By Bulldog Drummond
So, with 5000 articles done, it seems I lead us off into the sixth millennium (and yes I know literally millennium means not just any old thousand, but a thousand years, but points are there to be stretched and anyway I don’t think that there is a word meaning 1000 editions).
But as you will see from the note at the end of this piece, we have already played Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the Cup on this day. It was under Herbert Chapman, and was part of the cup run that gave Arsenal their first ever major trophy. Not a bad day to have the match.
And Mr Wenger knows it.
“We have won the FA Cup five times during my period here. Nobody has won it more in the last 18 years, so we have always taken the competition seriously,” he said. (In fact we’ve been in 18 finals and won it 11 times, starting with Chapman’s losing final in 1927 and his win in 1930 – although I have just spoiled part of the warm up of the History Society quiz – another note at the end of the piece).
As we all saw, and as Arsène Wenger said, we were “not the sharpest” midweek but we got through it and out the other side despite some, what shall I say, curious, refereeing.
For today there is talk in the papers of Alexis Sánchez, Jack Wilshere and Gabriel Paulista all being in the team. Gabriel I can imagine, for Mr Wenger said this week, “He’s very close [to making his debut]. He likes to defend. It’s more and more difficult to find people like that. [He is] a player who has overall good qualities: good pace, good in the air, good in one against one. But it’s best I don’t talk too much and let him play and he shows how good he is.”
But I can’t see why Jack would be rushed in, and with so many important games to come if Alexis is still recovering, why not make sure he has all of this week to get properly better. There is a week until we play Palace, but then Monaco, Everton and QPR all come in quick succession when he really will be needed. Mr Wenger said, “Alexis Sánchez is still not able to train. He could be short,”
On the other hand Middlesbrough are second in their league.
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Debuchy are of course all out. The Ox is two to three weeks away. Ramsey I presume is added to the list for three weeks, although my apologies, I can’t seem to find the details of how long he’s out for.
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