Arsenal defenders Ignasi Miquel and Per Mertesacker are both relishing tonight’s FA Cup tie against Leeds, but for different reasons.
The young Spaniard made his Arsenal debut in the competition last season, away at Leyton Orient, and he says the competition has special meaning for him.
Of course it has,” he told Arsenal Player. “We know it is the oldest competition and a big thing. If I could be around and play in the FA Cup it would be a big thing for me. If I can get more minutes with the first team it would mean a lot.”
While Mertesacker will make his first appearance in a competition which is well known in his home country.
“The FA Cup in Germany is very famous,” he said, “and it is very good to be part of it – it is a great feeling. Hopefully we will go through the next few rounds.”
Neither is taking the threat of Leeds for granted though, as the cup has a long history of giant killing.
“Leeds are a tough team right now so anybody that plays has to be strong”, said Miquel.
“Any game is hard for you, you just have to get out on the pitch, work hard and do everything as best as possible. It doesn’t matter what team you are playing against, if you want to win you really have to give everything.”
Sentiments echoed by his colleague, who urged his teammates to be decisive tonight, “You have to be very confident from the first moment. Confident that you are part of the Premier League and the Champions League.”
Arsenal will have Thierry Henry on the bench tonight while the manager has to decide how best to rotate his squad ahead of Saturday’s trip to Swansea.