Confucious Say: The Team that Won the Cup ten times is the one that hates it most.

A quick mention to say the ‘Blog of the Week’ awards will be postponed until Wednesday due to computer issues. I’m sure you will all survive. To today’s blog, and I made a mention of it yesterday, and I will reiterate it today: Arsenal do not ‘hate’ the FA Cup. A few years back, people could not wax lyrical enough about our having partaken in a semi final five years running, reaching the final on may occassions, and having won the cup ten times, bettered only by Manchester United’s eleven.

-{…Arsenal with too much to risk in a fixture-too-far decided to throttle back and let the game pass them by.}-

By this same logic, Arsenal must hate all tournements – all teams must hate all tournements, for ever rotating their squad, or having an off day, or an inexcusable (but once-off) game where their players did not feel like making an effort. Every team has done it, whether it be in the cup, the league, in Europe or in friendlies.

And yet Arsenal’s having to field a side depleted by incomparable injuries must be jumped upon by a press refusing to ignore that very fact; that Arsenal with too much to risk in a fixture-too-far decided to throttle back and let the game pass them by. That Manchester United – the team that ‘oh so loves the FA Cup’ – forfeited their own participation in 2000 for the sake of some games in Brazil are completely forgotten, is so rediculously biased, bloodthirsty and with a reckless anti-Arsenal momentum, it is best to shut up shop like Milwall and Chelsea have done, and just ‘get the hell on with it’.

That match might as well just be forgotten. It does put a small onus on us to play really well against Milan, and certainly against Manchester United on April 12, but we’ve simply got to get over this result and beat Milan and Birmingham. Out of our system and on with the show.

Team news leading up to the Milan match sees the reasons revealed Bacary Sagna’s ‘personal reasons’ were very grave indeed, when his older brother was found deceased in his bathtub at home. Our thoughts go out to Bacary, his family and friends in a testing time. There are several things well above football in life, and things like these are definitely among them. In what is a testing time, we all wish Bacary the best (with regards to the link, you’ll have to sift through a lot of anti-Arsenal chaff to find the mention of Sagna’s brother, but the source is there).

-{Never has there been a moment where a team need to practice what they preach more.}-

Gilberto Silva says that Arsenal ‘will bounce back’ from the shocking FA Cup result. The holding midfielder knows the team (and especially himself) have a thing or two to prove now; the Brazillian saying:

Of course we can bounce back from this. If you look at United, they had a bad result against Manchester City, a big disappointment to them, and they came back very strong in this game against us. It’s the same for us. We will come back even stronger, starting in the Champions League against Milan on Wednesday, because we don’t want to let the opportunities pass us by this season.

We must bounce back if we want to achieve something. This group is ambitious to win trophies this season. The FA Cup is very important and we’re disappointed to be knocked out, but we need to look forward to the game against Milan. It is also important that we focus on our position in the league, where we are five points clear, a situation very much in our favour. We must learn from our mistakes and not let a performance like this happen again.

Never has there been a moment where a team need to practice what they preach more. I still harbour good feelings and vibes for this matchup, and firmly believe that, despite what the press will tell us, we should be giving a very good account of ourselves against the match-fixers.

One player of theirs who might be a bit absolved of such a negative label is the brilliant Kaka, who in a decent interview, says Arsenal play the style of football even Brazillians would be content with. Kaka says:

They play football the way we like it to see it in Brazil, with style, changing position all the time, moving the ball among themselves so quickly. They have won Premier League titles, they were in the Champions League final a few years ago and they have real quality.

So while we are banking on a bit of an underdog status, the legendary Brazillian is certainly not writing us off, in spite of bigging up his older team. I certainly still favour our chances, even with Kaka and Seedorf still in the squad, especially given their catastrophic keeper crisis.

Additionally, Alex Ferguson is insisting that William Gallas be cited for his kick out at Nani. Whether he gets the suspension or not, it was a stupid thing to do, and Ferguson is being smart (though you wont find me short of whinging about it) in pushing for a suspension that will really stretch an already stretched squad.

And that’s all for tonight. Again, Blog of the Week is postponed until wednesday, when I can sort out a system crash that has all my data on it. Still stuck on the laptop here, but she’ll be right, mate.

So…recovered from the FA Cup fallout yet?



Filed under Arsenal, Blogging, Champions League, English Premier League, FA Cup

4 responses to “Confucious Say: The Team that Won the Cup ten times is the one that hates it most.

  1. gazzap

    Fergie is scared so he is trying to weaken our squad so that united have a chance of coming back in the league hence the Gallas comments.
    Please united (and chelsea) get a tricky away draw in the FA. what chance they get Bristol at home????

  2. J.Sanderson

    Another Excellent Article James.

    Horrific news about Bacary’s brother, it makes me feel almost sick, when many Gooners have said to me, so.. we need him back, which i find a disgrace.

    Also great shout from Gilberto, one of the clubs natural leaders coming out and speaking with the fans.

    And finally i wont waste my time talking about Fergie, he has the same amount of class and a Titus Bramble free-kick, Lets all hang Gallas because he lost his temper, i think 99.9% of Gooners watching on Saturday wanted to do far worse to Nani.

    All The Best.

    Jamie From Young Guns.

  3. (artist formerly known as)eboue's hand

    I hope everyone who ripped on Sagna for missing the game for “personal reasons” feels bad now, it was obviously something serious because I’ve never heard Wenger give that reason for leaving someone out before. Sagna has been magnificent all season and has hardly been rested at all. I’d like to think that if the reason had been made public earlier there would have been a silence at Old Trafford as a mark of respect. But would the United fans have been able to observe it properly, even after all their fuss over the Munich anniversary?

  4. Damn thats sad to hear about Sagna’s brother. Best wishes to him and his family.

    As for the game, I don’t rate our chances of qualifying at all. Many people really underestimate Milan. They have lost only 1 game in their last 18 in Serie A and CL since November, they added the young Pato who started off his career with 4 goals in 6 games, they currently have the best player in the world in Kaka, and they have the scariest and most balanced midfield on the planet with Kaka, Pirlo, Gattuso, and Seedorf.

    I also hope our fans dont go crazy if we happen to lose. We are still young, our team has another 2 or 3 yrs to reach its full potential, and to be honest we need to prioritize and focus on the remaining 12 games in the league more than anything.