So, the second big day of the week is upon us: Sunderland away in the FA Cup. In a way, this game represents an even more important test than the AC Milan game, as the FA Cup represents Arsenal’s best chance of ending its six year trophy drought.
Yes, the Champions League game was a disappointment but I think that if you asked 90% of Arsenal fans, they would have said that our chances of actually winning the competition were rather slim anyway. This is not a slight on Arsenal, but an acknowledging of the prowess of the Spanish sides in the competition this year. Of course, this should not deter us from giving every Champions League game our best (anything can happen in football), but we should not be too disappointed if we don’t win the trophy.
On the other hand, there is a very real chance of us bringing the FA Cup home to London. The two Manchester clubs have been knocked out, leaving us with a fairly clear run at the trophy. There are still formidable obstacles in our way – Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham will be no pushovers – but I am confident in our ability to defeat them.
Now, I mention Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, but Sunderland are not much less of a threat. They were, until our visit, the form team of the Premiership and are looking a rejuvenated since the talented Martin O’Neill took over. They have two main threats in the form of Larsson and Sessegnon. Frazier Campbell is also looking dangerous, despite his lengthy lay-off. This is not to mention the solid and experienced defence, which is looking extremely difficult to penetrate.
Arsenal, contrastingly, are still rocking from….well, I don’t need to mention it really. Nevertheless, we must show mental strength and use the disappointment at the San Siro as fuel to attack Sunderland and not let it hinder our play. We have the ability to overturn Sunderland, there is no doubt about that. So I propose that we just get behind the team and help this team tap into that top gear which, we have seen, can break any side.