Arsenal are finally back at Wembley, not at a final, but are achingly close to one.
The semi-final beckons for the Gunners. Arsenal could face: Sheffield United, Hull, Sunderland, or the winner between the final from last year's rematch, Manchester City or Wigan. Either team, (mainly the Premier League ones and Wigan) are tough teams to face for Arsenal.
I'm very sure Arsene Wenger will be hoping that Ian Wright and Shaun Wright-Phillips can potentially give them a kinder draw than the ones they've had previously had this season.
The focus for Arsenal has shifted to Bavaria and the German giants led by Guardiola. They face a 2-0 deficit and neutrals will be expecting a valiant performance from Arsenal and an epic duel between the best team in Europe, and the best team in... North London (and one of the best in Europe)?
However, one thing that irks me is the idea that if Arsenal face another glorious failure like the last two seasons, that this team of supposed winners could take negatives from this match mid-week. I personally wouldn't want this to impact the title chase, or the FA Cup hunt. Arsene admitted to the Mirror: "Yes, we want to win and we are in a position where we can do it."
He has also admitted how vital it is after a nine-year drought without the FA Cup, or even a trophy... This year the FA Cup is more important and more drastic than ever to win. I doubt fans will be happy if the Gunners end the season trophy-less, fourth place, injury-plagued and a season where everyone spurts out the 'what-ifs'.
This is a season where Arsenal have to win the FA Cup, especially if Manchester City are to be surprisingly knocked out by last years winners Wigan. Which means Arsenal's main threats would be Sunderland and Wigan.
Now, this seems like a cup Arsenal can realistically win, Arsenal must obviously prioritise each game as a 'must-win', but even more so just to get the players hands on a trophy.
It would definitely prepare them for next season. So the team full of players who've come close, and haven't touched a trophy in years or yet, can fight to get that thrill of a Premier League trophy. Players like Sagna, Fabianski, Bendtner, who haven't yet signed a contract will want to leave on a good note too, so this is a great platform.
Veterans like Tomas Rosicky who's nearing 34 towards the end of this calendar year, and Mathieu Flamini, who was in that FA Cup squad of 2004/05, will be wanting to win this sooner rather than later, especially the Czech Republican, who will undoubtedly be thinking about retirement soon, so he can fly off to Barbados and drink Martinis and be dubbed a less intense version of 'Super Tom'.
So, whatever the result may be come midweek, knocking out Bayern Munich, or exiting the competition... The Arsenal, must make the FA Cup a 'must-win'.
Isn't that a thought, Arsene?
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