Tough nut!

 

Morning all.

Not one single player name on the injured list. Gabriel and Partey might lack match fitness but they’re back. Both might get minutes tonight, both might have to wait until Crystal Palace turn up at The Emirates for our next League fixture. No idea what kind of a team Mikel Arteta will select for tonight’s match but whoever he picks, have to keep up the momentum of the last three fixtures.

Newcastle Utd are where we were just a couple of weeks ago. 15th place on the table and grateful that a handful of clubs are going through worse times than us. League form goes out the window though when the FA Cup comes around. Again, Arsenal fans know that better than most as just last season, soon after Mikel Arteta arrived, our League results weren’t brilliant but our Cup ones were perfect. I wondered at the time how we’d beat Sheffield Utd away from home, let alone Man City and the Chelsea to win the big jug. We did though and it saved our season. It gave us Europa League football and with it, the opportunity to field more youngsters. Miguel Azeez being the youngest I think.

Absolutely. I love the FA Cup, in fact I don’t think I’ve ever met a football fan who doesn’t but it’s not quite the same without p fans packing the stadiums. Football in general just isn’t the same and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon. With the number of positive Covid cases in the game, I’m surprised football carries on.

But it does and Arsenal have recently woken up to the fact that in order to win football matches, they need to play better. Mikel Arteta seems to have realised that young energetic players will work harder for the team than a few of the old carthorses. Ok, ok, harsh maybe but if Mikel Arteta wants his team to play fast and free flowing football, he needs players who’ll move about and pass the ball forwards instead of backwards.

It’s great to win the last three games. The spirit, the energy around the place and the vibe is always better. I feel better myself. In this Christmas period, to win three games in a row is never easy in this league and we’ve done it, so hopefully we can pick up a much better run.

Again, absolutely right. A much needed three match winning streak was great but that run needs to continue and regardless of which competition we’re playing in.

  • Arsenal have only been eliminated at the third round stage of the FA Cup in one of the last 24 campaigns, with that coming against Nottingham Forest the last time they entered the competition as holders (2017-18).
  • Newcastle have been eliminated in 10 of their last 11 FA Cup ties against fellow Premier League opposition, with the exception being a 2-1 win against Blackburn in January 2012.

I can still remember that awful match against Notts Forest. We lost 4-2 despite having the majority of possession. Arsene Wenger had picked a much changed and very young side for that fixture, probably not expecting a strong Forest performance. Yet here we are just three years later and as Steve Bruce says to play a weakened team or one full of youth devalues this great competition for Arsenal, it’s been the youth who’ve played a big part in our mini recovery. It’s all about the balance. The right youth with the right experience and plenty of energy, pride and passion.

Arsenal are the holders of this great Cup, lets keep it that way for as long as possible.

See you in the comments, don’t forget it’s an early kick off, 5-30pm in the UK.