Wenger: People should be more positive about the FA Cup


Arsene Wenger says that the FA Cup remains a ‘fantastic competition’, as he saw his side progress 2-1 over Preston on Saturday evening.

The Arsenal manager has won the trophy more than any other modern manager, and he said the strength of his team selection showed how seriously he’s taking it.

“What more do you want?,” he said.

“I think it was a great tie and I came here with a team of quality. 80 per cent of the players who played today played at Bournemouth. The rest were out.”

And on the cup itself, which has been overshadowed by the money and prestige of the Premier League and Champions League, he continued, “The first round, the third, fourth round, people are a bit more indifferent but after when it gets to the final stages, everybody is absolutely focused on it

“I don’t know why people do not have a positive opinion about it. It’s more the press I think. Inside our game? I would have been devastated to go out so we are focused to compete really.

“Somebody reminded me recently I have never gone out in the third round in 20 years – that means because I care about the competition. There is a debate every year. For me there is no debate. It’s a fantastic competition.”

It’s also worth putting Saturday’s game into the context of the overall third round record – look at some of the opposition you’d expect Arsenal to beat quite comfortably, and you’ll see the cup makes for hard work at times.

Arsene Wenger’s FA Cup Third Round Record

1997: Arsenal 1-1 Sunderland – Replay: Sunderland 0-2 Arsenal

1998: Arsenal 0-0 Port Vale – Replay: Port Vale 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 3-4 on penalties)

1999: Preston 2-4 Arsenal

2000: Arsenal 3-1 Blackpool (game took place on December 13th due to FA’s fear over fixture congestion due to replays).

2001: Carlisle 0-1 Arsenal

2002: Watford 2-4 Arsenal

2003: Arsenal 2-0 Oxford United

2004: Leeds 1-4 Arsenal

2005: Arsenal 2-1 Stoke

2006: Arsenal 2-1 Cardiff

2007: Liverpool 1-3 Arsenal

2008: Burnley 0-2 Arsenal

2009: Arsenal 3-1 Plymouth

2010: West Ham 1-2 Arsenal

2011: Arsenal 1-1 Leeds – Replay: Leeds 1-3 Arsenal

2012: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds

2013: Swansea 2-2 Arsenal – Replay: Arsenal 1-0 Swansea

2014: Arsenal 2-0 Sp*rs

2015: Arsenal 2-0 Hull

2016: Arsenal 3-1 Sunderland

2017: Preston 1-2 Arsenal



  1. I agree, the 1971 Cup Final was when Arsenal won something after I first starting supporting, followed by the double shortly after!

    Great memories, great competition.

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    • 1979 too, great final.

      Most of the rest of the 1970s were dire for Arsenal. Thank god there was no internet then as there would have been a lot of people with raised expectations seeing their club come 16th or 17th three/four years later. Contrast today.

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      • Fuck, my father didn’t even know my mother existed in 1971. Hecck, my mom was just 8 and I’m in my 30s. Hats up to you older folks. I hope to be like you someday

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        • I guess someone had to try to get some thumbs down on this post, no-one else has managed it to date on any reply below.

          I was 8 as well in 1971, your mum was great company then.

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    • The third was a solo effort by TH14. I recall the commentator saying something like “Thierry Henry actually passed the ball to himself”. We beat that lot again a few days later in the Carling cup. Happy days

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    • “Somebody reminded me recently I have never gone out in the third round in 20 years – that means because I care about the competition.”

      Sums it up beautifully. Truly though, no one has that kind of consistency in ANYTHING unless they care. As fans, we can’t even consistently make up our mind even though we do care. Just goes to show what kind of mental resolve it takes to a manager like Wenger.

      He doesn’t do everything right, but then again, you can hardly fault his intellect, talent, but most of all, dedication to the club. Really wish our team can pull it together for a proper challenge this year. If it is his last year, then I would be gutted to watch him leave without raising some more silverware.

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  2. I still think our best game is coming from 2-0 down against Hull to win the final in 2014 after not lifting a trophy for so bloody long!

    and Gibbs clears it off the line…

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  3. Regardless of CL or PL, still an impressive record in the oldest cup competition in the world.

    And back to back victories just recently, the leading winners in the competition with Wenger having the most wins, still a great trophy to have.

    I’ll take it. Forget the mickey mouse league cup which some people tend to make a big deal of (glad we’re out of that one)

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  4. No surprise wenger is talking up the FA Cup. He knows it’s the only silverware we have any chance of winning. He’s all smoke and mirrors to keep the fans believing that finishing 4th in the league, knockout stages of the CL, and a shot at the FA Cup is top, top quality!!

    No significant buy in the transfer window when a Cazorla replacement is clearly needed, bank on it!!

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