Arsenal

Arsenal’s exit from the FA Cup: The positives still outweigh the negatives

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The uncertainty hovering around Arsene Wenger tenure at Arsenal went to unprecedented levels after the shocking defeat to League two side Nottingham forest in the FA cup.  Losing a match to a lower side ostensibly led to an avalanche of calls for Wenger’s dismissal as head coach.

This debate over recent seasons has proved wearisome to say the least, therefore it is important not to go overboard with the defeat and take things into perspectives. Thus, here are reasons why fans should remain optimistic despite the club’s crashing out from the competition.

Squad depth

The decision to field a starting XI largely comprising of fringe players was criticised and regarded as a lack of respect towards the World oldest club competition. Although the reasons for Arsenal’s FA Cup exit at the hands of a side a league lower is unjustifiable, but the gruelling festive fixtures which Wenger’s men have had to contend with makes one want to empathise with them though.

The game against Nottingham Forest was barely a week after intense games against Westbrom and Chelsea. Hence, it is perfectly understandable Wenger saw the need to give the majority of his starting XI some much needed rest, and he felt a cup tie against a lower opposition would give him the opportunity to do that, irrespective of the outcome.

It is important to note that Arsenal’s squad is not as large as their Manchester rivals; neither do they have the financial outlay to keep up with them. They have also had to contend with a series of injuries that has exposed the limitations in the squad and has forced Wenger to put square pegs in round holes in games.

With many games coming up, the need for rotation has never been greater; it is a major part of the game and in Wenger’s case is justifiable due to the lack of squad depth at his disposal. This decision to rotate might not augur well with the fan base but as they look to compete on the forefront, it would prove beneficial in the long run.

Arsenal’s promising youngsters

Arsenal have a crop of promising players coming up the ranks. The likes of Edward Nketiah, Reiss Nelson, Gedion Zelalem and Joseph Willock have occasionally broken into the first team this season. Traditionally, Wenger has used this competition over the years to bloody the youngsters and give them ample game time.

The intense pressure for success in the Premier league and the Champions league means the cup competitions are the only viable option for the development of the youngsters. It is without doubt that their game will be plagued with inconsistencies (the game against Nottingham forest proves that) due to their age, but their potentials are evident, hence the need for them to acquire the experience of playing in the top flight as opposed mere training with the first team.

Midfielder-cum- left back Ainsley Cory Maitland-Niles is a regular in the first team and many more youngsters are been tipped to feature frequently as the season marches on. It’s clear that the future seems bright at the club.

Hence the positives outweigh the negatives and the doom and gloom surrounding the club should be replaced with optimism at what the club could still achieve at the end of the season and in future.

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