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Arsenal v Swansea; FA Cup Match Preview
All it takes is a good run. A good run in any competition can build confidence for runs in other competitions. Conversely, as was shown two years ago, bad results can have devestating effects. That is why Arsenal need to approach today’s FA Cup tie with Swansea with all the seriousness and focus it requires.
The last cup Arsenal won is quite known to all supporters – the 2005 FA Cup. It was our last bit of silverware and it is the starting point for the decline and barren years that have followed. But it is in my opinion the only realistic chance at silveware the club have this year. The Premier League looks all but out of reach and unless Arsenal can pull off a Chelsea-like miracle the Champion’s League isn’t in the offing.
That means it has to be the FA Cup.
Whether or not Wenger is taking this tie seriously will be shown the instant the lineup is announced. While some rotation is warranted, with the next game a full week away, if there is a focus on this tournament than you can expect the lineup to have very little in the way of changes from the last Premier League match.
Additionally, it’s very unlikely that Arsenal will underestimate their opponent for a second time. When Swansea came into the Emirates and beat Arsenal at their own game one or two players admitted the took their opponent for granted. The two goals scored by Michu and the embarassing way the Gunners lost that match should end that.
The boss isn’t one to be taking them lightly that much is for sure:
“They are a team who have already shown last year they have a good technical level, that they can adapt,” said Wenger. “They have coped very quickly with the Premier League and they tend to buy well as they’ve shown again this season with players like Michu.
“They lost Brendan Rodgers in the summer but they took Laudrup who is doing very well. Before him, they had Roberto Martinez, so they always find the right guy to replace the manager who is leaving.
“They have made intelligent decisions. Therefore they deserve a lot of credit.”
But fortune may be on Arsenal’s side. Swansea have not been looking like the squad that raided the Emirates and have been more erratic since that win. Additionally, the Welsh side might have their eyes affixed to there Capital One Cup tie with Chelsea this coming Wednesday. With a real shot at a Wemble showdown, who knows how Swansea may approach this competition.
But that is neither here nor there. It is all up to Arsenal. If Arsenal come off the bus and play the way have when they have been successful, then Swansea should pose little threat. If they come out and play like they did against Swansea and Southampton then the likelihood is enhanced that Arsenal will endure its 8th trophyless season.
And frankly this is a cup we should want to win because it has held so many memories for us. Who can forget 1979 and Alan Sunderland’s 89th minute beauty or Andy Linighan in 1993 or more recently that Vieira penalty that beat Roy Carroll for our last taste of glory? The FA Cup is a that we should value its so much a part of Arsenal’s history. Only Manchester United have won more FA Cups than Arsenal (11 v 10) and only United have featured in more FA Cup finals than Arsenal (18 v 17).
I get the priorties of the club. But given the effect of winning anything can have on a club, a fan base and a organization in whole – Arsenal have to go for it. Look at what it has done for other teams recently. One year after winning the FA Cup, Manchester City went on to win the Premier League. Last year Chelsea used the FA Cup as the catapult for their unthinkable Champion’s League win. Winning begets winning.
Don’t let down in this match. Go full throttle. If you do and you lose, no fault can be had. But to come in and play with complacency, we’ll find fault with that every day.
It’s all about the glory, its all about winning.