like or dont like but try to reasonable

            Of course it means something different if a liverpool fan comments “Our loss to southampton shows we have a poor manager”

            for the start i will just try reason it so that you can understand it and will let this unnecessary discussion be:
            If a chelsea fan comments that for such a display, he cant really be criticised for that as its highly possible that lampard is a poor manager and if an arsenal fan comments that, he cant really be criticised for that as its highly possible that arteta is a poor manager
            if a tottenham or liverpool fan comment that it does not make any sense as Klopp and Mourinho are surely top class managers and they arent poor even if they lost
            so try to understand a context next time before you start prattling on about wrong things

            1. Hmm I’m not sure I should “try to be reasonable” to someone who calls me a “stupid child” but I ppromise I will “try to understand a context next time before I start prattling on about wrong things”, if you promise to stop being an aggressive idiot.


              Think carefully before you reply, eh?

        2. That is why we should have taken the Sotons serious, knowing the threats they possessed. By all standards if they can beat Liverpool in the league and also beat us in the League why didn’t we maintain our last 11 that beat Newcastle 3:0 and redeem our image against them in the FA Cup 4th round?

          They had one of our own in Walcott who understood us inside out.

          To me Arteta will regret ever throwing away this chance to retain a Cup he won last year to make him last till now as Arsenal Gaffer.

          The next day in the the same 4th round FA cup tie we saw Liverpool and Manchester United fielded their best 11s. So winning the last year FA Cup and the Community Shield has made him arrived, whereas a certain Mounrinho will file out his best 11 even in a Plastic Cup tie.

          Despite Lampard being ahead of Arsenal in the League and still playing in the Champions League yet he was AXED yesterday.

          Arteta stop being complacent with results that should have been ours. Take us out of the Valley that Unai Emery had sunk us in or else…… (better still ask Bilic and Lampard).

  10. Arteta parades with confidence but picks teams like a wimp. On seeing the team he chose, I immediately knew it was powder puff and we would not score a goal. There is something scared or stupid in Arteta……and his football wisdom seems to be somewhere lower down than his brain.

    1. @sean william I can bet on my house if you’re the Arsenal Manager you would do a better job,Even a fool can see we have a manager who is Killing the team instead of building it

      1. Sean & Lord – why you don’t apply for the job. I am sure it will be given to you once they fire Arteta. Although it will be extremely difficult to choose between 2 of you, who to be Arsenal manager- you both “world class managers.”

  11. the basic problem is that if you play a weak midfield the opponents can easily dominate from the middle of the park the defence has to work harder and the attack has to be even more creative given inadequate support … arteta has stuck with the likes of elneny xhaka willock for too long and struggles to find a way of combining partey ceballos and AMN … if he sorts this out then we can begin to move forward though we still need a quality AM to complete the challenge

  12. I disagree. It’s not just about resting your good players, it’s also to prevent risk of injury. When you’re playing every 3 days, it’s not good. It’s one of the reasons we had so many injuries under Arsene Wenger, he hardly rotated the squad except for Carabao cup and maybe 3rd round fa cup.

    We won 4 FA cups in the last 7 years. But out of the champions league for 3 seasons, the priority has to be the PL and europa league now. The prize is far bigger. FA cup money is poor. With corona, you can guess more games will be cancelled and fixture congestion will get tough/impossible for players. They’ll never cancel the season. Playing 3 competitions will be too much then. Look what happened to Spurs fixture list in September/ October. Agree with Arteta to protect most of the good players

  13. The good thing is we now know our best 11.

    Let us hope they perform well against bigger teams.

    The past is gone let us look forward to the future and see the best position we can achieve.


    This would be my best 11. Martinelli should be handled carefully cause of his injury record.

