Should Arsenal ignore the FA Cup in race for Champions League?

I wish we could focus on just the Premier league for now by Lagos Gooner

Hello once again friends. The match against West Ham has been played and it is time to move on. Yesterday while watching our game against West Ham, some ideas got to my head. I asked myself why we can’t just concentrate on finishing as high as possible in the league and do away with the distractions playing in the FA Cup will offer.

I know some people will surely attack me because of my opinion, but I am sorry if what I want to say would burst you open but this is just how I feel now. The FA cup this season to me is an unwanted distraction. Even if we win the FA cup, it won’t aid our qualification for Europe. Yes, FA cup success may give us another shot at Europa but who wants Europa? Since a lot of people still believe we can still finish in the top four this season, why don’t we just shift all our focus to the league?

We can use the FA cup competition to give fringe players and our young gunners the opportunity to play and show us if they are ready to take the big step forward, while we rest our main players for league games. The young Gunners will surely relish the opportunity to play and shine their way to the main team. Let us allow them play in the FA cup, while our senior players focus more on the league.

Qualifying for the UEFA Champions league should be our major priority at the moment and we need to do everything possible to achieve that. I know Arteta being relatively new in the world of coaching will be desperate to win a trophy; but he may just need to sacrifice his personal ambition for the greatness of the team. If he does not win a trophy this season, nobody will fight him over that because he has next season to build his team and prepare them for trophies. So this season, Arteta should be more focused on ending the season in the top four or top five and he would have won over my heart totally.

I am not saying we should not show ambition as a big club side should, I am just saying we should prioritize our goals and probably focus more on qualifying for the Champions league through the league; unless we don’t intend playing in the UEFA Champions league next season. Now, let me end this write up by saying nothing is going to happen if we don’t qualify for Europe next season, but if we still believe we need to play Europe next season, then we need to change our focus.

We are Arsenal and we are proud.

Sylvester Kwentua


  1. Usual question,why can’t we just aim for both?I mean we are at the business end of the season,no European football, injuries wise we are ok with a couple of players very close to returning, players fatigue can’t be an excuse,both I say!

  2. I’m happy with the way things are atm. No reason we cannot do both. Arteta is still adding his style and picking players.

    I believe our 2nd team is somewhat as strong as our 1st team and having a good mixture in both campaigns will be good. We saw in the last FA cup game a good spark from Nelson and strong finish from nketia. But going into the prem we saw nketia perhaps still has some work and pepe also and many shouted for Nelson who came on at the end and didnt do anything special.

    It’s a good headache to have and will boost the players. I actually think it’s time for the FA to have a look at the FA cup and Carling cup and make them better incentivised. Should 4th place CL spot go to FA cup winners? Could there be more money to be made from winning it? I feel as if the silverware is no longer special hence we can afford to have this conversation and the real discussion needs to be around making the FA cup special again

    1. With reference to your point about winning the FA cup taking fourth spot in CL, I think it is best left as a qualifier for the Europa league. I think it would be crazy for a knockout competition winner where they could come from the lower leagues to be representing the ‘best’ of English football

      1. SueP, when was the last time that a team from the lower leagues won the FA Cup?
        Qualifying for the Champions League is important from a financial perspective, but without the Board supporting Arteta massively in the transfer market, Arsenal would only be making up the numbers and may face complete embarrassment.

        1. Fair point ozziegunner. I looked back and it was a long time ago.
          The team finishing 4th would be rightly cheesed off by giving up a place in the CL as knockout cups are to a point, pot luck and not based on a season long competition. Every now and again, teams reach the final from the wrong end of the PL such as Wigan who won it but then got relegated. Aston Villa were runners up to us in 2015 and clung onto their PL status finishing in 17th. Had Villa won, all I am saying is were they and Wigan worthy of replacing a 4th placed team? Personally, I don’t think so.

          Of course the board should be supporting MA in the transfer market. I understand what you’re saying about us struggling to compete if by some fluke we made the CL but you are aware from what you wrote how important this league is financially. It is also important to realising our transfer targets who want CL football. Then we may not face complete embarrassment if we then make quality signings.

