Oh what’s that?
FA Cup eve I hear you say.
Interesting indeed. Exciting. And interesting.
Why? Because we could make it three on the bounce. The FA Cup is back in the Arsene Wenger good books and I’d imagine he’ll want to have 3 on the bounce as part of his already pretty special record in this competition.
Has the FA Cup lost its shine? I think it did. But I kind of feel it has it back now. Mainly because we’ve been winning it. I think clubs will be resting players again. But once you get into the quarter finals, it starts getting exciting again.
We have Burnley, which is a bit of a treat. It means we can ease players like Coquelin and Sanchez back in and it means we can rotate players like Gibbs and Debuchy into the squad. Give Gabriel a start and hand Chamberlain his 32nd chance of the season to impress.
I’d also like to see Iwobi. What you saying?
No Ospina though. I know what I’m getting there.
What about Burnley though? They’re smashing it up in the Championship, sitting pretty in third. So they’ll be totally up for this. They’re unbeaten in 2015 and they haven’t lost since December. They also have 14 goals in their last 4 games! So potential for a fun game.
Their main man is Andre Gray, who moved from Brentford. He has 15 this season. He’s fast, low centre of gravity with a pretty tasty finish. But, he’s a Championship striker… so no need to lose your shit!
However, as Wenger says, be humble yeah?
“We have to be humble enough to accept that and to think it’s not because we turn up at the Emirates and play against Burnley that we will win the game.”
Wenger defended Per in the press conference.
“It is easy to look and explain on the screen during the game or after it, and anybody that understands football can explain that. But when you are down there on the pitch, if you are caught a fraction out of position it is impossible to correct. That is what happens and I have to accept and live with it.”
“We forget the amount of times Mertesacker saves a goal from going in and that happens. The risk is part of the game and you have to feel comfortable with that. Mistakes are part of that competition but we learn from defeat.”
I am kind of with Wenger. I feel like we’ve been saying for a while that Per is on the cusp of going the way of Rio Ferdinand. I’m not sure he’s quite there yet though. In general, he’s a very steady impressive defender. He makes the occasional gaff, but I’m not sure that’s a sign of decline. He plays a lot of games at a very high level.
I do think we should be looking at finding a replacement though. A very tall replacement. We don’t suffer from set plays like we used to, in part down to him, in part down to Giroud coming back and helping out as well. But let’s not leave it until the tipping point before we get someone new in who can do what he does.
Other tidbits before I go. Wenger has ruled out signing anyone, because he has many ‘like a new signing’ players back in training. He also let everyone know that Carl J is out for 6months with a ligament injury, get well soon! He then said he has many options at right back, so Matty D might be able to do one. He said the same about the striking position.
I love how Wenger can make you feel totally confident about something that is untrue.
Sure, we have options at right back. But bad options outside Bellerin and we don’t have anyone better than Debuchy waiting in the wings. Same with the striking position. Theo, WELBZ, Sanchez, Giroud, Iwobi, Steve Bould and Neil Banfield. Sure, we have bodies, but the right bodies?
We’ll see… we’ll see.
HAVE GOOD FRIDAY!
P.S. I was in Williamsburg this morning, I had to get the subway. It’s pretty busy because New York has a terrible train setup. Anyway. I wasn’t paying attention. The carriage opens in front of me and it’s empty bar 5 people. I walk on, and walk out immediately. The reason it was empty was a man had shit himself hard.
I had to tell you because I am mentally scarred at the moment. I think I can taste it.
YOU DON’T DO THAT ON THE MORNING TRAIN!
No fucking decorum.