The THREE big dangers Arsenal will face at Sutton United tonight

Today Arsenal have to travel down the road to face non-League side Sutton United, which may look like an easy tie on paper, but after seeing another non-league side, Lincoln, knock out Burnley on Saturday, we can not take an easy win for granted. The FA Cup is littered with giant-killings over the years, and it is worth remembering that Sutton beat Leeds United in the last round, and that is all part of the magic of the competition, as long as it doesn’t happen to your team!

Our opponents had an option to make more money by playing the game at a different venue, but gamely decided to force Arsenal to come to their 5000 capacity stadium to play on an artificial surface, which is the biggest danger to Arsenal coming through the game unscathed. Arsene Wenger has bravely pinpointed the three big problems he can see ahead of the game. “First of all the pitch.” Wenger said. “Secondly their enthusiasm, and thirdly that we are not ready for a big fight and subconsciously think that they are a non-league team and it is no matter – but that will not happen.

“Ideally, we would like to play on a normal pitch but it has been accepted and the competition is to deal with what you face. We will face an unusual pitch and we will have to deal with it.

“We will practise inside because it is an artificial pitch. It is not the same because it is a dry pitch and Sutton I have heard have a wet pitch which they water before the game and is quicker.

“The weight on the joints is different and you cannot slide to block every time so it makes football a bit different. The ball comes to you suddenly and accelerates and does not slow down like in a normal game, so we have to get used to the different speed.”

I personally have played on one of these pitches and I assure you it is completely different to playing on grass, and it gives a huge advantage to the team that is used to the surface. This is a huge worry for Wenger, who can hardly afford to lose another important game after seeing the Gunners defeated in three of their last four outings already. The fans are obviously disgruntled and that will only get worse if we don’t win this one. All the talk on social media is about how unhappy the fans are when Arsenal lose, but how many of us consider the effect that it has on our manager?

This is what he feels about losing: “I am a positive person. I am a fighter, somewhere. You don’t stay so long in this job otherwise,” he said.

“I’ve always seen the future in a positive way. I do not expect too much from outside, I expect more from me inside. The expectation level gets higher.

“The fight doesn’t get higher. The fight is always tough. When you hate defeat like I hate defeat, it’s always tough. As well, I’m determined to always fight back.

“I can never transmit to you my feelings about defeats. A player when I managed for the first time at 33 or 34 said that after our first defeat I threw up. Whether you are young or old, every defeat hurts.”

So no matter how upset you are after a game, maybe we should spare a thought for how Wenger feels, and even the players. Do you think they like coming off the field after being beaten? I know Alexis hates it!

Sam P


  1. Twig says:

    Guys, if we had beaten Chelsea a few weeks ago, how would you still feel about the Bayern loss/ Wenger’s future? Would it be different from how you feel now?

    1. Jansen says:

      twig, good question. One result would not have changed my opinion for the need to change our manager. I have believed for 5 years that it is time for fresh input. Not because I don’t respect Wenger but simply because I don’t think it is healthy for any professional to be given an indefinite job and because I believe that changing manager periodically can stimulate an organization. Have Bayern changed their identity from Henke to Pep to Ancelloti? Did not feel like it last Wednesday.

      Having said that, had we beat Chelsea I would have had more comfort or more illusion that our situation was not as dire as it is. This season is the first time I can remember that I feel Wenger has lost the respect of the group. In the past, after poor results, Wenger would manage to get some sort of response out of the group.

      Now for the first time, it seems the players are not responding and are not putting an effort in. This has happened too many times this season. I have learned to deal with “naive” defending because we are chasing a game like headless chickens, what I can not stomach is the players not giving 100% effort win or lose. That to me is just unacceptable and needs to be eradicated ASAP. More often than not when the players stop playing for you, as a manager you are finished. Not even Mourinho could reverse that situation at Real or Chelsea and now it seems not even Wenger can get his players to make an effort.

      1. Break-on-through says:

        The last five?, we’ve only financially gained on the top teams over these last three seasons. He was never not going to be given the first crack with AFC’s new spending power. Some might believe that three seasons with a more equal footing is too long, they may say where we’re at now proves he should have went early. In my mind the end does not justify the means, no-one had crystal balls, and in September+ most fans where waxing lyrical about our new found depth, Xhaka, and the new rearguard pairing before going on to say they feel more hopeful this season. People talk as if they believed all along the one thing, the truth is something different. Like I said, end does not justify means.

    2. khangunners says:

      Nope. I reached a point where have seen my teams true weakness. We are so far from the big boys. I saw how we are gradually regressing and there is no more proof than spuds are almost at our level(maybe they are ),just look at everton if we stick with wenger next year they will be even closer to us. We need change and we need to save our beautiful club. We love arsenal. I think what some other fans hve wrong is that we dont respect wenger yes we do respect him and strangely you will find it was that beautiful football that he brought when he came to arsenal that made so many guys into gunners. I love arsenal more than wenger and will kindly ask pple to stop puttin the two together coz arsenal was and will always be there. There is no need to waste another year on Wenger. Ill ask you a question do you believe we will win pl next yeaf if wenger stays? I for one can tell you that cme December to feb we will crumble so bad.

  2. Jansen says:

    This FA cup tie is a joke and tbh I don’t care about the outcome. I just hope we will not pick up any long term injuries.

    An FA cup trophy this year might seduce Kroenke into thinking the fans would be happy with another 2 or 4 years of Wenger.

    As much as I would hate it, a 5th or 6th place finish with no trophy might finally be the only scenario that forces much needed change.

  3. Uzi Ozil says:

    Arsenal can still finish 5th or 6th. They can go trophyless this season and the board will still give Wenger 4years contract. That’s how bad it gets.

    1. arsenalfan1 says:

      Tomorrow’s News: Arsenal beat Sutton 22-Nil…..Arsene declares that Premiership contest is not yet over and the Bayern tie is still open particularly if the fans stop being negative…….’lookee the fans must get behind the team otherwise they could scupper our chances’…..the board confirm a 2 year contract extension with an option for a further 2 years which will allow Arsene equal SAF’s term at ManU. Arsene the Dope refers to SAF’s fantastic record into his early seventies more and more at future press conferences.

      The only hope for Arsenal is that a Chinese club will offer Arsene 10 million a year. That could tempt him as he would be able to blame the language barrier for a number of years and so be under no real pressure to achieve anything. ‘Lookee, the players are not yet used to my Chinese accent which accounts for them running around like headless chickens, the apparent lack of tactics and leadership which you are now witnessing on the pitch…..just wait until my Mandarin is perfected (a variation of ‘just wait for the stadium to be paid for’ or ‘just wait for Financial Fair Play to take effect’)……etc…etc’

      Please, please let some dope in China make Arsene an offer he can’t refuse!!!

      1. Fatboy Gooney says:

        They already have ?

  4. Arsenal_Girl says:

    I would love it if we won the FA Cup
    To me the FA Cup is a major trophy
    I value it highly

    But I think Mourinho will get it this season
    He values it more than other top managers and will play stronger teams

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      So right. The F.A. Cup has a long and treasured history in English football. I hope we are the ones to lift it again this year also…

  5. Pablo Picaso says:

    OT: “Lucas wants to leave Arsenal at all cost”. Lucas’s agent.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      I always wonder what peoples intentions are with the thumbs on these kinds of comments. When I thumb up something like this it is because I appreciate people letting others know what story they’ve heard, it’s informative. I wonder though would people thumb it down because it is bad news, I imagine so. Or is there some thinking yes I know that already.

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