Arsenal can focus on FA cup for a week

Arsenal got the crucial and hard fought win they needed at Sunderland, and answered a lot of critics at the same time. It would have been nice if Chelsea or Tottenham dropped points, and they both came close, but at least we didn’t lose any ground and can now put the pressure of the league aside for a week or so and focus on staying in the two cup competitions.

These bring their own different pressures, but they are more isolated occasions, and will provide different challenges. The Gunners are big favourites in the FA cup and heavy underdogs in the Champions league, but Arsenal have proved to be unpredictable this season so you never know what might happen.

On Saturday, Blackburn come to the Emirates hoping to get through to the last eight in the FA cup. They are on a good run of form in the championship, having won their last three games. They are just four points away from a play off spot, and that may be their main focus as they are desperate to get back to the Premier league.

They have a strong team with plenty of Premier league experience so they won’t be overawed coming to the Emirates. They also have a striker in form. Their £8 million record signing Jordan Rhodes has scored seven goals in six consecutive games. I very much doubt that Arsenal will take the game for granted, we learnt our lesson at Bradford, so it should be a good game which could bring us one step closer to that elusive trophy.

With the first leg of the Champions league against Bayern Munich just three days later, Arsene Wenger may be tempted to rest a few players, but I hope he doesn’t. The FA cup is by far the best chance we have of picking up some silverware and that should be of paramount importance. We should get Rovers out of the way and then see what we can do against the Germans. There is no point worrying too much about Bayern, and an FA cup win will further boost the team’s confidence.

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43 thoughts on “Arsenal can focus on FA cup for a week

  1. Greg

    Come on gunners! Lets destroy blackburn on towards our way to the fa cup final! Being positive is the key!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 67 Thumb down 1

  2. Casper Perez

    I hope we will go for a Chelsea/Bus win at Emirates and defend like we did against Sunderland and hopefully we will get a draw

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 15 Thumb down 19

  3. j

    this may sound silly but Ive realised we play much better when fixtures are congested. When we rest players for a week, when they next play, they take 30 minutes or so just getting upto that intensity. Therefore I think the only players who can rest are wilshere walcott and cazorla and play diaby, rosicky and the ox. That should be enough for the win.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 44 Thumb down 1

  4. Machiavelli

    I really hope wenger goes all out and plays our best players like cazorla, walcott and podolski. Maybe we should rest giroud and play walcott as centre striker, blackburn are not that good of a team and walcott has been whining about playing that position all year. This might be a good opportunity for him to show he can do it.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 5

  5. Gunner

    Ermmm I think the players will have their minds on Bayern. For the Blackburn game I deffo wanna see Eisfield, Gnabry n all them get a start with Walcott or Podolski as Striker (Preferably Poldi coz Walcott needs to be freshhh for Tuesday), Cmoonnn Yooouuu Guuunneeerrsss

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 5

  6. horliquegold

    Nigeria is now the chmpion of africa after 19 cold years we have just won afcon 2013, thats a good lesson for all gunners faithful dont ever lose the faith in arsenal. This season is our season, we will win the fa cup possibly the champions league. If chelsea can do we can too. Arsenal just need to play as a team.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 36 Thumb down 4

  7. horliquegold

    Nigeria is now the champions of africa after 19 cold years we have just won afcon 2013, thats a good lesson for all gunners faithful dont ever lose the faith in arsenal. This season is our season, we will win the fa cup possibly the champions league. If chelsea can do we can too. Arsenal just need to play as a team.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  8. Vlad

    “… it would also be nice if Chelsea and Tottenham dropped points, and they both came close”… I stopped reading after that. If you’re writing about something, get your facts straight. Tottenham game was pretty close, and if it wasn’t for MoFo Bale (I gotta hand it to him though, the guy is phenomenal) Newcastle could’ve won, or at least come out with a tie. As for the Chelsea-Wigan game, have you watched it? Have you seen the final score? It was 4-1, and it wasn’t even close. Wigan got raped. Granted, it has nothing to do with your article about the FA Cup, but “little” things like that bother me. Like I said before, get your facts straight.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 25 Thumb down 8

  9. AFCEdwards

    Anyone watching the Arsenal U21s vs Man United U21s. Great game and Akpom looks like a real talent and at only 17 and English could be an Arsenal star in the making.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 21 Thumb down 1

  10. ketan

    WE WILL BRING THE FA CUP HOME!! COYG The Present is also bright, the PRESENT is RED N WHITE!!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  11. Ryan

    i pray that we can rotate and still get the win. key players need to be fresh for the Bayern game. but we also need to go into that game full of confidence, so a win is a must!

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 19 Thumb down 0

  12. Tyno

    Hope Wenger watched the Nigeria matches all through. With our defence a bit shaky, I think Omeruo can do something at that back four. Emenike may not be too costly also. Then we go…all out. COYG

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  13. Ahmed

    3-0 isn’t even enough…….. lets terrorize them so we can face bayern after that with high tempo and spirit.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  14. gunner4life

    I’m Half Ghanaian and Nigerian but wow some Nigerians have to chill. Yes we won the cup but they are acting like it’s the first time that an underdog won a trophy. Remember Chelsea in the champs lge? Bradford/Swansea will win the capital cup and Montpelier won the league last year and nobody topped them to win it!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

  15. Green Gunner

    Good to have a cup game before Bayern.

    We have being to inconsistant lately. Stats came out there recently that if were to take the points from our second half displays from the start of the season we would be 2nd in the league!

    Got to keep that tempo right from the start. The Sunderland game was a good showing of this. We need a cup this year. For the fans. For the players. For attracting players!

