A cup, a cup, my kingdom for a cup!

By Mike Hennessy

In hope of a full strength team at Brighton tomorrow

The worst part of last Sunday's defeat to Chelsea was Wenger’s post-match comments. I appreciate that could apply to any one game of the last few years, but there was one comment that struck fear in me, for the week ahead.

Could do with another one

“We cannot afford to drop any more points if we want to be in the top four.”

'Ello. Apart from the fact that he should have been focused on the fourth-place trophy long before Sunday, what made me shiver was the inevitable consequence that this will bring for our team selection for this week’s two matches.

Let me say firstly that I am clearly one of the dwindling band of supporters that treasure the days when we used to win trophies. I see no realistic way that we’ll get past the Germans in March, so the only conceivable solution is to throw our eggs into the FA Cup basket. I would rather a trophy than the fourth-place trophy. Not only for a glory day out in May, but to get that monkey off our back. I think the psychological impact of another trophyless season will be hard felt in the summer – especially if we don’t get Champions League football next season, as well.

Apparently, we secreted away money to compensate for a failure to qualify for a season’s Champions League – ok, dip into that next season to pay for Walcott’s millions etc. Let it be – we’ve had our time in that competition, and if Wenger’s last season is next season, then he can focus on getting us back into the Champions League. Call it our leaving present.

But I’m scared that we won’t throw our eggs into that basket. When I read those comments, I can almost hear that mind work overtime – we have a league game Wednesday, next Wednesday and Saturday after that. He’ll play all the top men (ok, first-team players, then) on Wednesday, and we’ll end up with Frimpong, Arshavin, Ramsey, Jenkinson, Squillaci, Mannone and Santos turning up at the AMEX.

Now, I appreciate that some of those might be an improvement on those hogging the first team, but they are not first-teamers. We need to go to Brighton, and do the job there. But, if we don’t, and we get the same treatment as Newcastle, we won’t wonder why we don’t win any trophies anymore.

So please, Arsčne, think about the FA Cup. I really fancy some heavyweight draws in the fifth round – we might get lucky and draw a minnow at home. Send the kids out then – not on Saturday. It’s our last chance.

25th January 2013 09:00:00


Comments and Reaction

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TC  8:00am 25th Jan 2013

Lets not get too excited about the cup - it was only 4 weeks we had a great opportunity against bradford and we f'''''d that up with a full first team. - Post No. 33847

mark from aylesbury  8:16am 25th Jan 2013

Sadly the weight of recent history falls heavily on the players. Can see it all blowing up in our faces. The only way to change this is change the manager. Think this may happen sooner than later. Ive noticed that someone is leaking info from the camp. Sure sign that power shift is taking place. - Post No. 33848

Tony Evans  8:33am 25th Jan 2013

With you all the way on this - just wish I had more faith in the first team and Inspector Clueless to do the job at Brighton. Who knows what sort of performance we are going to see with this lot and this manager. - Post No. 33849

Stroud Green Road Boy  9:24am 25th Jan 2013

Telling photo. Didn't realise it's so long ago we last won something that George V was still on the throne. - Post No. 33852

Bulls*it Baffles Brains  9:29am 25th Jan 2013

I don't know why you are worried about player fatigue. Arsene and his scouting team have identified two potential quality signings? Probably the same ones that haven't materialised over the previous winter transfer windows. Who really believes he is even looking? I doubt Sky will bother to send any representatives to the London Colney any time soon. - Post No. 33853

Ron  9:35am 25th Jan 2013

I dont think we ll see JW, Giroud or Mertersacker and i suspect Gibbs may be rested too.Hard to say really as Wengers under pressure and the FAC may be his salvation this time. - Post No. 33854

chris dee  10:13am 25th Jan 2013

We should be alright tomorrow. I have been encouraged by reading a Koscielnly interview on the official Arsenal website, better known as www.bland on bland.com that what the players have learned after the Bradford defeat,and hold on to your hats on this one,was that the 'lesson learned is it's not just your quality that wins games'. Eureka!What a mind blowing revelation!What an earth shattering disclosure!The players would never have guessed it,their eyes have been opened after many years of darkness. Our players, after playing at the highest level for club and country have finally unlocked the previously mysterious art of 'running your guts out'for your team. Clucking Bell,talk about stating the bleedin obvious! now see the errors of our ways.We just didn't realise that - Post No. 33856

