Arsenal News Blog

fact and opinion intertwined

‘Perhaps I should have sacrificed the FA Cup’ – WHAT?!

Posted by James Dall on 29, March 2007

Good Morning, well the international break is over… thank goodness. Andorra are officially the worst team I have ever seen in professional football. The first half performance from England was dull, slow and uninspired. The second half was better but still, Andorra were dreadful. Not that I am being ignorant, I know they are a small country and have not been playing football for long etc but what is the point of them even being in the competition. Their tactics were as follows – wind our players up, verbally and physically and then on the rare occasion they gained possession they hoofed it forward. Shocking.

Moving on then as I have a few Arsenal stories to cover.

Wenger has responded to speculation from Italy about Gilberto being linked with Juve –

Gilberto is under contract, we have had no offer so the subject is closed.

I think it is pretty clear Gilberto will be staying, however I am sure Gilberto realises that his first team position is not guaranteed next season especially with Diaby growing from game to game.

Reyes has spoken

If I do not end up staying then I will try to look for a solution and if I can stay then that would be much better. It would not be a disaster if I do not though.

Surely he does not mean he would be happy to return to England? I am pretty positive if Real do not want him he will still move to a another La Liga club. He spoke further saying –

I wanted to play here and now I have.

Interesting. Is that enough for him? He just wanted to be able to say he had played for Madrid? Therefore now if they do not take him on, at least he can say he played for them? A terrible attitude.

Arsene talks about our cup competitions here. He makes some pretty odd comments to be honest. He has blamed our European exit on himself really, saying that he should have ‘sacrificed’ the FA Cup. Not quite sure what he means by that? Play weaker players? I am a bit confused to be honest. He chatted about his future plans for cup competitions –

In the future I will not play senior players in the Carling Cup. But I will not say the same for the FA Cup. I think in future our priority should be to qualify from the Champions League group – then take it from there.

Intriguing once again. So he will stick to his guns with regards to the young policy in the League Cup – fair enough, I agree with that. Then I guess he will play a blend in the FA Cup and then the strongest he can in Europe. I will be very interested as to see the approach he takes next year. Anyone else have any ideas what he means by saying ‘Perhaps I should have sacrificed it.’

The FA continue their march in an attempt to be as annoying as possible. We were fined £100,000 for the whole Chelsea ruckus.

There is an interview with Fabregas here, which is certainly worth aread if you have time. He talks about his involvement in the Spanish team and how he feels he needs a god rest this summer. And then finally Justin Hoyte talks about his delight at playing at the new Wembley.

In my dream last night we were losing 2-0 against Liverpool, don’t you just hate dreams like that. I hope reality is kinder to us on Sunday. Speak to you tomorrow.


26 Responses to “‘Perhaps I should have sacrificed the FA Cup’ – WHAT?!”

  1. Steve said

    What he means is that he should not have tried to win it. Look at Liverpool. Knocked out of cups, they had a 10 day rest before Barca. They did go and try and kill each other but at the end of the day they rested and won.

  2. I can kind of see what you are saying but how would the manager go about not trying to win it?

  3. The Saint said

    Totally agree with Wenger; we should prioritise our competitions from the start and the way to “sacrifice” cups is to play only your reserves for the Carling and F.A. Cups and the seniors a.k.a. first-teamers for the Prem and Champions’ League games. Even if we reach the final of the Carling and F.A. Cups, we should still stick with the reserves and keep to our priorities. After the shabby way we have been treated by the F.A. over refs etc, who gives a toss what they think or say about respecting/disrespecting the competition? Just do it!

  4. Danny said

    More stupidity from Wenger, nearly everything his had said this season has been nonsense. Wenger isn’t tactically astute enough to win the Champions League, he only got to the final last year because he was forced into a 4-5-1 system which he has now dropped.

    We will never win the Champions League under Wenger so the FA Cup is an important competition. It’s just excuse after excuse at the moment. Arsenal needs a bigger, better, more competitive squad, and most of our problems have stemmed from players fighting on the pitch – what’s that got to do with injuries?

    Arsenal would have been through against PSV if it were not for lack of confidence and woeful finishing – we had the players.

    Next season is big for Wenger, the guy’s a genius, but you don’t always need a genius to bring the best out of your players. He seems to have a problem motivating them and tactics are often terrible.

  5. Danny said

    Imagine how many more games we could have won if the team could simply defend and attack set pieces properly? If Wenger is incapable of doing that, which he clearly is, then he needs help on the training ground. If he’s too stubborn to get help then he’s not doing his job properly.

