Date:Saturday January 2 2010
The third round of the FA Cup has always been something I've loved ever since I was a little boy. It's the chance of seeing a non-league team knocking out a top flight opponent that makes it so exciting.
When we played football in the park as youngsters, it was never the winning goal in the European cup final or the World cup final we were scoring, it was always a last minute winner at Wembley, the FA Cup was simply the trophy that every football fan wanted their team to win.
Things are a little different these days, so much emphasis has been put on the fabled top four and the massive pot of gold that comes with it, that a bit of gloss has been removed from the world's oldest club knockout competition.
It is however, something I still hold dear.
It's no secret that at Arsenal we have an horrendous injury record, and it has been that way for quite sometime. So it comes as no surprise at all that Arsene Wenger is looking to rest some of his players as we attempt to tackle West Ham at Upton Park tomorrow.
We've recently lost our two first choice left backs, our star striker and one of the best central midfielders we've ever had. And there's a few others besides. So with massive league games coming up in the forms of Bolton and Everton, it makes perfect sense for Wenger to take care of his league position doesn't it? Especially after our miraculous turn around after getting stuffed by Chelsea at the Grove.
Wenger will probably be on the receiving end of fair bit of stick for changing the team for the FA Cup, but the reality is that there are only a handful of mangers in the history of the game who have been even remotely as successful as Wenger has been in the FA Cup.
But the Manager was brutally honest when he said that despite his desire to win the trophy once again, the league is his top priority.
"We want to win, but we want to protect our home games against Bolton and Everton as well," said the Arsenal gaffer.
"Bolton becomes a very important game for us, but we want to keep our momentum going. I will change some players that`s for sure. The Premier League is always more important. The FA Cup is important to me as well, but the Premier League is so hard that you want to take care of your position."
So whilst the little boy in me wants us to go balls out to get through to the next round, I fully understand the need to rest players, and believe that Arsene will put out a side he believes can take us through.
Date:Saturday January 2 2010
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