Date:Tuesday January 27 2009
Usually I don't bother reading newspapers or their affiliated websites, their content is dire at best, full of blind speculation and sensationalist bullshit, indeed 99% of the time it's water off a ducks back, but whilst casting an eye over Newsnow this morning, frantically clicking 'refresh' awaiting the latest Arshavin news, my eye was drawn to an article from the Mirror website.
The article was written by a Mirror 'columnist' Dan Silver, and was titled 'The real reason why Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has suddenly fallen in love with the FA Cup', and after reading it I felt the need to step up and defend our glorious history in the world's oldest domestic cup knockout competition.
In his 'article' (And I use that word in the loosest possible terms) Silver portrayed Wenger as a manager not interested in the FA Cup in the slightest, describing him as 'a man who has, traditionally, approached the FA Cup with as much enthusiasm as his fellow countrymen have vegetarianism. Or International conflicts'
In his article, Silver's opinion was, 'Did my ears deceive me this weekend, or did Arsene Wenger actually extol the virtues of the FA Cup?
Rather then launching into a trademarked tirade against fixture congestion and the like, the Arsenal boss actually paid the competition a compliment. Sort of.
Speaking of his side`s upcoming replay with Cardiff, Wenger said (through only mildly gritted teeth): "We could do without it, 100%, but let's not complain because we play football.
"It's one more game to play and if that's the price we have to pay to stay in the hat, we're happy to do it."
An admission all the more remarkable given that this is a man who has, traditionally, approached the FA Cup with as much enthusiasm as his fellow countrymen have vegetarianism.
Or international conflicts.
Could this sudden, drastic change of heart have anything to do with the fact that the FA Cup is the one piece of silverware Arsenal have any chance whatsoever of winning this season?'
A rather nasty habit in football journalism today is that of failing to research the subject matter before committing pen to paper and publishing the mad ramblings of an obviously biased football fan (In this case a West Ham supporter).
So let's have a quick recap of Arsene Wenger's Arsenal career in order to disprove Mr Silver's theory and expose it for the ill-informed, poorly researched and biased piece that he published today.
Arsene Wenger arrived at Arsenal a little over 12 years ago, in that time he and his teams have featured in 65 FA Cup ties at an average of 5.4 FA Cup games per season (Enough to get you to a semi final every year should you feature in one game per round), out of those 65 games the Gunners have emerged victorious in a mighty impressive 45 games, drawing 12 and losing in 8 games.
That's almost a 70% win ratio in the competition spread over 12 years, with a 33% tournament success ratio.
In his time Wenger has reached 7 semi-finals, 5 finals, winning the cup itself on 4 occasions. Statistics that any manager in the history of the entire competition would have problems competing with, indeed, Wenger's long term nemesis, Sir Alex Ferguson is probably the only man with the credentials.
So Mr Silver, still think Wenger doesn't take the FA Cup seriously?
Date:Tuesday January 27 2009
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