Arsene Wenger says he’s taking Coventry seriously ahead of tomorrow night’s FA Cup tie, aware that the Gunners crashed out of the competition last year to Blackburn in the same round.
The Sky Blues are, as a League One side, a division below where last year’s conquerers were, but the boss says that league positions are no guarantee of a successful outcome.
Speaking to the press today, he said, “If you have two or three divisions difference in basketball, rugby, volleyball or handball, you cannot do it, but in football you can, and that makes it so unpredictable.”
And on last year’s FA Cup defeat, he was keen to take the lessons from it.
“Last year was a big disappointment,” he said. “It was the first time in 16 years that we lost against lower league opposition in the FA Cup. It was a great warning and at the moment it’s just our next game and we want to win it.
“We have to prepare, because we are on a good run. We are still in a moment of our lifetime, this team, where we want to gain respect, and through our attitude that is the best way to gain respect.”
The last time the clubs met was in the Capital One Cup last season, when Olivier Giroud got off the mark for the Gunners, and Arsenal ran out 6-1 winners.
Meanwhile, RedAction have called on Arsenal fans to support the visiting fans as they protest at the situation their club finds itself in.
Playing home games in Northampton, 35 miles away, to crowds of less than 2000 because the hedge fund that bought Coventry City is in dispute with the local council.
It’s an ugly situation and one that does transcend the inter-club rivalries (although there’s no way we’d do this for Sp*rs or anything). For more info, check out the RedAction website, and see this Guardian link which outlines the mess they’re in.