Oxford v Arsenal: Arsenal in the FA Cup and the current form


With one win in the league in the last five games, and that against Charlton who hadn’t won any of their previous nine games in league and cup, Oxford’s form of late has not been overly impressive.  But as we are always told by journalists who can’t be arsed to do any research, anything can happen in the cup.

And although football journalists will always bring up Arsenal’s defeat under Herbert Chapman to Walsall (without giving any details of what actually happened in what was an utterly extraordinary sent of events – largely because that would spoil the story) Arsenal haven’t been involved in that many upsets across the centuries.

The biggest shock other than Walsall, (which actually wasn’t a shock when one considers the conditions, which included supporters being on the pitch throughout most of the match, because too many were in the ground and so they spilled over onto the touchline and beyond), was the defeat to Wrexham in 1992.

But beyond this, what gets a lesser mention is the fact that far from being down-and-out and likely to be beaten by anyone in the FA Cup Arsenal is in fact the most successful FA Cup team of all time.  Here’s a table of the most successful FA Cup teams; we’ve been in 21 finals and won 14 of them.

We only go down to Tottenham Hotspur in this table because after that we get to lesser team which have won the FA Cup under half as many times as Arsenal, so it seems a bit pointless.


Club Wins First final won Last final won Total final
Arsenal 14 1930 2020 21
Manchester United 12 1909 2016 20
Chelsea 8 1970 2018 16
Liverpool 8 1965 2022 15
Tottenham Hotspur 8 1901 1991 9


Which makes it all the more strange, given the way the media focuses on a couple of unexpected defeats when thinking about Arsenal in the FA Cup, rather than focusing on the much more obvious fact that this is the most successful FA Cup club of all time.

Indeed if you want to go further you’ll see that two of the four clubs who have won more than 50% of the cups Arsenal have won started winning before the first world war – which means that they have much, much longer than Arsenal to try and win the thing.   And beyond that, in the early days, there were far fewer clubs in the FA Cup, and therefore far fewer matches to play.

Last season was, however a disappointment for us in the FA Cup, as Arsenal went out against Nottingham Forest in the third round.  It was part of a run in which Forest only had four defeats in 28 games, and eventually won promotion through the play offs.  For Arsenal it was part of a run of no wins in five games, so quite a contrast in the way the teams felt, I suspect.  Arsenal’s priority at the time was to try and get a top four place at the end of the season.

Arsenal were fourth at the time, but Tottenham were only two points behind and with two games in hand.  The FA Cup seemed a total distraction to the main programme, and so it turned out to be.

Arsenal’s line up for that match was


Soares Holding Tavares White

Saka Odegaard Patino Logonga

Martinelli Nketiah

and the results around this time were


Date Match Res Score Competition
1 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Manchester City L 1-2 Premier League
9 Jan 2022 Nottingham Forest v Arsenal L 1-0 FA Cup
13 Jan 2022 Liverpool v Arsenal D 0-0 League Cup
20 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Liverpool L 0-2 League Cup
23 Jan 2022 Arsenal v Burnley D 0-0 Premier League


Indeed this was the third of four really bad runs Arsenal had (five bad runs if you include the two away defeats in May.  We’ve not seen any such runs this season, our last four games being wins against Wolverhampton, West Ham., Brighton and Hove and then the draw with Newcastle.   Goals for nine, goals against three.

Oxford’s last four games have been defeats to Ipswich and Exeter, a draw with Sheffield Wednesday and a win against 12th-placed Charlton.   But to give them their due in 1964 Oxford became the first Fourth Division club to reach the sixth round of the FA Cup.

One Reply to “Oxford v Arsenal: Arsenal in the FA Cup and the current form”

  1. We should by any measure win this but it depends on which players get on the pitch . If we weaken and they press early it could get difficult . The last thing that we want is to have to bring on too many big guns to rescue things .We have all seen that scenario a few times before.

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