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[Archived] Arsenal in the 5th Round of the Cup *PLEASE DONT ASK FOR STREAMING LINKS!*


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It’s Arsenal [away] in the 5th Round; so m1st, having time on his hands [and, these days, no Mrs m1st to ask, “What the hell are you doing now when you should be doing … ?”!], has prepared a less verbose preview than he usually does.

‘Appy said he wanted a Premier League team at home in the next Round for a good atmosphere; but, when I read that, I couldn’t help wondering whether he also wanted Premier League opponents to test out how far he’s altered the culture of the club.


Arsenal are one of the big names of English football; never been out of the top Division since the end of World War 1. They’ve won a sickening amount of trophies: 13 Football League and Premier League championships; 10 F.A. Cup wins [that total particularly rankles with someone who grew up in the days when Rovers, Aston Villa and Newcastle United shared the record for most F.A. Cup wins with 6]; and 2 League Cup wins. Unlike ours, both of those were way back in the last Century!

We’ve not met them all that often in the FA Cup; this is only the seventh time our name has come out of the hat together, although the fourth [none of them earlier than the 5th Round] since 2000. So, in some ways, it’s a throwback to the good old days to meet them in this game.

Partly because we’re not in the same Division at present and partly because players move on, some of the old enmities have faded. Speaking for myself, I always used to hate seeing the names of Denis Bergkamp, then Robin van Persie, on their team-sheet because [it felt like] each of them always used to score [and be extremely, erm, “niggly”] against us.


Well, one of the things about Arsenal these days is that everyone seems to criticise their Manager for them not doing better. And that’s despite them rarely being out of the top half-dozen in the Premier League; always doing reasonably well in both of our Cup competitions and regularly competing in the European Champions’ League knock-out stages. The snag is that, once you’ve raised expectations, people always expect you to keep fulfilling them! [Venky’s, please note!]

Having apparently made a shedload of money from demolishing Highbury [on which posh apartments have been built], their Manager apparently has a comparative fortune in his transfer budget, which, depending on which paper you read, he is either: a] reluctant to spend; or b] unable to find
players of sufficient quality to fit in with the existing squad. So, they’re good enough to be where they are in the Premier League table, but could [should?] they be higher?

From our perspective, they also have players who, in the words of old School reports, “could do better”. Not for me to use the words, “Andrei” and “Arshavin” in this context. So, our prospects could depend on what M. Wenger sees as his priorities. If the Champions’ League and the Premier League are higher on the list than the FA Cup, then some of their fringe players could feature. In which case, we could have a real opportunity to create one of those surprises which “made” Round 4 so exciting for many fans. Let’s hope so!


As always in a m1st preview, what follows is adapted from what’s on the relevant page of www.footballgroundguide.com

“The traditional pub for away supporters is the Drayton Arms, which is located
near to Arsenal tube station and Drayton Park railway station. This Courage pub
overlooks the new stadium and is only a few minutes’ walk away. However as you
would expect it can get extremely busy on matchdays, with drinkers spilling
outside onto the pavements.

”There’s also the Twelve Pins (formerly the Finsbury Park Tavern) near Finsbury Park Tube Station. ‘Normally a good mix of home and away fans and about a ten minute walk from the ground’. Additionally; ‘The Blackstock, opposite The Twelve Pins, also welcomes away
fans, plus it has a big screen showing Sky Sports’. There is also a Wetherspoons pub called the White Lion Of Mortimer, which is a five minute walk away from Finsbury Park Tube Station along Stroud Green Road.

Otherwise alcohol is available inside the stadium (Fosters, John Smith’s & Strongbow).”

Connoisseurs will doubtless see that final sentence as a recommendation to drink in one of the places mentioned earlier!


The last time we won the FA Cup [1928], we beat Arsenal in the semi-final! And, more up to date, we drew 0-0 at the Emirates in the 5th Round in 2007, before winning the Replay.


