FA Cup Suffered From Champions League Distraction
Arsenal take on Everton in the quarter finals of the FA Cup this weekend in what represents a very real chance at silverware.
The Gunners haven`t had the easiest of passages through to the quarter finals, with the easier 4-0 win against Coventry sandwiched between two tough games against Spurs & Liverpool.
In all likelihood, if the Gunners are to win their first FA Cup in 9 years they will not only have to overcome Everton, but also Man City meaning to finish top of the pile in this year`s tournament will have been no mean feat.
Ahead of this big game Arsene Wenger has been talking extensively to Arsenal.com in this interview in which he says the FA Cup is very special to him, however admits his team has been distracted by the Champions League in the past which has cost the club dear in the cup.
"I have been lucky enough to win it four times, but unfortunately we haven`t won it for a long time now, so in fact I`m even more focused to do well in this competition. I would love the Club to win the FA Cup again. Unfortunately sometimes the scheduling clashes with the Champions League. For example last season we had Blackburn at home in the FA Cup just before playing Bayern at home in the Champions League, so it was difficult to focus the attention completely on the Blackburn game. Hopefully we have learnt from that though, and this year we won`t be distracted.".
Wenger also admitted that with the Premier League awarding CL places to the top four teams that it has taken something away from the FA Cup (Not to mention the lower end teams also resting players in cup matches in a bid to stay in the league and secure the big bucks).
"Yes, maybe it has taken something away, but I believe the FA Cup is still something special. I don`t think it needs to conflict with the Premier League - you can finish in the top four in the league and win the FA Cup. It can conflict with the Champions League programme sometimes, that`s true, but overall it`s still something special in my mind."