    1. We desperately lack clever movement up front. Have you noticed the runs Cavani makes even when he is not on the ball for Man U? Abundantly clear despite being given abundant opportunities Pepe & Willian bench-warmers – at best! Will never win game with these guys starting. Eamon

  14. Absolute joke, some comments here. We cant get 4th so we should have prioritised the cup. When I saw the line up, I tols my son we are out and true enough. Watch his tactics, he was playing epl style in the cup., sideways to move forward, playing out from the back. When he played cup tactics in the epl, we won.
    A clueless manager well out if his depths. This was a leicester type season but we even failed that bar badly, no even close to 4th

    Anyone who starts Nketiah forward, and a midfield of xhaka and elneny needs to go. Elneny works harder and is better than xhaka but needs a strong player beside him to work out.
    Sack him now so the new manager can build for a dozen games and start afresh next.

  15. Lord Denning. I do not like Thursday night football, but this is the reality we find ourselves now.

    The higher we finish in the League and Europa League, the better for us.

    One game at a time from now henceforth.

      1. can you firmly tell us winning that game would mean winning FA?
        out of FA and UEL, which would you prefer we win?
        this overreaction is becoming something else, its FA, the best price we get for winning it is another UEL qualifications

        1. No but you lose Tuesday you have another 18 games to retrieve points , where this weekend was knock out football

          1. Hi Dan.. sorry to change the subject – loving your comments btw – but are you doing the predictions for the midweek fixtures? I’m missing them 😃

          2. Yes sue
            I said on Thursday but was a bit worried how many saw it but I’ll put them out tonight and let’s see who responds

  16. At this time “momentum” is the most crucial attribute that any Premier League team can attain…Manchester United are not a particularly good side and OGS is almost as clueless as Arteta yet they have now managed to build up a head of steam.Leicester on the other hand are managed by someone with a definite plan and he’s managed to take a small squad of players and maintain a good run of results.
    It was crucial,therefore, to maintain a similar perspective with Arsenal.They are heading into a series of games which will define this Season and there was no reason to bring in the “deadwood back-up” at this stage.Keep winning…maintain clean sheets and the players will stay fresh and driven.Any Arsenal fan would have known in their heart of hearts that the team Arteta picked was not good enough to beat this Southampton side…and so it proved.
    The Club have now managed in the last decade to keep hold of a Manager…who had lost a grip on the reality of top level football…(for at least 5 years too long)…Replaced him with someone who might have had good ideas but at the same time a complete inability to communicate them..Replacing him with an Egotist who cant see further than a mirror and believes that games are won by maintaining possession.
    As many other Premier League teams are proving right now there are far better coaches out there capable of getting more out of their players and divising team tactics which have a far better end result…Arteta needs to go…and whilst the Club are about it…they might like to take a closer look at Edu and some of his recent decision making.

  17. 👍 Dan
    When we drew against them at the Emirates, look at the line up we had then. Did he honestly expect us to beat a very strong Saints side away with that line up?!!
    We were the defending champions – why didn’t we play our strongest 11?!!!
    Oh well, I had a good whinge yesterday. I’ve lost interest in the cup now.. just have to hope we don’t lose again in the league – only 19 games to go… and go and win the EL – no sweat 😂😂😂

    1. Sue, your statement confirm we might not be able to win that game even with the so called strong line up.
      so why do we need to sacrifice our players health ?,
      it not as if, the game was semi or final, winning against Southampton doesnt mean we win the cup, why are we complaining, we can only hope we get a good run, this year league results has shown anything is possible , utd is doing fine after coming to live from bottom of the log, we could go on to high places, why do we need to jeopardize that because of some unpredictable FA cup? And for the record purpose, the team he used were ok and it was an own goal that decided the tie, all is not looking gloomy, the boys tried but wasnt enough

          1. I would look more at our performances and form of individuals and ask have you seen anything to suggest we can go on run we need too ?
            Be like saying West Ham are in a title race because they are only 8 points off top ?

      1. We had plenty of the ball, but didn’t do a great deal with it, that is what frustrates me! I don’t mind losing when we’ve given everything, adajim,
        can’t say that was the case yesterday!

        Oh well, it’s gone we can’t change it, just have to give our all in the league now… no room for errors!!

        Big thumbs up from me, adajim, for your comments 👍

        1. Sue, I’ll accept a loss by Arsenal if the players selected give 100% and leave everything on the pitch. Unfortunately there are too many players in the current squad, who are accepting their generous salaries, playing poorly and not appearing to care win or lose.

