During the latter stages of Arsene Wenger’s reign at Arsenal, winning the FA Cup seemed to be the thing keeping the Frenchman in a job, as Wenger won the competition on seven occasions. However, it was not enough for some Gunners fans, as they wanted to win the league.
Wenger’s successor Emery comes into the club with very different objectives. A top-four finish in the Premier League is obviously the Gunners main objective this season. However, winning the FA Cup would be a good start for the Spaniard at the north London club. Arsenal kick-off their quest to win the grand old trophy later today at Blackpool.
A potential banana skin
Nine out of ten times Arsenal would beat a League One opponent such as Blackpool. However, this game is a potential banana skin for an Arsenal side who have failed to find consistency of late.
The FA Cup tends to throw up big shocks. Arsenal were the victims of one of the biggest shocks back in 1992 when the then-champions suffered a 2-1 defeat at fourth tier Wrexham.
The result is still regarded as one of the biggest shocks in the history of the competition. Blackpool beating the Gunners would not quite be as much of a shock, but still, it would be a big surprise to see the Tangerines record a victory at Bloomfield Road. Everybody associated with the Gunners will, of course, be keen to avoid that sort of embarrassment this weekend.
Emery needs silverware to show progress
Arsenal have made progress under Unai Emery this season. Winning a trophy would be tangible proof that the Spaniard is moving the team forward, despite not having the best of resources from the clubs hierarchy.
The Gunners are currently odds 10/1 to lift the trophy this season, behind the clubs who are currently above them in the Premier League table. It may not feel like it, but winning the FA Cup is a big achievement. There are only so many trophies to go around each season. The FA Cup is one of the more prestigious and arguably one of the easiest to win with a good draw.
Unai Emery may or may not achieve his objective of finishing in the top four in his first season at the Emirates. However, winning the FA Cup in his maiden campaign in north London would be a good start for the Spaniard.
Would winning the FA Cup make Emery’s first season at Arsenal a success?