By Tony Attwood
Quite obviously we’d all like to see Arsenal continue in the FA Cup. We are the record winners, and even if Manchester United were to win the Cup this year (they play their third-round tie tomorrow) we’d still be the club with the most FA Cup wins.
But here’s another question: at this stage in our re-development what would we sooner have: fourth in the League or winning the FA Cup? Of course it is a trophy, and we are the all-time best FA Cup team in the land, but surely what we are crying out for is a return to proper European competition.
And yes, given all the options I would sooner have Arsenal both win the FA Cup and get back into the Champions League, but at this stage in our redevelopment that would be a double bonus.
But the fact is that getting fourth, and thus a place in the Champions League is going to improve our chances of signing the players that Mr Arteta wants; the players who will take us back up the rankings, and finally re-establish our position that Mr Wenger kept the club in for so many years.
The trouble is today, everything is wanted NOW NOW NOW, and the fact that Arsene Wenger delivered his first trophies in his second season, should not be taken as a basic standard. We might still win the league cup this season, although it will be tough to do so, and I suspect we won’t. But still I think that all the energy should be invested in coming fourth, and getting that Champions League spot (which some supporters use to decry as meaningless under the “Fourth is not a trophy” phrase) once again.
As matters stand, the league position is still uncertain with Tottenham breathing down our necks and with two games in hand
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We can’t rely on them to cock it up as they usually do, we need to build on our achievements in recent games, and the fight and spirit we saw against the 12 men of Manchester City.]
Of course I would much sooner we had won than lost, but losing is not a disaster. Paddy Power, joining the eternal anti-Arsenal rhetoric ran the headline recently “TIME TO GET YOUR COAT, MIKEL? ARTETA ODDS-ON TO BE NEXT MANAGER SACKED” – and that of course is the sort of mindless gibberish is thrown at Arsenal all the time, day and night.
In my view, and of course it is just my personal opinion, we need to hang on Mr Arteta, protect him as much as possible from the mindless idiots, and let him continue with his revolution at the club.
Yes he lost to a second-tier team, in a match we would have expected the club to win, and yes that cuts down the number of trophies we might get to just one – the league cup, where we have to play a very strong Liverpool! side home and away.
So maybe it will be another no trophy season. But if we continue to see real progress I’ll be happy and of course, I will continue to renew my season ticket.
That is what support is about. Staying with your club, and looking for positives. Even on a bad afternoon.
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