      2. Adajim- finally some reasonable comment . Here is full of celebrities- lords, sirs ,princes etc who are writing ridiculous comments.

    2. I really dont understand why we need Oddegaard. Willian was brought in for that role. Now with Oddegaard Its clear he has failed us. MA must be brave enough to admid he is a flop and git rid of him as well as Pepe. Even if it means we have to sell without any profit. Otherwise we wil repeat the Ozil sage.

  18. How people thinks baffles, you all sound as if we lost a final or semi final, what give you impression that we can win the FA cup even with our full squad, get over it and move on, we cant win every cup we play, there are better team in it.
    we cant be using same 11 for FA, EPL and UEL except you suggest we run our players to the halt. its unfortunate we have lots of underperforming players, but we still need to rotate nevertheless

    1. adajim…

      I would love to appreciate your well-reasoned words because they confirm that you have a deep level of thinking and analysis. Thank you so much!

      I hope we all put aside our inflamed minds after such a painful loss and at least aim to discuss better with sober minds. We are entitled to be angry, but the use of insulting and abusive terms at our players and coach does more harm than good. There is more to life than a loss, and we can only aim to become better human beings.

      That said, Dan claims there is no evidence that the Arsenal team will win on Tuesday, yet he has no evidence that the same team will win the FA Cup, nevertheless, he still prefers to prioritize the FA Cup over all else. I feel we need to understand that the EPL is most important because we could win the FA Cup and if we never reversed our EPL form we could have gotten “relegated”. I remember many who cited examples of teams who won the FA Cup and got relegated. So why can’t we focus on climbing the EPL table for once. Why do we ridicule our chances in the EPL and fancy them in an FA Cup. I do not say the FA Cup isn’t good to win, nevertheless, no one can say in the affirmative that we will always win it. So in probabilities, it is safer to focus on the EPL than the FA Cup since we are only seven points off. Surprisingly, stringing a run of good form may do the trick, and keeping our best players fresh for such a challenge is essential.

      I also feel Arteta has simply given these guys a last chance to prove that they deserve EPL time, and they have flaunted it. Now it is clear that except due to injuries, he knows his starting eleven in the EPL, and I think that brings me joy.

      And for a bit of positivism, this is my opinion: A full strength Southampton team could only defeat our lacklustre team just 1 nil (an own goal), and then struggled in the second half when just two of our in-form players were introduced. I really do feel they will struggle against our full fledge team on Tuesday, and I will suggest a win for us. These are only my opinion.

      Please dear Friends, let us continue to keep positivism alive, most especially because our world needs it most in these demanding times. It is difficult to maintain but possible!

      Please stay safe!


    2. 👍🏽i just don’t understand why we are complaining that squaud he put out there yesterday wasn’t bad at all, besides we can’t be using same 11 over and over again to avoid burn out buh one thing for sure no matter the line up people will still complain

  19. This a list of our players. Distinguish the good from the bad.

    1. Leno – Good
    2. Bellerin – Average
    3. Tierney – Good
    6. Gabriel – Good
    7. Saka – Good
    8. Ceballos – Average
    9. Lacazette – Good
    12. Willian – Poor
    13. Runarsson – Poor
    14. Aubameyang – Good
    15. Niles – Average
    16. Holding – Good
    17. Cedric – Average
    18. Partey – Good
    19. Pepe – Poor
    20. Mustafi – Poor
    21. Chambers – Average
    22. Mari – Good
    23. Luiz – Average
    24. Nelson – Average
    25. Elneny – Average
    28. Willock – Average
    30. Nketiah – Average
    32. Smith-Rowe – Good
    34. Xhaka – Average
    35. Martinelli – Good

    We have to clear out the poor and average players for us to return to a top 4 team.
    This summer a clear out should be done.

    We need a Winger, Central Midfielder, Attacking Midfielder, Left Back and Goal Keeper.