jj  13:54pm 25th Jan 2013

As Wenger said in his press conference.We have two players for each position.He forgot to say that many of them are sub-standard.He really specialises in p***ing the fans off every time he opens his mouth.I would like him more if he was a mute. - Post No. 33858

billthered  14:01pm 25th Jan 2013

Who knows what team he will put out on saturday,all I know is we are all being sucked into this fourth place trophy business.Do you remember we used to win both premier and fa cup and sometimes in the same season,oh where have we gone wrong. - Post No. 33859

nilz21  14:35pm 25th Jan 2013

Read Wengers latest comments about limiting transfers to two in Jan for everyteam. stupid F**k needs to just shut up and do the talking on the pitch. Arrograne of this man is beyond belief. How lucky he is to get 7.5 million a year. Anyother club so called top club would have sacked him buy now. The man has hijacked our club and is trying to re-write its great history before he CAME along. Should have left with his head held high when his beloved youth plan failed with the likes of sendoros, eboue, bendtner,denilson, failing and the sale of Fabregas who the whole team was built around. Sounding more and more like a man that belongs in a straight jacket. Out of touch with the reality of modern football. - Post No. 33860

Cloggs  14:35pm 25th Jan 2013

Dear Mike, Please take into consideration that a lot of people reading your article are gooners. That picture gave me the jitters! - Post No. 33861

Alan Aylesbury Gooner  15:35pm 25th Jan 2013

Have to agree with jj and nilz 21 its embarrassing to watch him being interviewed cos you know its going to be complete rubbish he comes out with,you end up asking yourself what the f--k did he just say Don't know why I bother - Post No. 33862

maguiresbridge gooner  15:38pm 25th Jan 2013

Mike, your right about his tired old comments we know them off by heart even before he comes out with them.I think he may have finally woke up to the fact that unlike seasons ago the fourth place trophy is no longer a forgone conclusion but yet he still doesn't seem to want to do to much about it by strengthening, preferring to stick with some of the second raters we have and just scrape through.There's still a lot of us that treasure those days in the caption when we were successful,not only did we win silverware but just as important we knew we were capable of doing it.After eight years the fans are crying out for success and ogl now realises it and knows he can't get away with failure for much longer,hence the throwing of all his eggs in the CO cup basket against Bradford only for it to backfire with a bottle job.Will he do the same in the FA cup ? and risk the same thing happening ? even though koscielny is spouting the same old crap about learning from our mistakes,it makes a change from walcott although i'm sure he's been at it somewhere to.Any cup would do but does this team have it in them, as we've seen against Bradford no. At the end of the day there's only one cup ogl really craves and that's his holy grail although i think we know what chances we have of winning that. - Post No. 33863

CanadaGooner  15:48pm 25th Jan 2013

It's really difficult to visualize how we could win the FA Cup seeing that right now we are so inconsistent. Losing to any of the top 4 teams seems to be a foregone conclusion and then there's the Bradfords of this world as well. Then the mid-table teams like Swansea now see arsenal as fair game too. So, which teams can we beat these days? Every game is a nail biting episode! What a mess!! - Post No. 33864

JJB  16:14pm 25th Jan 2013

"Let me say firstly that I am clearly one of the dwindling band of supporters that treasure the days when we used to win trophies" - Erm.....sorry mate but you really arn't? We all want a trophy! Typical arrogance of the contributors on here.....you are not more "enlightened" than the rest of us fella...we all want the same thing! TROPHIES!! (and the mangager gone) - Post No. 33865

Theopants Superstar  17:02pm 25th Jan 2013

JJB: "Let me say firstly that I am clearly one of the dwindling band of supporters that treasure the days when we used to win trophies" - Erm.....sorry mate but you really arn't? We all want a trophy! Typical arrogance of the contributors on here....." Can you see the irony in you (rightly) pulling the author up for presuming the above, only to then go and make the exact same mistake by using assumptions and generalisations? - Post No. 33866

John Hawley's Boots  17:12pm 25th Jan 2013

The Duke of Kent's a Gooner.....actually, does anyone know when we had a fully bearded player? No goatees or design-or stubble, I'm talking proper Peter Withe or, at a push, Socrates......was it SuperMac? - Post No. 33867