Arsenal are currently 5th in the Premier League and have picked up 10 points in their last 6 League games with three wins [two at home against West Ham (5-1) and Stoke City (1-0) to go with last Saturday’s 1-0 win at Sunderland], one draw [Liverpool] and two defeats [Manchester City
and Chelsea].

To get to this game, they’ve beaten Swansea City in a Replay at the Emirates and won at Brighton.

We, on the other hand, have shot up the Championship table with our 11 points out of the last 6 games from 3 wins [all at home to Nottingham Forest, Bristol City and Ipswich Town], 2 draws [away to Wolves, and the two points thrown away at home to Brighton] and the defeat by Charlton at


One of the unusual things about this year’s FA Cup is that there are more Championship, League 1 and non-League teams than Premier League teams than Premier League teams in the 5th Round. So you could say that the formbook has gone out of the window. Because our win at Pride Park wasn’t one of the big upsets of the 4th Round, there’s little pressure on us; everybody will be focussing on how the likes of the last Round’s surprise winners [Leeds United, Brentford, Oldham Athletic and Luton Town] go on in their games.

So, while those teams have to cope with all the publicity following their 4th Round wins, we might just have slipped under everybody’s radar. Arsenal have been unpredictable; and, if they put out less than their strongest team, they might find that they can’t cope with a resurgent Rovers. Let’s hope so, anyway; and let’s hope that it’s ‘Appy Days Are Here Again!

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Nice preview.

Important for Appleton to set us up to be difficult to score against. I am not with those saying we should rest players because it is so important we continue the good habits with a settled side. The entire squad had a rest for the first half of the season so why would they need a rest just as we are beginning to get some semblance of organisation coupled with a manager who knows what plan B is?

My instinct is Rovers have rapidly slipped away from being Premier League quality so we probably have to hope Arsenal are having a lazy afternoon and only win 2-0 without breaking sweat.

My nightmare, Arsenal are 6 up with only an hour gone.

My dream, Jordan Rhodes scores when he wants to...

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Nice preview m1st. Although the first paragraph made me feel strangely sad.

Even more sadly, I can't see much else than a 2-0 home victory. I don't thing we really want a replay, do we?

But this is the F.A. Cup, a competition where the underdog always seems to have a chance.

A sneaky 1-0 away win would be dreamland.

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Nice preview m1st. Although the first paragraph made me feel strangely sad.

Even more sadly, I can't see much else than a 2-0 home victory. I don't thing we really want a replay, do we?

But this is the F.A. Cup, a competition where the underdog always seems to have a chance.

A sneaky 1-0 away win would be dreamland.

Well you're bloody optimistic then.

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I don't thing we really want a replay, do we?

I'd like a replay. Earlier in the competition I wouldn't have minded being knocked out but it's the quarter finals next and we could potentially draw the winners of Luton v Millwall, MK Dons v Barnsley or H'field/Leicester v Wigan.

A replay would give us the best chance of going through, like in 2007. We've still got a pretty big squad after all.

Appleton clearly knows how to stifle the opposition and the two games against Brighton will give him an opportunity to assess how good we are against sides who like pass the ball around.

Obviously playing Brighton and playing Arsenal at the Emirates is very different but the principle is similar.

I'm sure they'll rest a few but their fringe players are people like Rosicky, Arshavin and Diaby. Wenger can still keep his first 11 fresh for Bayern without resorting to too many youngsters.

I'd love to win but I won't be too disheartened if we lose, even if it's a spanking. Arsenal on form are a match for any team in the world and they've spent a fair few million on assembling their squad.

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I've got tickets for this one (free, in the Arsenal end) but am in two minds after seeing us roll over and have our belly's tickled to the tune of 7-1 last season. I wouldn't be able to mentally cope with a similar scoreline, especially sitting with that fickle bunch. But we are looking hard to beat right now...dare to dream of an upset?

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As good as they can be, if Santos plays we will get chances and Jordan Rhodes normally takes those chances.

Frustrate them for as long as possible and you just never know

A battling 3-1 loss for me though

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