Reasons Why Arsenal has to Take the FA Cup as a Priority
Arsene Wenger is regarded as the club’s most successful manager for more reasons than one. We all know that he’s involved in every facet of the club and has moulded the team from ‘boring boring Arsenal’ to one of the most entertaining sides in world football.
Even though the club is going through a trophy drought at the moment, there was a period in Arsene Wenger’s career with the club when he was synonymous with winning trophies. In 1998, Wenger won the League and Cup double after defeating Newcastle in the FA Cup final while ending Manchester United’s hold on the title. The Red Devils went on to win the league for three seasons in a row but the Wenger boys hit them hard again with a League and Cup double in 2002, which was made sweeter with the fact that Slyvian Wiltord’s goal at Old Trafford won the league for his club.
Robert Pires missed a considerable chunk of that campaign through injury but he scored the vital goal in the FA Cup final of 2003 against Southampton as the Gunners retained the FA Cup. After a tough and exhilarating final against Manchester United in 2005, Patrick Vieira scored the penalty that gave his team the trophy but unfortunately, that has been the club’s last piece of silverware.
Since then, there have been a couple of near misses that hurt anytime Arsenal fans remember them. There was the Champions League final against Barcelona in 2006, the Carling Cup final against Chelsea in 2007, the disappointing Premier League campaign of 2008 and most recently, the unfathomable Carling Cup defeat to Birmingham City in 2011.
Since winning the FA Cup in 2005, the Gunners have been very disappointing in subsequent campaigns as they lost away to Bolton and Blackburn shortly afterwards. In 2008, it was a massacre at Old Trafford as Manchester United ran riot and in 2009, Didier Drogba continued his impressive record against the club as the Gunners crashed out in Wembley.
2010 left the Gunners with a bitter taste in their mouths after they lost at the Britannia to Stoke and in 2011, Manchester United knocked the Gunners out again but the game will be remembered with the fact that Sir Alex Ferguson fielded seven defenders in his starting XI. In the past two seasons, a horrible pitch in the Stadium of Light and a putrid home performance against Blackburn saw the Gunners crash out of this illustrious competition.
This season has seen the Gunners defeat Spurs, Coventry and Liverpool to book a quarterfinal berth against Everton which takes place tomorrow but many Arsenal fans will be hoping that this might just be the season .
Without further ado, here are a couple of reasons why the Gunners have to take the FA Cup seriously.
Firstly, and most importantly, the FA Cup remains Arsenal’s most REALISTIC chance of winning silverware this season. With the Gunners facing a daunting prospect against Bayern Munich in Europe and the club’s shaky form in the Premier League, Wenger should put all hands on deck in the FA Cup. The competition has sprung a couple of surprises this season and I expect the same it progresses.
Another reason for the Gunners to take this competition seriously would be generating some momentum and restoring belief to the team that they can go all the way. A loss has a way of bringing in doubts in a team but these players need to pick themselves up from the Stoke debacle to respond against an impressive Everton side.
It’s going to be an exciting game and I can only hope that the Gunners progress to the semifinals to play at Wembley .