In yesterday’s post I mentioned about how the Premier League should be our ultimate focus. And yet there is still the small matter of the FA Cup. Arsene Wenger has a great history in this competition. Between 2001 and 2005 we played in all but one final. Wenger also won this competition in his first full season with Arsenal Football Club in 1998. I’m sure we all can’t forget that this is also the last trophy we won before our barren run started.
What I wrote about yesterday was not meant to demeanour this competition because I do get its rich history. I was simply saying that over preference, I would rather forgo the FA Cup so that we can win the Premier League. Although at this point, it should be more about us winning something this season than be choosy at which trophy it is.
More than most, the game tomorrow at Old Trafford represents a whole lot more. Due to recent results, the upcoming games will point towards how this season will progress. Whether we can sustained the challenge or will it fizzle out like the past seasons. The manner of our defeats has hit our confidence, there is no hiding behind that. Whether it is due to silly mistakes or errors on the referee’s part, it is still hard for the players to take.
Also, it is a significant match because the opponent is Manchester United. The team that we are going head-to-head to win the league title. A win for us will put a similar dent to the confidence. United are in the worst run of the season having lost their unbeaten record as well as defeats to Chelsea and Liverpool. Now is as good a time for us to win again at Old Trafford. United still have to come to the Grove in May for a league game. If things remains the same, that would potentially be a title decider match. If we win tomorrow, we’ll put some more doubts into their mind.
Arsene Wenger has said in his pre match conference yesterday that he will put out his best side. Normally he would say that he put out a side that he thinks is capable to win. This time, he more or less confirmed that it will be his best side. His best side will exclude the likes of Alex Song, Thomas Vermaelen, Lukasz Fabianski, Wojciech Szczesny, Cesc Fabregas and Theo Walcott. Surprisingly, Robin Van Persie will be fit to play. That, after his remarkable early recovery from a knee problem. This is indeed a very rare sight.
But the biggest surprise may yet be one Aaron Ramsey. I do believe we’ll see him tomorrow. He has been back training for some time now and looks to be right on track for a return to the Arsenal side. He’s another one of those are out which we could’ve used at Nou Camp. His ability to hold on to the ball and find the right pass are always usual in tight games. Trust me when I say, he will still play a big part in our season.
Match preview tomorrow.