  6. Leebo said

    I agree that these comments are nonsense. He said perhaps we shoul dhave sacrificed the Blackburn replay, and if we agree that this means playing a weaker team, thats exactly what happened because of injuries and suspensions the team almost picked itself. The problem was not fixture congestion, it was a loack of confidence, determination and clincal football in all the important games as well as a lenghty injury list and those stupid suspensions from the Chelsea game. We need to sort out our mentality its all that is holding us back.

  7. ac said

    if there had have been any pace and drive v blackburn in first place when they were there for the taking there would be no replay they were missing mc carthy,pedersen,tugay and a host of others and had been in germany in eufa cup a few days before so its his own fault if his team cant get themselves up and win first game thus avoid replays

  8. Steve said

    Its funny, when people bash Arsene for not concentrating on crosses and set pieces, they only do it when we dont win. When we win, and pass it into the net, like Reading away, no one mentions anything. You cant have it both ways, we cant play the football we do without practice, so other aspects get ignored. And please dont say they should remain after training to practice, Arsene’s vast knowledge on sports science dictates the amount of running/playing the players can do and extra training is unproductive. Henry gave an interview saying ARsene doesnt want him to practice free kicks too much because you risk a tigh strain (eg Gallas).

  9. Bill said

    Wenger’s right about the FA Cup.

    I love it but unless we get favourable draw after favourable draw – like Chelsea – we have to accept that we’re just not good enough to challenge on three fronts.

  10. Danny said

    I don’t believe this rubbish about Arsene Wenger and his “sports science”, absolute drivel. Arsenal players always look tired and seem to get injured frequently, plus they always look more jaded than the other team. And I also think a lot of the players are simply lazy and can’t be bothered to run from box to box like other teams do.

    The whole psychology is wrong ans often the tactics are wrong. When someone puts a cross is in why is there only ever 1 or 2 players in the box? Is this tactical or because nobody can be bothered to take a chance, or both perhaps. It really stinks. Tactics have been awful this season in many ways.

    It’s completely unprofessional to say that we don’t need to defend or attack set pieces properly because when we play great football we will win. A team needs to be as good as it can at every aspect – that’s what you call professionalism.

  11. shooy said

    Wenger out! Danny for next Arsenal manager.

    Danny knows……

    …or does he?

  12. Scooch said

    It really amazes me when people say that Wenger “isn’t tactically astute”!!! Was he tactically astute when we’ve done the double? Or maybe in our unbeaten season??? Tactics isn’t surely something you can “un-learn”.

    Yes he’s made a couple of strange decisions in the last few months, but he is the boss and knows the team better than anyone (tho some people may find that hard to believe. I agree we should’ve played a weakened team in the FA cup, as the fixtures that we had running upto the PSV game meant we were seriously jaded.

  13. BG said

    If he really wants to sacrife cup games, then please notify us travelling fans so that no one bothers going to a game that Arsenal want to lose….
    Thank you!!
    Wenger has been on a pedestal for far too long and mark my words he ain’t gonna win us any more trophies!

  14. BG said

    Oh and to those hailing AW for winning us the league 3 times well he would not have won it in 1998 and 2000 if it were not for the boring borind defensive legacy from GG! He has been incapable of putting ouut a team with decent defensive abilities ever since!

  15. I wonder why folks keeps on bashing the Ars..

  16. Scooch said


    For one thing, good point about the travelling fans.

    But…. AW on a pedestal??? Of course he is, you fool. He’s changed our club around completely, given us a new stadium and made us one of the best liked and most watched teams in the Premiership!!!

    And as for your comment about his inability to put out a good defensive team, I point you, again, to our unbeaten season!!! You fool!!!!

  17. BG said


    Beeing unbeaten is a once in a century kind of thing! Alternatively you could finish mid table and beeing unbeaten just by drawing most of your games! As such beeing unbeaten his no proof of a good defensive record!

    Apart from some performances last season I have not seen any sound defensive displays by Arsenal (I travel to about 40 games a season by the way)

    Wenger has admitedly transformed our club and I am sorry but I do not like what it has become!
    I do not care if we are the most like club I would rather be the most hated if that means beeing the best all the time…. I said AW was on a pedestal because noone can criticise him without beeing attacked by other fans but don’t you worry I am not the only one thinking his time with us is up! I’d still keep him at the club though as a director of football or something but we need someone who knows what tactics are and on that level AW is nowhere good enough! Alternatively get a good right hand man who knows a thing or two about tactics and tactical substitutions!