      2. @suep that is my whole point. “The best” in English football dont take it seriously. Mid table teams and below are more serious as it is a Europa route. I I garuntee less teams would be playing their youth/2nd team if a CL spot was up for grabs. The likes of klopp would certainly not sanction a holiday for the senior squad. And I think that underlying factor that it cannot provide much is always there. FA cup needs to move to modern football

        1. Shortboygooner
          I would like to add the following:
          In the recent scheme of things the FA Cup has been won by the top clubs anyway, except for Wigan in 2013 and Portsmouth in 2008. You then have to go back to 1995/96 with Everton to not include Arsenal, Liverpool, Man U, Man City, & Chelsea.
          The cream tends to rise to the top even if the Klopps, Guardiolas and the rest put out their highly talented second X1s for the FA Cup. Would Wigan or Portsmouth have won the FA Cup when they did if a CL place was on offer? I have to say that I doubt it. I accept that the top teams would then prioritise it but I honestly believe it would be mostly the same teams winning year after year as they have done for so long.

          1. When I was a kid I remember man city winning the cup and get relegated same year. Or am I misremembering..

  3. We have a squad of 27 players, minus a few injuries. It’s Artetas job to try and achieve Champions League qualification, the FA Cup is a great opportunity to keep the whole squad fresh, One or two need to prove a point, when given an opportunity, the FA Cup is the place to do it, 90 mind from a Wembley appearance, hopefully two. If that don’t young players excited nothing will.

  4. To go along with this hypothetical, are you saying we should lose? On purpose? “We are Arsenal and we are proud” 😂😂😂 What?

    I’m not sure if you’re paying attention on a matchweek basis—it doesn’t sound like it—but our youth comprises a significant portion of our senior team.

    Also, I hate the disrespect the FA Cup gets these days. It’s the single greatest domestic cup in world football, and its importance has been bushwhacked by money (UEFA) and the absurd creation of the League Cup (garbage competition). To say “throw it away” is a slap in the face of the great game we love. I think any normal-thinking fan/coach/player says, “We can get Top 4/5, AND we have a chance at silverware in THE cup”

    1. 100% agree with your sentiments, Drayton. I’m personally fed up with hearing about money above all else.
      For me it’s the Premiership and FA Cup in that order. Never liked the Mickey Mouse League Cup and don’t much care about the European Money Machine Cups.

  5. Can i just say what a stupid thing to ask, of course we shouldn’t ignore anything. Do you not realise winning FA cup gets you into Europe and finishing runner up too can with certain permutations.

  6. Mourinho shifted all his attention to winning the Europa League when he knew ManU were not going to get CL football via the League. He put all his eggs in one basket and succeeded. Risky but it paid off.

    Arsenal are fighting some form of European representation on 2 fronts at the moment – League position and FA Cup. I would be amazed if the mighty Arsenal got top 4 or 5 even without the distraction of the FA Cup. We might be sniffy about the EL but that is preferable to non European qualification of any sort. I absolutely think we should be concentrating on both and would be ecstatic if we lifted the trophy in May

    1. The exit from the Europa Cup is a blessing in disguise.
      We stand a good chance of getting into the top five if the defense is tighter and if we can get a better aerial game both in attack and defense.

      How we miss the Ozil-Giroud combo!

  7. I’m greedy and want both!
    Imagine that feeling lifting ‘our’ trophy again at the end of the season – Arteta’s first as a coach! It’d be amazing!!
    And to be back in the CL – pure elation!

  8. Read the headline and didn’t bother with the article.
    Why ignore the cup, it’s a trophy ff sake!
    Yes we need to get in the CL but mate, you don’t ignore winning a trophy, especially a prestigious trophy!

  9. The age old argument is CL qualificaction more important than winning the FA Cup, damn right it is. Which is why the Premier League and Football association should sit down and sort it out. My solution is a play off to replace the Community Shield. The FA Cup Winners v The 4th place team for the final CL spot the runner up get Europa League, all proceeds could still go to Charities, as the rewards for both clubs would still be great, There will be occasions where the fa cup winners a
    nd 4th place team are the same (hopefully us this season) in that scenario the community shield (which should be rebranded the super cup) takes place as usual

  10. Why on earth propose a daft and needless idea to give up the Cup without any reason whatsoever? We are hardly strapped for too many games left to play, esp by comparison wirth most of our 4th-7th place Prem rivals. A plain silly “idea” which, as some will realise, is no more than another feeble excuse for yet another daft article by someone who seemingly cannot get through a single day without writing at least one pointless article and usually several.

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