Arsenal have the chance to reach the quarter finals of the FA Cup this lunchtime and it is very important that a statement of intent is made by Arsene Wenger. Despite having made clear his lesser priority allocated to this competition, Arsene Wenger will not be forgiven if he puts out a severely weakened side. This prospect is less likely given the likely return of Eduardo and Theo Walcott. Burnley have form and will come to the Emirates feeling that their brand of the “Beautiful Game” will be enough to unsettle Arsenal in their back yard. the prospect of a home tie against the stuttering Hull City might just be enough to spur the Clarets onto gaining an upset.
Arsene Wenger was clear to dispel this fear from the minds of fans in his press conference, he was adamant that Arsenal would take this Championship side seriously and he hoped that this team would win everything very soon. He said…
“It is an important game and it is not one we will treat lightly. We treat it with respect and focus, First of all, we want to keep our run going. The best way to go into the next game against Roma is to win on Sunday. The best way to prepare is to win the game before.
“The FA Cup still has its magic. It has the magic of being qualified and the magic of going to Wembley – it has a historical significance as well. It means having something special in your daily life, something that suddenly happens which keeps everybody focused.”
Well getting to Wembley will certainly be a form of consolation for the many hard suffering Arsenal fans who have seen their team written off by the media, the Bookies and even a significant contingent of Gooners. I still have fears that Arsene Wenger is too charitable with the players that have so often let him down this season. This is one season where his magic hat has not quite slipped off his head, but is just about holding on at a rakish angle. The likes of Song and Eboue have not delivered consistently whereas we have younsgters like Fran Merida and Jack Wilshere who in my opinion are more than capable of stepping up to the plate.
The cliché is that a team must take each game at a time, but the prospect of an easy ride into the Semi-finals must be very appealing to all at the Emirates. If this day ends with the wrong result, it will signal more than a memory of a disastrous season. It will be in effect a total betrayal of Arsenal fans, mirroring that loss at Old Trafford in the same competition last season. The humiliation of that day is still etched in my memory, as I sang, “we’ll be back to win the league” We didn’t do anything of the sort and Arsene Wenger was largely responsible for that, so he owes me big time today…
Fabregas the King.