AW is ready to rest most of his first team in the FA Cup against West Ham tomorrow and tells this morning’s Sun: “Winning the League is more important.”
Heck, even Phil Senderos might even get a game! We can close to a point of Premier League leaders Chelsea if we take care of managerless Bolton at home on Wednesday night and then face three games in six days, with Everton visiting 72 hours after Bolton. And AW is desperate to give his first-choice players a vital breather.
He said: “I will have to rest some players because there were some knocks again on Wednesday against Portsmouth. We want to win but want to protect our home games against Bolton and Everton as well. Bolton becomes very important for us but we want to keep our momentum going. I will change players against West Ham.
“Although the League is always more important the FA Cup is crucial as well. The League is so hard you want to take care of your position. Two years ago we had a very good chance, we were not far away. At the moment we have to keep our spirit and then we have a chance.
He added: “The Carling Cup for us is exclusively for young players and the FA Cup is one to win. Of course I’m still excited by it. A Cup is a Cup and we want to do well. People look to who has won the trophies but I look as well at how we have done and how consistently we have played. This team is enjoyable to watch.”
While many clubs reserves consist of players not good enough for the team or on the way out, AW second string includes a clutch of players champing at the bit to prove they are indeed ready to be relied on.
And AW tells the Mirrror: “Don’t forget that we have worked for that and that is not a coincidence. There is four or five years of hard work and patience behind that.
“I have taken enough criticism to know that. Players are better at 19 than they  are at 18, and better at 21 than at 19. We have so many players that e have a hard time finding them a chance to play.
“A season is judged on the overall achievement, and people look to who has won the trophies – but I also look at how we have done and how consistently we have played. This team is enjoyable to watch, but also to manage because I want to win every game.”
The Daily Star informs us that Cesc Fabregas (ham-string), Denilson (back) and Theo Walcott (side strain) are all side-lined but that AW is planning to recall centre-back Philippe Senderos, who has played just two Carling Cup games for the club in 19 months. The Switzerland international spent last season on loan at AC Milan.
Czech winger Tomas Rosicky is in contention and defender Mikael Silvestre and reserve keeper Lukasz Fabianski could both also feature. Midfielder Alex Song will play before jetting off to the African Cup of Nations, but Emmanuel Eboue is already away with Ivory Coast.
The FA Cup is the last trophy Arsenal won, back in 2005. AW has admitted in the past to placing too much emphasis on the competition when his men were still challenging in the title race and Champions League.
“When we went out two years ago against Chelsea maybe we put too much into the FA Cup,” he added. Wenger also revealed he had given up on signing striker Marouane Chamakh in this month’s transfer window.
“Chamakh is in the Champions League with Bordeaux and at the top of their league, so he will not move now,” he said. He has four months to go with Bordeaux and therefore they have no interest in selling him.”

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