    COYG!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. joe

    blackburn match starting 11:

    sczesny
    jenks mert kos monreal
    diaby le-coq
    ox rosicky gervinho
    walcott

    **rest walcott after 50mins

    bayern match:

    sczesny
    sagna mert kos verm (miquel if verm injured)
    arteta wilshere
    walcott cazorla poldi
    giroud

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  17. ThirdManJW

    Please play Eisfeld. Ramsey nearly cost us again at the weekend. Hopefully we’ll see Gnarby as well.

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 4 Thumb down 12

  18. vyash

    very good news
    i jusr read :wenger sign a new deal
    this summer there will be new warriors

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

  19. ArsenalMike

    Most people will hate this; I’m sure I’ll get a lot of thumbs down. I don’t care. As a matter of fact, I think Bayern are not impossible, so my line up is keeping this supposition in mind.

    Front three of Chamberlain, Walcott, and Gervinho. Midfield trio of Le Coq, Diaby, and Wilshire/Cazorla. Defense picks itself with Sagna, BFG, Kos, and Monreal. Goal is obvious, but Vito wouldn’t be unreasonable.

    With three substitutions, you can really change the game. You could bring in Poldi, HFB, and Arteta if things aren’t working at the half.

    As my lineup stands, you get a lot of speed up front and good defense in the middle. I grant Gerv is hit and miss, but you can substitute him. I think as a matter of psychology, if Arsenal do not make Bayern a priority, then we won’t have the mentality or belief we can win BOTH. We can win both matches; the quality is there. -but do we have the belief?

    Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 5

  20. Andrew

    You muppets he wanted to join us from Barcelona they blocked he’s move. If you can’t wish a player that nearly joined us all the best there is no hope. Good by!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

  21. mr lean

    we can use saturday to rest a few players,jack,santi,diaby,podalski and give rosicky,arshavin,ox and eisfeld a game,at home we should still win with a rested team COYG

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

  22. ripple

    @ArsenalMike:

    Monreal is not eligible to play vs. Bayern.

    I agree Arsenal will need pace but Gervinho has been terrible and his pace almost never translates on the field. He rarely beats a defender outright.

    Poldi often is deceptively quick and often does hurt defenses with some pace. I think defenses don’t see him as pacy and therefore is caught off guard sometimes.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  23. mr lean

    any truth in wengers new deal ? strange world we live in wenger sells rvp to man u and this hands them the title,santos takes rvp’s shirt and is told to f#ck off back to brazil !

    if true about wenger hope the ambition is to win the league and not sell players to our rivals,stan and ivan back your manager

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  24. ArsenalMike

    @ripple:
    I agree Monreal is not eligible to play against Bayern, that is why I have him as an obvious selection in the FA Cup.

    I also agree with you regarding Poldi; he can be very deceptive. However, I think Gerv can put in a shift for the squad. If he does not do well in the first half, I say bring in Poldi. My intention behind my squad selection is very simple: keep our best fresh. Our best players need not be overly taxed against a physical Blackburn side four days prior to facing Bayern.

    Finally, all of this was in faced based on a hope/belief Arsenal can win both games. I don’t imagine my hope is such a bad thing is it?

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  25. mohawk35

    @mr. lean,

    I hope you are right – that they do rest at least a few players and give some others playing time – not too many.

    But I don’t know what is going on with Wenger and Rosicky. Rosicky proved himself last season when he replaced Ramsey and the Arsenal offense went nuts scoring goals.

    This season, Rosicky has 2 sub appearances while Ramsey (who is not as good as Rosicky) has 23 appearances as a starter and sub. Makes no sense. Something going on there.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  26. ArsenalMike

    I should make it clear:

    My first post and suggested line up were given keeping with the context of the original post “Arsenal can focus on FA Cup for a week” I was not suggesting a line up against Bayern. I believe most readers already know that particular squad picks itself.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  27. manorhouse

    Hard to say, but I think we should play artetta, diaby, Ramsey, rosiscky against rovers & save wilshere & cazorla for bayern. Ox & gervinho also for rovers…

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  28. ripple

    @ArsenalMike: Sorry.

    Your comment only mentions one club, Bayern. Thus my obviously incorrect assumption.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  29. ArsenalMike

    @ripple:

    No worries. I could have been more clear; I can see how it easily might have been misunderstood.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  30. Joe

    I wonder if wengers thinking about playing podolski up front and giving walcott and giroud a rest?

    He will 100% me in the starting 11 tomorrow because he didn’t play at the weekend

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  31. THE GOONER GAZ

    at the momment the most important game is the next one which happens to be blackburn rovers i say play the strongest team we can so hopefully there will be no embaressing slip ups.coyg.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  32. Thala

    I think Wenger will definitely rotate the squad
    Sczeney/mannone
    sagna mert miguel nacho
    arteta diaby
    rosicky
    ox gervinho poldi

    will rest kozzer, vermi, willy , theo, giroud santi.
    Jenkinson got red red at wrong time. is Le Coq fit ??
    I hate these Injuries …..

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  33. Jathusanthegunner

    I think we need to put on a strong squad even if we’ve got to play Bayern as the only cup that we are more likely to win was the Capital one cup but now we are out we have to win the FA cup because there’s no way that we are going to win the premier league ; we might be able to win the champions league like Chelsea did last year . We need to put a strong squad like :
    Szczesny
    Sagna Vermaelan Mertesacker Gibbs/Monreal
    Diaby
    Arteta Rocisky
    Walcott Giroud Gervinho/Arshavin
    Rest Cazorla , Wilshere , Podolski as we don’t want them to pick up an injury and Walcott should be careful as well like Arteta as he ‘s improved since his injury.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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