This weekend will see the return of the FA Cup once again, just a few weeks after the third round, as the fourth round of action gets underway. Arsenal will be in action once again in what equates to the last 32, as they prepare to travel down to Bournemouth in order to face the Cherries for the second time in a matter of months. It’s one of those games which is bound to test the metal and steel of this Arsenal team, but we can’t quite figure out how much Mikel Arteta wants to win this competition.
The ‘ultimate’ prize?
He’s got two FA Cup wins under his belt from his playing days with the Gunners, which does lead us to believe that he fully understands what it means to a lot of fans for them to win this thing. Still, the priority of the club this season is probably going to be the Europa League again – which seems pretty bizarre to say.
Some will disagree but with the gap to Chelsea being set at 10 points now in the race for the top four, with many top clubs being ahead of them, it seems and feels like we’re getting to the point where this league campaign is a bit of a write off. We wouldn’t say that definitively just yet because Chelsea have more than a few mistakes in their locker, but let’s face it, the Europa League is a tournament that the Gunners know pretty well by now.
Magic of the cup
They were knocked out in the semi-finals two years ago and in the final last year, and they’ll be confident in their ability to take it one step further this time around. With the FA Cup, you have to fancy their chances on any given day against most teams in English football – even though most will choose to dismiss them, and perhaps understandably so.
We think Arteta will go with a fairly strong team because if he wins this, then he’s only two wins away from Wembley in the semi-finals. That’s a pretty big incentive for a team that desperately needs a bit of silverware.
How much will Arsenal put behind the FA Cup?