Since my last words were spoken on this website, we’ve gone top of the league, been knocked back off it, seen Sol Campbell make his second debut for the club and been dumped out of the F.A Cup away at Stoke.
The F.A Cup defeat has sparked some argument within Arsenal fans, as to whether Arsene Wenger was right to field a weakened side to give first team players a rest ahead of a tough Premier League schedule which sees us play Aston Villa, Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool in succession.
Some fans including myself are bitterly disappointed that the F.A Cup is being treated in this way. I acknowledge that the cup is not what it used to be when it was the pinnacle of the season and unfortunately times have moved on with the need to either qualify for a European spot or stay in the league a much higher priority these days.
It is however sad that clubs would rather throw out a virtual reserve side with an attitude that says “if we get through with this side then great, but if we get knocked out then no big deal”
Sundays match didn’t just feature reserve players, it featured players that many Arsenal fans hadn’t heard of before and some others such as Fabianski and Silvestre that just aren’t up to scratch at the club.
In an age where some players are on more money per week than many people earn in 10 years and have the bodies of athletes is it really that difficult to ask them to play twice in a week.
If the game against Aston Villa is of such high importance (which I believe it is) then why risk injury to Cesc Fabregas and Denilson by playing them three days before the game at Villa Park?
Another point that was raised by a friend of mine who is an Away Season Ticket member is that should Arsenal drop the rule for supporters on the scheme to automatically pay for away F.A Cup tickets like is done with the League Cup.
I wonder what many of the 5,000 fans who travelled up to the Potteries on Sunday thought of the side when it was announced. I’m sure we all expected the odd change here and there, but the side that came out was misshaped and sub-standard.
Similarly I think Arsenal should take the route of doing the same with home season tickets, how many people would have been happy to see us stick out the reserves in a replay against Stoke City and then be charged £35 at minimum for the privilege? I already know of several silver members who now don’t bother buying tickets for home F.A Cup ties as they know the team won’t be full strength.
On a more positive note we have now arrived at the make or break point for the club this season with the run of games mentioned above that will either see us mount a real title challenge or fight it out with teams like Villa and Spurs for the fourth Champions League berth.
Its absolutely imperative that we get three points tomorrow night, and I think a draw at worst is what we need from the home game against Manchester United on Sunday.
I can actually see us beating United well, they have been poor (by their standards) away from home this season, and Rooney aside look the shadow of the team they were last season with Ronaldo and Tevez spearheading their attack.
This really is it, you don’t often get a run of games like this, so for the next two weeks hold onto your seatbelts, because this is going to be some ride!