With Arsenal’s ouster from the Champions League in the midweek, the Gunners’ hope of ending the protracted trophy drought hinges on just two competitions (Premier League and FA Cup). For the latter Arsenal are the only big name left in the competition and by the virtue of that, they are the huge favourites while in the Premier League, they are locked in a four-horse race with three other teams but could still win it. The Gunners vice-captain Mikel Arteta has bored out his mind on the fallout of the Champions League match at the Allianz Arena and also spoke about the FA Cup.
“We know we are favourites [for the FA Cup]. We know that puts more pressure on us but we are happy with the win in the quarter-final. There is still a month to go [until the semi-final] and there are some tough games coming up.”
“That’s why it is important to get some momentum for that moment and go there with belief and in good form.”
Well said Arteta. It is easy to say Arsenal should focus on the FA Cup but that would be akin to shooting ourselves in the foot. Things could change quickly in the league, we are currently third but if we loose focus, we could even drop out of the top four and like the Spaniard said, the best way to go into the FA Cup semi-final is on the back of a good league run of form. The FA Cup looks the easier competition but that doesn’t mean it would be a stroll in the park for us. If Wigan could beat City on their homeground (Etihad), they would fancy themselves beating Arsenal on a neutral stage (Wembley). Hence, Arsenal need to be on their guard to avoid falling prey to the giant killers.
On the mid-week game at the Allianz Arena, Arteta remained upbeat despite the disappointing result.
“Every team that has come here recently has been battered five or 6-0 so that’s the last thing you want, with the experience we had a couple of weeks ago at Liverpool,” he said. “I think [the result was] encouraging, I think the second half was very good.”
Yet again, I agree with him. Arsenal might not have got the result they desired and needed but they got something they could be proud of. The Bavarians have won their last fourteen or so games but Arsenal were able to halt their tide. Conceding just a goal against that army of attacking talents die rothen paraded is a thing to be proud of and should Arsenal go into their remaining twelve matches this season, they might just clinch a domestic double.