It is no longer news that the two leading Premiership teams have to slug it out in the 5th round of the FA cup competition. Despite the bravado of the pompous “overachiever” up north, there is no doubt they would have preferred the Chelsea’s draw. I cannot express enough how disappointed I am with ours, but unless the team is only “appearing” in the competition and has no chance or intention of winning it, I guess all the competing teams must be beaten to achieve glory.
The draw is further compounded by the fact that both teams have crucial champions’ league matches few days later. The speculations by gooners is that Le Boss is going to prioritize and decide which one to sacrifice of the two competitions. The standard sacrificial lamb will be the FA cup. While this sounds pragmatic on paper, it is not a very good idea, psychologically. Assuming we present a weak team and get knocked out of the FA cup, how high would the morale of the team be when we face Milan in 4 days? Assuming again that we beat Milan at the Emirates after sacrificing the FA cup, what is the guarantee that the result will not be overturned in the return leg?
I have no doubt that these two games are going to be massive for us but I am not in support of “over cautiousness”. Right now our motto should be “When we get to the bridge, we shall cross it”. Sacrificing the FA cup makes no sense espescially as both Arsenal and Manchester United are in exactly the same spot. Well, except they have a weaker CL opponent but while we are home, they are playing away. Are we scared of the Man United or what?
Presenting our best at old Trafford is the best strategy. A victory on the grounds of our biggest rival for the premiership title would be a priceless psychological boost against Milan 4 days later even if we present a weaker team then. Besides while the FA cup is a single round knockout (unless there’s a draw), there is room to make amends in CL. It only makes sense that more is put on the line where chance of redemption is more remote.
Let’s put our best forward at the old Trafford, when we get to the Milan bridge, at the Emirates, we shall cross it.