How important is the FA Cup for Arsenal - even against Tottenham?

By Avenell Dave

"Sherwood, show us your tatt, Timmy Sherwood show us your tat!"

If rumours are to be believed, agent Sherwood has successfully infiltrated Tottenham Hotspur despite his family loyalty to Arsenal and his tattoo of the Arsenal cannon.

He's decided to go for the Ossie Ardiles school of management - play flowing attacking football and entertain even if you are as likely to concede as to score.

You could argue that Arsene Wenger's style is not wildly different but over the past year or so, perhaps borne out of the influence of Steve Bould, we have learnt how to shut up shop and win ugly.

And while Tottenham have struggled for goals from open play on the whole this season, keeping them at bay is imperative given their record against us in recent years - which of course includes a fair few goals scored at the Emirates.

Arsene Wenger has made no secret of his priority this season - to win the title and go as far as possible in the Champions League.

A rare occasion of going all out for the attack against Borussia Dortmund at home and that sluggish performance in Naples means that a tie against Champions Bayern Munich is going to severely test our ability in Europe.

Wenger doesn't consider the FA Cup to be much of a prize - and certainly if games build up, it can be more of a headache than a benefit.

And yet winning the trophy can be seen as a real achievement and something we should not turn our noses up at.

Wenger has, after all, won this trophy a few times and it hasn't done his reputation any harm even if he doesn't value it himself.

And to put out a weak team against our North London neighbours (they are rarely rivals!) would send out all the wrong signals to fans and even to the players for whom trophies matter.

With nine days after this game before the next Premier League game, at home to strugglers Fulham, I suspect Wenger WILL field a strong side and so he should.

If Giroud isn't fit, will my longstanding campaign to get Serge Gnabry back in the side could happen with Walcott moving centrally.

Let's worry about the fixture congestion if it comes to it. If we drop off in the title race and lose to Bayern, it may suddenly become all we have to play for.

Addict XI


Sagna Mertesacker Koscielny Monreal

Arteta Flamini Rosicky

Walcott Giroud (if fit) Cazorla