Nick  17:37pm 25th Jan 2013

Not a comment on the subject really , but i wondered if this little verse to the tune of "viva Espania" would be better and more catchy than the current dirge we sing for Santi , its this "Oh He came to us from sunny spain a viva carzorla, he came to play here in the rain a viva carzorla , hes our own little spanish matador a viva carzorla when he wants to he will surely score a viva carzorla, carzorla por for vor carzorla por for vor!!", and instead of the droning song for Giroud how about " chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim Giroud he plays for The Arsenal hell score against you , chim chiminy chim chiminy chim chim Giroud he plays for the Arsenal thats Ollie Giroud !", just happen to think our songs were a little more inventive in the Highbury days, on a more serious note , great win Wednesday night unfortunately, OGL seems to be using it as an excuse for not bringing in much needed quality reinforcements, i just hope this, in my opinion ludicrous decision doesnt come back and bite us on the arse , anyway its the FA Cup on Saturday so COME ON YOU GUNNERS !! - Post No. 33868

Peter Wain  17:58pm 25th Jan 2013

judging by our esteemed leader's press confernece not much chance of new players in this window. Interesting to see if we buy invest in the summer or merely spend what we receive in. - Post No. 33869

ppp  18:04pm 25th Jan 2013

Mike Hennessy here's what you wrote "I see no realistic way that we’ll get past the Germans in March" How pathetic! What kind of fan are you? So when we play Munich and Wenger fields the reserves in both matches you'll write another article about what a great decision it was will you? You'll congratulate Arsene for doing the absolute right thing yes? Or maybe you'll bash out another limp wristed, mealy mouthed hate piece about what an old fool Wenger is and how he's sold you and your mates down the river or something blah blah. Support the team no matter who's in it you scared little fairy. - Post No. 33870

Dan h  18:16pm 25th Jan 2013

We really can't get too far ahead of ourselves we should have a strong enough squad to make several changes any game sadly we don't.Which Arsenal will turn up tomorrow who knows?We had 120 mins to see off Bradford with our first team we couldn't & didn't deserve to & they rightly have a final to look forward to league 2 club that took it's opportunity.OGL has no squad of quality to pick from the team virtually picks itself they know it & so do we.Brighton play some decent stuff should be a good game tomorrow.It's a chance to get to the last 16 that's all don't look beyond the next game with this team no point. - Post No. 33871

Bard  19:09pm 25th Jan 2013

I get where you are coming from Mike but in truth its an irrelevance. Wenger is winging it at the moment. He's not a stupid man he must know Arsenal are in the s**t. We have about as much chance of winning anything this season as my daughter has of playing centre forward for Arsenal. Painful though it is we need a bad season to instigate real change. At the moment he has enough wriggle room to keep the 'believers' onside. A collapse will blow that strategy out of the water. - Post No. 33873

Jumpers for Goalposts  19:19pm 25th Jan 2013

PPP - You end your comment with " " "Support the team no matter who's in it you scared little fairy." " " Why do you, and so many other Wenger supporters, feel the need to be so abusive to Gooners that don't share your love of Wenger? Being abusive rather than putting your own arguments forward smacks of desperation mate - or is it because deep down you know that you can't defend Wenger any more? - Post No. 33874

marky mark  19:53pm 25th Jan 2013

Just heard the Wenger interview that sends out the message not to expect any signings, there is no one out there who can improve our squad, IS THE MAN MAD !Remember this is the man who on match of the day stated yhat when Fulham bought Berbatov he was not aware he was for sale. Was Van Persie hawked around before we sold him, i doubt it. This means Moanchester pusued him and were allowed to buy him, why can we not do this ? I assume for those of us who refuse to go to games whilst this man is in charge noticed once again the vast number of empty seats at the Emirates. Something must be done, we are sinking and i do not like what i am seeing. - Post No. 33875

Alsace Lorraine de Totteridge  21:16pm 25th Jan 2013

I love the fact that anyone thinks that we are capable of winning anything. I would love to have the hope of winning something, but sadly we aren't good enough to win the Emirates Cup anymore, which is why there wasn't one this season. - Post No. 33876

Eddiek  22:15pm 25th Jan 2013

One of the best things that could happen to us this season is for Brighton to pull a Bradford on us tomorrow before ze Germans end our season in Munich in March. These will bring us steps closer to meaningful change at the club! Other than this, we'll keep papering over the cracks! - Post No. 33877

Old Timer  22:26pm 25th Jan 2013

I've finally realised how to tell when Arsene is bull****ting about buying players in the January transfer window. It's whenever you see his lips move. - Post No. 33878

