Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Wenger wary of ‘most difficult’ round of the FA Cup

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will have to be on their guard when they start their latest FA Cup defence against Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Sunday.

Martin O’Neill’s The Championship side may not look a huge threat on paper – they are currently 14th in the Championship – but after 21 years in England the boss is well versed in the difficulties of overcoming teams from the country’s second tier.

“From my personal experience in the FA Cup, and I think I have a lot, this is maybe the most difficult round,” Wenger told his pre-game press conference on Friday. 

“It’s always difficult to start well in the competition and when you play away against a Championship team – it’s always very intense and the Championship teams are ready to face you.

“For them, it’s a big challenge and you have to maintain your concentration coming out of a very loaded and congested period over Christmas. That’s never easy.”

Wenger’s seven FA Cup triumphs make him the most successful manager in the competition’s history. This particular opportunity to win silverware is one that he’s always taken seriously and he believes other clubs across Europe are similarly enthused by knockout formats.

“Yeah, I think contrary to what people think, the FA Cup becomes more and more important in every single country,” he said. “Why? Because it’s difficult to win this kind of trophy.

“You have so many teams who want always to win a trophy. It becomes more and more difficult. I think we won it in style in a period where we were questioned.”

It would almost be rude of us not to present you with an opportunity to watch our most recent triumph. So why not take five minutes out of your day and watch us beat Chelsea again. Go on…it’s Friday.

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They are mid table, no chance of going up or down, just lost their manager. I’d be very surprised if they beat us, though it is their only chance of doing anything.

Expecting a reasonably easy win.

Andy Mack

As you say, this is he one thing they have a chance to do well in, so I expect a tough game. Either we can get an early goal and the game opens up, or they run themselves into exhaustion and we clean up in the last 20.
But as this is football, who knows…

Sheffield Gooner

They’ll be thinking these exact same words about us…


I expect just the opposite. It’s going to be a very hard-fought match. Forest have a whole week off before and after the match, they’re not in a promotion fight, and they’re not in a relegation fight. They’re going to put out their absolute best XI and have a go at us. And we’re going in without Giroud, Koscielny, Monreal, Kolasinac, Ramsey, and Xhaka (all injured). We’ve got players like Bellerin, Wilshere, Sanchez, and Ozil who are getting close to the red line. The team we have to name will be closer to the Europa/Carabao Cup teams than our PL… Read more »

Ivan Drago

Winning the old cup again would be a good season from my perspective, throw in the Europa and it’s be a fantastic one


you are easiliy pleased, if we win anything it would be a bonus, that’s all, nothing else


Well…if he can’t fulfill his own lofty minimal standards of finishing 4th or better every season, then if the new standard is a minimum of FA cup and Europa (this season to qualify us for CL), what’s there not to be pleased about?

Its not the main prize but its a pretty high minimum guarantee finish to keep up. It would be the 4th FA cup in 5 seasons.

Hamburg Gooner

well, as you are only here to wind people up, this is really lame: winning anything is only a bonus, nothing else … try harder


At the start of each season there’s only four trophies we can win if it includes a European campaign, so I think winning half of them would be a fantastic achivement. They mightn’t be the big ones but in 30 years you can look back and say ‘remember those FA Cup Wins and that great European campaign in the early to mid ’10s, that was a great time!”

Mick Teece

“Martin O’Neill’s side may not look a huge threat on paper” Explain?




Blogs is Martin O’Neill the manager for forest? Not sure that’s the case….


He is according to Wikipedia but I think that’s some Forest fan having a laugh.

Sheffield Gooner

It’s Gary Brazil…. caretaker.

A Different George

Rumours that Barnsley’s manager is likely successor. As if I cared.


Not Tommy Diamond? Or Tony Mallorca?


Can never underestimate championship teams they will fight and run all day. Hopefully the chosen team will be right up for it with the fringe players hungry to impress. Would be nice to just win a game without any ref controversy.


We may as well persist with current back 3.

Keep them together let them iron out their faults.


We also have the double header coming up against the old foe Chelsea. Not sure how to prioritise the league cup. Its such a mickey mouse competition by comparison to the FA in terms of prestige. But we are in the semis and maybe we can set a goal to sweep the cups at least plus Europa to guise our lack of consistency but occasional “brilliance”. We’ve had a great pedigree as an exciting cup team. in recent years, the victory from behind over Hull/Fat Bruce, then the 4 goal demolition of Villa and last season’s win against Chelsea/Anthony Taylor.… Read more »

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