Wenger wary of ‘most difficult’ round of the FA Cup

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Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will have to be on their guard when they start their latest FA Cup defence against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday.

Martin O’Neill’s The Championship side may not look a huge threat on paper – they are currently 14th in the Championship – but after 21 years in England the boss is well versed in the difficulties of overcoming teams from the country’s second tier.

“From my personal experience in the FA Cup, and I think I have a lot, this is maybe the most difficult round,” Wenger told his pre-game press conference on Friday. 

“It’s always difficult to start well in the competition and when you play away against a Championship team – it’s always very intense and the Championship teams are ready to face you.

“For them, it’s a big challenge and you have to maintain your concentration coming out of a very loaded and congested period over Christmas. That’s never easy.”

Wenger’s seven FA Cup triumphs make him the most successful manager in the competition’s history. This particular opportunity to win silverware is one that he’s always taken seriously and he believes other clubs across Europe are similarly enthused by knockout formats.

“Yeah, I think contrary to what people think, the FA Cup becomes more and more important in every single country,” he said. “Why? Because it’s difficult to win this kind of trophy.

“You have so many teams who want always to win a trophy. It becomes more and more difficult. I think we won it in style in a period where we were questioned.”

It would almost be rude of us not to present you with an opportunity to watch our most recent triumph. So why not take five minutes out of your day and watch us beat Chelsea again. Go on…it’s Friday.

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Pedant
Pedant

They are mid table, no chance of going up or down, just lost their manager. I’d be very surprised if they beat us, though it is their only chance of doing anything.

Expecting a reasonably easy win.

Andy Mack
Andy Mack

As you say, this is he one thing they have a chance to do well in, so I expect a tough game. Either we can get an early goal and the game opens up, or they run themselves into exhaustion and we clean up in the last 20.
But as this is football, who knows…

Sheffield Gooner
Sheffield Gooner

They’ll be thinking these exact same words about us…

arsepedant
arsepedant

I expect just the opposite. It’s going to be a very hard-fought match. Forest have a whole week off before and after the match, they’re not in a promotion fight, and they’re not in a relegation fight. They’re going to put out their absolute best XI and have a go at us. And we’re going in without Giroud, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, and Xhaka (all injured). We’ve got players like Bellerin, Wilshere, Sanchez, and Ozil who are getting close to the red line. The team we have to name will be closer to the Europa/Carabao Cup teams than our PL team. It’ll be a very difficult match, and we’re going to have to work our socks off.

Ivan Drago
Ivan Drago

Winning the old cup again would be a good season from my perspective, throw in the Europa and it’s be a fantastic one

ronaldo
ronaldo

you are easiliy pleased, if we win anything it would be a bonus, that’s all, nothing else

santori
santori

Well…if he can’t fulfill his own lofty minimal standards of finishing 4th or better every season, then if the new standard is a minimum of FA cup and Europa (this season to qualify us for CL), what’s there not to be pleased about?

Its not the main prize but its a pretty high minimum guarantee finish to keep up. It would be the 4th FA cup in 5 seasons.

Hamburg Gooner
Hamburg Gooner

well, as you are only here to wind people up, this is really lame: winning anything is only a bonus, nothing else … try harder

Ivan+Drago
Ivan+Drago

At the start of each season there’s only four trophies we can win if it includes a European campaign, so I think winning half of them would be a fantastic achivement. They mightn’t be the big ones but in 30 years you can look back and say ‘remember those FA Cup Wins and that great European campaign in the early to mid ’10s, that was a great time!”

Mick Teece
Mick Teece

“Martin O’Neill’s side may not look a huge threat on paper” Explain?

arseblog
Admin

Mistake!

Arsengogot
Arsengogot

Blogs is Martin O’Neill the manager for forest? Not sure that’s the case….

Alan
Alan

He is according to Wikipedia but I think that’s some Forest fan having a laugh.

Sheffield Gooner
Sheffield Gooner

It’s Gary Brazil…. caretaker.

A Different George
A Different George

Rumours that Barnsley’s manager is likely successor. As if I cared.

santori
santori

Not Tommy Diamond? Or Tony Mallorca?

QMantis
QMantis

Can never underestimate championship teams they will fight and run all day. Hopefully the chosen team will be right up for it with the fringe players hungry to impress. Would be nice to just win a game without any ref controversy.

santori
santori

We may as well persist with current back 3.

Keep them together let them iron out their faults.

santori
santori

We also have the double header coming up against the old foe Chelsea.

Not sure how to prioritise the league cup. Its such a mickey mouse competition by comparison to the FA in terms of prestige.

But we are in the semis and maybe we can set a goal to sweep the cups at least plus Europa to guise our lack of consistency but occasional “brilliance”.

We’ve had a great pedigree as an exciting cup team.

in recent years, the victory from behind over Hull/Fat Bruce, then the 4 goal demolition of Villa and last season’s win against Chelsea/Anthony Taylor.

If anything if we prevent City from winning the two domestic cups and put a blemish on their ‘unbeaten run’, that would be some satisfaction to another otherwise thoroughly dissapointing title campaign.