Gunner Greg  22:54pm 25th Jan 2013

Same old nonesense from the fickle so called Arsenal supporting windbags we have aquired at this great club recently.Could you imagine if Arsenal went all out for the FA cup and finshed 5th and were knocked out of the champs league by Bayern for fielding a weakened side.The Wenger out dreamers would have a field day in their hope to ruin Arsenal. - Post No. 33879

Danny  23:26pm 25th Jan 2013

looking for for arsenal to lose to brighton another nail in Wenger's coffin - Post No. 33880

Markymark  9:56am 26th Jan 2013

Ref PPP I am sure we all support the club, but arte we not allowed to take the blinkers off, Wenger is killing our club ! - Post No. 33883

GoonerRon  10:00am 26th Jan 2013

Agree with the sentiments that we need the monkey off our back and realistically the FA Cup is our best chance to do that. Despite our relative lack of success in recent seasons, I still could never bring myself to WANT Arsenal to lose, like some on here are wishing for. No way. - Post No. 33884

Chris  10:44am 26th Jan 2013

Gooner Ron - neither could I. I don't believe 'fans' who do that sholud consider themselves proper Arsenal supporters anymore, no matter how they rationalise their betrayal. For me, they will from now forver remain on the outside - and in their hearts, I think they know it. - Post No. 33885

MarkH  12:10pm 26th Jan 2013

How can anyone who call themselves a Gooner, seriously what us to lose. Disgusting, anyone who wishes that deserve's a good slap! - Post No. 33886

nilz21  12:19pm 26th Jan 2013

I would never wish for our club to lose..no way. But something has to give..our club is dying slowly under the current regime. I think most the most hardened Wenger/Grazidis/Kroenke loyalists are beginning to realise that now - Post No. 33887

Theo Jensen  14:50pm 26th Jan 2013

I can completely understand why some fans 'want' the team to lose matches to trigger a significanct change. It makes you no less a gooner; this team HAS declined significantly and you are entitled to wish for a change. It's a bit like having an arrow in you; it will hurt if you take it out but that's what you need to start the proper treatment and in the same way those who look at things long term, not in the short term on a result-by-result basis, see that it may well have to get (even...) worse for the big steps to recovery being made. - Post No. 33888

Reggie the Gunner  14:55pm 26th Jan 2013

So called Gooners like nilz21 and the rest of the anti everything Wenger and Arsenal do is wrong epitomise the cringing windbags we have accumulated as fans in recent years.You hear them crying daily to their leader Adrian Durham on Talk Sport,most of them can't even speak English.They make me sick,go and support some other team and leave Arsenal to the real fans. - Post No. 33889

Nilz21  18:51pm 26th Jan 2013

@Reggie the Gunner Typical blind faith fans cant stand a proper debate ..so you have to resort to name calling and throwing you toys out the pram. You don't know me I should'nt even have to mention the fact that i've been a season ticket holder since 1986. Fans like you are the ones who need to get lost and leave the worrying and anger of how our club is being led and managed to the real fans...you cant argue or close your eyes n put your fingers in your ears to the plain facts. Doubt your in the pubs around match day otherwise you'll know how real fans feel. Stick to keyboard typing in your pants and leave the change that will eventually happen though protests to the real fans like the BFM and supporters trust. Arsenal was a great club before wenger / grazidis and kroenke..and it will be after they have gone. - Post No. 33890

Chris  19:37pm 26th Jan 2013

Theo - are you one of those 'fans'? - Post No. 33892

Theo Jensen  20:27pm 26th Jan 2013

Well Chris, I would like to see a change of manager but I'm somewhat divided... Mainly because it looks like the Spuds will keep stalling their new stadium's construction till they've got CL football. The point is though fans who feel that way aren't speaking intrinsically, they want the team to lose as a means to an end. It's a bit like the Chelsea players seemingly throwing some games last season, got rid of AVB and worked out quite well for them, not condoning that- just citing the same principle. - Post No. 33893

Stroud Green Road Boy  1:11am 27th Jan 2013

Arsenal have been declining for a few years now. Whatever the reasons you think that's been happening are, that's self-evident. So to support the status quo at AFC is to support that pattern of continued decline. Such people should be ashamed of themselves. They are not supporters of Arsenal at all but supporters of Arsene and his career, and should just come out and admit it. - Post No. 33895

