Here we are on the verge of our 4th round FA Cup tie with Aston Villa, and yet I find myself still thinking about the substitution of Oxlade-Chamberlin in last weeks 2-1 loss to Manchester United.
With the way Wenger was talking it makes me wonder if he is getting his apologies, or should I say his press conference story ready should we lose today against Alex Mc Leish’s Aston Villa.
Wenger has said how much he loves the FA Cup, but despite this love our main goal is to finish in the top four of the Premiership.
What he really means is I couldn’t give a Monkey’s about the FA Cup, we need to finish in the top four to get into the Champions League, as that is where the money is.
To me this means that he could be setting the stage for our fourth loss in a row.
As for me I think the fans are at such a low point that they could really use a win, and also for the team to help give them confidence, and get us back on our winning ways.
Anyway here is what Wenger had to say about the FA Cup, and you the true fans can make your own minds up as to his strategy is.
I love the FA Cup, and I will always fight to win it, but I have always told you exactly the same – the priority is to be in the top four, he said.
I won it [the Cup] four times and lost one final, and I don’t know how many semi-finals. I always try to win every single competition.
If you look at my record you will see the FA Cup is important for me. I think our record is better than all of them over the past 15 years.
It has been seven years since we won the FA Cup, and I know that the Champions League is probably in the big picture more important.
I just feel that as a club, if we are in a competition it is for one reason only, and that is to win it.
If it is not we should let ourselves get knocked out in the first stage, and go on to play for the Champions League place.
Wenger went on to say.
In recent years, I felt that we produced always the consistency at the top, top level and it is not enough for some people maybe, but for me that is the brand of a top level club – consistency in the top four, he added.
Well it’s now half time, and after what looked like a promising start has now gone horribly wrong.
The Gunners are just passing the ball around for the sake of it, our defense is a mess we are giving the other team far too much time on the ball, which cost us the first goal.
The second Villa goal was a fantastic finish by Bent, but again I have to blame the defense, and our back-up goalkeeper Fabianski, who has, to be honest looked a bit dodgy at times.
Fabianski should have put the ball out for a corner rather than giving Bent a second crack at it.
I wish I had been in the dressing room to hear what was said to the team at half time.
What a difference they all must have had a couple of Red Bulls, because instead of trying to play this fancy Continental football with quick short passes like Barca do, they actually ran at people with the ball.
I thought Walcott played excellent at the start of the second half, and by picking up the tempo and running at the opposition, we were rightly awarded the two penalties, which Robin van Persie put away with perfection.
This time Wenger made the right substitution by bringing on Arteta for Rosicky who I can’t complain about either, because the aging Czech player did not stop running the whole time he was on the pitch.
Wenger even managed the clock well bringing on Sagna, who I am pleased to see back fit, and another cameo role for Henry who almost put the icing on the cake with what would have been a fourth goal.
I am just happy tonight to have something to smile about. I know there are still fundamental flaws at the club, but at least tomorrow morning I can go to work feeling good about my team again.
Arsene Wenger may not be interested in winning the FA Cup, but all the fans that pay the highest ticket prices in the country to see their beloved Arsenal would love a trip to Wembley.