So here it is Arsenal, I don’t think so many fans have been so excited for a game in such a long time. Today, Arsenal return to Wembley for the first time since the horror show against Birmingham in the Capital One Cup a few years back. A defensive error in the closing minutes saw Arsenal plummet into disappointment, a feeling that Arsenal fans have become accustomed to far too often in the past decade. However hopefully all that changes today, with a victory and something to smile about in the FA Cup semi-final.
Wigan may be the underdogs of this game but the pressure is certainly on Arsenal who need to end what will otherwise be 9 years without a major trophy. Almost a decade ago Arsenal won the FA Cup with that famous penalty shoot out with Manchester United, this time however our opponents Wigan Athletic don’t quite boast the same stature, but will be a hard test none the less.
Arsene Wenger has given a fitness update ahead of Arsenal’s semi final clash against Wigan Atheltic. The game which is set to kick off on Saturday at the iconic Wembley Stadium, will be Arsenal’s first visit to the stadium since the disastrous day that we threw away the cup at the hands of Birmingham City. Wenger however insists that the majority of our Wembley memories are good and goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny was quick to point our the improved maturity within the Gunners. However the main focus will be the performance on the pitch rather than the talk on the sidelines and to achieve the best you have to show the best, starting with the team line up.
With all the comments that Arsenal and Poland international goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny, has been making you’d think he was either the spokesman of this team or that he was getting severely worried about the supposed threat of Iker Casillas’ transfer link to Arsenal.
But whatever the reason you cannot deny that Szczesny has been getting a mixed opinion on his words as of late, with half stating he should concentrate more on making himself a better goalkeeper than commenting on the team’s failure, whilst the other half think he is simply stating the truth. However what will you think of his new comments on the FA Cup released earlier?
This weekend, Arsenal return to FA Cup football having reached the semi-final stage, which is set to take place at Wembley on Saturday. Our opponents Wigan Athletic are a decent side, something we must give credit to, however Arsenal should still be expected to win. The only thing holding us back is our current form and I am sure that with the way that we are playing many may be feeling very similar how German youngster Serge Gnabry is feeling at the moment. However although he recognises the game will be tough, there is determination amongst the Arsenal players to get the job done.
In what was another largely disappointing result in a series of poor days for the Gunners, one positive came out of the Everton game. Arsenal endured yet another defeat in the league which has means that we are now completely out of the running for the Premier League title, but a fourth place finish is also growing in doubt. Fellow challengers Everton managed to beat us 3-0 with an outstanding performance that exploited the Gunners away at Goodison Park and it means that Everton are now just one point behind the Gunners in fourth place, but Everton do have a game in hand.
According to Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger, a game against Wigan is apparently just what the Gunners need in their recent poor run of form that has taken the club from bad to worse. Arsenal may have managed a 1-1 draw against potential League champions Manchester City in late March, but that does not take away the memories from the horrible 6-0 defeat to Chelsea and more recently a 3-0 disaster away to four place rivals Everton.
The first fixture between the Arsenal and Everton was a close fought draw with two goals coming in the last 10 minutes. That day Mesut Ozil opened the scoring, and he did the exact same a few months later with the 4-1 win in the FA Cup. Arteta and another two Giroud goals secured victory for Arsenal that day and the Gunners will be hoping to keep their unbeaten string of games against Everton going with a win at Goodison Park.
There is one interesting subtext to Arsene Wenger’s latest pronouncement on the reasons behind Arsenal’s poor record with players recovering from injuries. Gooners have long been aware that if Wenger says that an injured player will be out for a fortnight, then we may not see him for two months, etc. Either the Frenchman is not very good at forecasting, or the medical team is not doing their job properly.
After a thorough investigation by the club, they have suggested that players may be taking legal drugs in their private lives that may be affecting their form, with The Express claiming he is talking about “slimming aids, hair restorers or sex pills.”
Schalke general manager Horst Heldt has insisted he is confident Julian Draxler will stay with Schalke despite Arsenal being linked with a summer move for the Germany international. The 20-year old has been linked with a number of European clubs since impressing in the Schalke side, with Arsenal and Bayern Munich both well backed by Betfair fans of holding an interest in the midfielder.