Chris  9:27am 27th Jan 2013

Theo - I can understand that more from the Chealsea players in a way - they are professionals and behave in a professional way (or not, as in the scenario you describe). We fans don't have a contract with the club, it's a labour of love - usually a completely irrational labour of love. We can't say "We'll support you ever more - as long as we like the manager, feel the strategy of the club fits the ends we have in mind for our relationship with the club as fans and feel the players on the pitch fit the self image we have for ourselves as Arsenal fans" - it would mean nothing. If I teel my wife that I was only trying to maximise my life time reporductive success when I had sex with her friend it's not going to wash, is it, depsite the fact that in rational terms my argument would have some merit. In my opinion, those fans who would like to see the team lose because it fits with their own agenda (for a change of manager / regime) are infidels whose relationship with the club is broken. - Post No. 33896

Markymark  10:18am 27th Jan 2013

Nilz21 - agree with you there, have been at Arsenal since 1969, but any supporter who dares to make comment against the way the club is run is deemed to be a glory hunting Johnny come lately, Gunner greg and Reggie 21 please take note ! On a different note, The spuds have been catching us for several years, with a smaller squad, with a smaller wage bill, we were told we moved to enable us to compete with Manchester United, in reality we are slipping further and further behind them and other clubs have overtaken us !Its a real kick in the teeth when players now pick going to Spurd rathe than coming to0 us, ie Holtby and Vertogen, oh i forgot Wenger will only buy players better than we allready have ( sic ) - Post No. 33897

Gare Kekeke  11:16am 27th Jan 2013

Whilst I can’t say I want the team to lose...........................I can’t’ say that I support the Kronke/Gazidis/Wenger triumvirate either. Kronke doesn’t care about The Arsenal yet there are so many fans that support him and think he’s great for the club. Wake up and smell whatever hot drink y’all sip into every morning. This is a man who in Denver, sits there, says nothing and doesn't do anything. He will only attend games when the club holds important meetings during that week and even when he does attend games, he f*cks off at half-time. I’m no fan of Abramovich by any stretch of the imagination but at least he cares about Chelsea and has shown his intent of his ambitions for that club. Sheikh Mansour may have only attended one Manchester City since his family’s takeover of that club in 2008 (they couldn’t even attend the famous QPR game. Pathetic) but again at least they care and have constantly backed Mancini. Kronke is probably looking to make his profit on his shares and then p*ss off when the first really good offer arrives. And it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s to Usmanov or someone similar either. - Post No. 33901

Theo Jensen  13:06pm 27th Jan 2013

Well Chris I don't think it's quite that simple. The reason I put 'want' in inverted commas is that it still hurts those people when the team loses. Ultimately the fact that they got to that decision shows the lengths they would go to as fans to see the club they love improve. It's not like it's noble to partake in fandom as a mere serf. - Post No. 33908

Chris  15:39pm 27th Jan 2013

Well, Theo, I think it is that simple. No fan who wants, or even 'wants' (although I'm enitely not sure what that means - I'm talking about those ex-fans who have stated that they would actively like the team to lose), his club to lose has maintained a supportive relationship with his club - no matter how, as I said before, they care to rationalise it. I can understand them being critical of the club or management or team sometimes, but if support is dependent on that then in my opinion, the relationship is broken. - Post No. 33913

Theo Jensen  17:24pm 27th Jan 2013

For all true fans love of the club is indeed unconditional, but as many who want to see the team lose would argue, it would, in their view, in the long term be better for the club. So, hypothetically, if they had a choice between no trophies this season and two next season with a new manager, for example, they would take that, as opposed to what they predict would on current status be two seasons without any trophies. So that's it really, it is purely an instrumental and often reluctant position to reach, there's no fundamental shift or disregard for the club. I don't really have anything else to add to that so I'll leave it there. - Post No. 33916

Chris  17:51pm 27th Jan 2013

The problem is, Theo, that with that attidue support becomes dependent on success, or on the promise thereof. And we all know a few words for people like that, don't we? - Post No. 33918

Theo Jensen  18:21pm 27th Jan 2013

I don't think glory hunters have unconditional love for any club. - Post No. 33920

Chris  18:55pm 27th Jan 2013

Theo - I'd certainly agree with that but what we seem to differ on is whether someone who wants the team to lose because the current manager / team isn't meeting their expectation is a glory hunter. I'd argue they are, amongst other things... - Post No. 33922

Issue #269 - Out Now!

Gooner Editorial

23rd February 2018

It Is Actually Getting Worse

Online Ed: Arsenal’s largely unmotivated players defeated at home