  18. Scooch said

    You’re right about a team going unbeaten by drawing all their games, but that hasn’t happened and it didn’t happen to us. My point is that if our defense was so bad in our unbeaten season then we wouldn’t have remained unbeaten.

    To say that you don’t like what the club has become is a little strange. Would you rather go back to the days of George Graham’s mediocrity? Or are you talking about the way the club’s run? If that’s the case then look at Chel$ki, Man USA and the Scousers (amonst others, but I’m comparing top 4), I much prefer the way our club is compared to those. Football has changed in the last 10 years. I think as a club we’ve managed to mantain our values pretty well

    Ps. I take back the fool comment as you’re obviously not!

  19. BG said

    No I am just passionate about Arsenal but to me football is about winning tophies not watching your players get a world record 200 passes move to score a beautifull goal, that is a bonus not the goal of the sport! And lately Wenger’s comments are against everything I consider football to be! Beeing popular to other fans is the least of my concern!

    As for us beeing English run, I hope it stays like that forever (even though I am not English myself I come from a small country not far away famous for its beers and chocolates) but I cannot see it staying like that for long some day soon some greedy people from another part of the world that hasn’t got a clue about what a football club is will take control to pocket the profit…

    PS take your old videos of the GG era and you will see that we played some good football in 1990-1991 it all went rather pear shaped after that!
    Whilst I can recall some very boring and drab performances by AW’s men over the past 10 years!

    Anyway Wenger will stay and nothing will change and we will have another trophyless season next season in my opinion 😦

  20. Flint McCullough said

    I suppose it is what makes the world go around really.

    Our manager who has won 2 doubles, produced a side that won the league unbeaten,which is absolutely unparalleled,, 2 more FA cups, qualified us for 9 consecutive CL competitions, got us to CL final + a Uefa final, never out of the top 4 after 1997, had to replace ageing legends, played scintillating football, whilst doing it, is producing the finest young squad ever seen at our club – and yet HE KNOWS FUCK ALL ABOUT TACTICS ??

    Oh how we have suffered just knowing so much more could have been done by someone else!!

    Maybe I am just too easy to please.

  21. BG said

    He always plays the same way that is not beeing a great tactician! A great tactician adapt his side to the oposition when does AW does that at all!! Don’t get everything mixed up you can win things playing your way all the time if you are better than the opposition but now we have fallen behind the difference can be caught up by tactics and there mr Wenger is not great at all. He has his vision of what football should be and try to stick to it but he is ioncapable of change and that is wrong! I never said he was not a great manager, please read what is written!

  22. Flint McCullough said

    I am reading what you have written but I am afraid you make hardly any sense. You cannot achieve what he has and what he will continue to do by being tactically naive.

    Perhaps it wasn’t true that we beat Juventus,the runaway leaders of Serie A & their most tactically astute manager Mr Capello, & Real Madrid,with all their super stars.

    We never beat Blackburn Rover with 10 men because of the tactical surprise that Arsene threw on Mr Hughes.

    Yes Arsene Wenger is dedicated to producing attractive teams that are capable of winning competitions. Surely that is to be applauded. Any half decent manager can organise a defensive side. It takes more than that to do what Arsene Wenger and, although I hate to admit it, Alex Ferguson have done.

    Look at internation football – bores you to tears because there is just tactical organisation but no intelligence or excitment.

    No manager is capable of the non stop success you seem to demand. Teams have to be changed- look at Man U over the last 3 seasons.

    Perhaps you are sinking too many of your delightful beers to appreciate what you are witnessing.

  23. tyduffy said

    The resolution to the whole Reyes thing will be very interesting. My impression is that he has been a disappointment for Real Madrid and that they don’t want him back. It will also be a tricky situation about whether or not Arsene wants to keep Baptista.

  24. Denis S said

    Congrats on your win against Andorra, you had me worried in the first half, thank goodness for liverpool…

    The booing was spectacular, I have never seen someone being hated so much in football in a long time.

    There is actual footage of the booing on my site.
    go all the way down…it the first video you see on the left side…

    The booing starts up silent, but then it suddenly gets really loud. Its really strange….check it out.

  25. […] ‘Perhaps I should have sacrificed the FA Cup’ – WHAT?! […]

  26. Danish Gooner said

    Wenger comes across as a manager that have totally lost it.Sacrificing the FA cup,get real mate.We the fans actually likes the cup and seeing that it is the first final at the “new Wembley ” nothing shall be sacrificed.If he thinks that we would have played better against Psv by sacrificing the fa cup I think his job as a manager of Arsenal football Club should be up.

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