With Arsenal still fighting on three fronts, although any further progress in the Champions League is about as likely as Stan Kroenke and Arsene Wenger going on a Man City style spending spree, it was always going to be an unwanted burden to have to fit another game in.
But thanks to some less than brilliant finishing from various Gunners and a fine display between the sticks from the Hull keeper Jakupovic our FA cup 5th round match with Hull City ended up without a goal. But because both clubs already have a busy fixture list and because of the reluctance of UEFA to have domestic games clashing with European ones it was a bit of a nightmare fitting in the replay.
The outcome is that whoever wins that replay in Hull tomorrow will have very little time to prepare for the next game as we do not know for sure who we will be playing or even on which day. With the prof being well known for his attention to detail this is giving the Frenchman a bit of a nightmare when it comes to team selection and possible rotation, as he told the Evening Standard.
The tactics and approach will certainly be different for Watford and West Brom but Wenger will just have to cope. He also revealed that we have changed our usual pre-match routine and will travel tomorrow instead of today. It is far from ideal but the boss has little choice and must just hope that it does not adversely affect the players.
Wenger said, “Look, we had no choice because the next round in the FA Cup is next Saturday, so we had to fit it in somewhere.
“Ideally it’s not the best position for us but I couldn’t see any other solution.
“I will have to change a few players but I’m not so much concerned about replacing one player with another one.
“It’s more that I have to rotate a little bit and keep the right balance in the team. We don’t know our next opponents but that will depend on our result tomorrow night and we’ll adapt from that result.
“We will play the team which has a good chance of qualifying, no matter who plays. David Ospina was an example of that on Saturday. I have the same respect for everyone and the same idea that every player I have in my squad can play and win the game tomorrow.”
So will this replay disruption see Arsenal come a cropper in one or both of our next two games?