    1. Gabriel -good?
      Martineli -Good?
      Xhaka -Average?
      your sentiments are crystal clear, Chambers that hasnt play a game over a year is rated on same scale as Bellerin and Xhaka, who has contributed immensely, and Auba form is suddenly good because he scored in his las game

  20. I have never seen a team waste so much time passing sideways and backwards, every time we have a chance to attack, we simply pass back, it is a joke, we don’t have the players to play out from the back, too much deadwood in this team.Arteta threw away the chance to progress in the FA Cup and that is a disgrace.He is a rookie and it was the youngsters that has saved his job, the same youngsters Emery started to play.Arteta is not up for the job, and we need to start looking elsewhere to take Arsenal forwards, Arteta is taking us backwards just like his style of play when he was a player. We are predictable,slow and a mere shadow of how good we were.We have a long future ahead of us if we persist with Artrta

  21. Xhaka…..zzzz…….zzzzz…….zzzz, sideways, backwards, lumbering tortoise style football, brain free football. MindLESS football as opposed to MindFULL football…..and he’s ours.

  22. As someone who always calls it as I SEE IT , FEARLESSLY AND BLUNTLY, AND as a confirmed MA supporter, I will say this: MA will DEFINITELY have lost some degree of fan confidence after the selection mistake of using a virtual reserve eleven.

    It WAS a huge mistake and will have damaged his reputation, esp among those Gooners who were already only luckwarm. To those who already wanted him out it makes no effective difference though.

    I will maintain my full support but DO think he make a huge error with this selection. If Willian, Pepe and Elneny never wear our shirt again I will be thrilled!

    1. Fair opinion!
      and sadly i was kind of warming up to arteta and then he goes and starts willian and pepe..

      1. So Jon you mean you can fully support the manager and still question his decisions especially if those decisions lead to loses?

        1. HH Though it apparently seems strange to you, yes I do! I am worldly wise enough to know and say that all human beings, myself and MA included and if I may say so even you HH, make mistakes.

          It is part of our common condition that our race shares with every other member of our race. It is not weak but honest to admit it and to say someone I much support and rate has made a mistake – which is of course only my opinion, others may well think differently and clearly DO, as they have said so on here – is to give my honest view.

          I assume you would not have it any other way? Or would you? I see being true to my own beliefs, which means being totally honest with myself, as far more important than the success of the club I love.

          I sincerely hope that does not come as a shock to you, as principles are more important than mere success for our club, every time.

          1. Yes I may have may have made many mistakes than doing it right in my life and not that I disagree with you but I guess you might have missed my point. I will remind you next time.

          2. HH as we both know youwill not “remind me next time” as you are keen to wrap up this discussion (and we both know why) why don;t you instead remind me NOW what the mysterious point is that you say I have missed?

          3. My meaning was, if someone can support the manager and still question his decisions when they are not working perhaps it is fair to understand those who wanted Mikel out because the decisions he was making that time were not working and were sending the club to relegation zone.

            The support and belief can go hand in hand with criticizing but there is always a point if results are not improving the support will start to quiver.

      2. In all honesty, Pepe could have had two assists if Nheketia knew where the goal was. Pepe was far from the worst Arsenal player.

    2. Jon…

      Always nice to read your thoughts!

      We cannot deny that our loss in the cup game was painful, and more hurting was the lethargic and error-filled attitude of our players. Nevertheless, we should not forget that many of our players are often below the levels required at our dear club.

      In all honesty, I do not see any coach being able to transform this team into challengers/champions in less than 2 – 3 years, thus making me feel the process of change should be the focus and not random and fleeting outcomes for now. And for that, I also maintain my support for Arteta, and I hope it works out well for him and for us in time.

      I trust you are safe!


      1. Hi Fire and as always its so good to read your brand of optimistic sense. If you care to read my reply to HH, immediately above, you will see my deeper thoughts on this matter. God bless!

  23. Top 6 or win Europa, that’s how AFC get back!

    Mikel probably looked at the stats and figured he has a higher probability of those two than winning the FA Cup.

    Not that far off of 6th, and just maybe a European Cup!

  24. No it’s us who are going to regret keeping Arteta in job. But then we are so used to failures I am sure we will come out with the most creative of excuse based on lies bec that what we do from board to fans…now we fans have become so use to this exercise we don’t even need the board to lie to us, we lie to ourselves in hope one day iron will turn into gold.

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