It’s not as if there are many non-Prem sides left in the FA Cup to this point, but the draws we’ve gotten thus far are starting to feel, well, a bit conspiratorial, if you ask me. The Champions League’s Group of Death. Chelsea in the league cup. Tottenham in the FA Cup’s fourth round. Bayern in the Champions League round of 16. And now Liverpool. I’ll say this, though. At least the domestic draws have kept us at home. It might have been nice to have drawn Sheffield Wednesday or Charlton, for example, but one does not have the FA Cup simply handed to them.
Here’s a look at the entire draw:
- Manchester City v Chelsea
- Sheffield United or Fulham v Nottingham Forest or Preston
- Arsenal v Liverpool
- Brighton v Hull
- Cardiff v Wigan
- Sheffield Wednesday v Charlton
- Sunderland v Southampton
- Everton v Swansea
Geographic considerations might have given us a more-favorable draw with Fulham or Charlton Athletic; then again, the same consideration might have given us Chelsea. So it goes. An already-brutal stretch of matches in February just got a touch more difficult. Over the course of twelve days, we’ll visit Anfield, host Man U, then Liverpool, and then Bayern. Again, by and large, we’ll have the advantage of playing three of these at the Emirates (although it’s our away-record that should sinpire fear in our opponents).
I don’t buy into the talk of conspiracy, although I will say, if there is one against Arsenal, it doesn’t seem to matter all that much. Aside from the league cup, after all, we’ve shown that we can and will rise no matter what dark forces seem to agitate against us. We advanced from the Champions League group stage, and Bayern have to feel as if they’ve gotten the toughest draw they could have gotten. We’re first in the Prem and doing quite well in the FA Cup so far. We came through the December crucible just fine, thankyouverymuch, and I believe we can emerge the other side of February in much the same way, if a bit worse for wear. And March. Heck and April and May. We’ve picked up each guantlet that’s been thrown down and used it to smack across the cheek those who threw it down in the first place. The FA Cup draw has simply given us another chance to do so.
The way we're going I fear no one, certainly not liverpool. We bossed them the first time around and that was when their SAS was supposedly firing on all cylinders. we can shut down their midfield again and deny Suarez any service, that's assuming he doesnt' do something to get another suspension.Good news is that Chelsea and Citeh face each other, hopefully they'll draw and play again with red-cards all around that second time so our March fixture list gets a little easier!
To play at the top you must be ready to knuckle down to every match being a tough one. You don't improve in sport by meeting the weak !
dry your eyes
Sure, the draws seem a little rigged, but Liverpool and Bayern may be wondering if they aren't rigged against them.
How are the draws conducted? I thought they pull numbered balls out of one or two bowls or the equivalent, but it appears they can see the balls all arrayed on a table (or do they mix them together?). While the first few rounds are supposedly based on a geographical method to avoid major travel costs, once the big boys enter the fray, it must change a bit. But in this instance, it appears the draw was less about choosing one of the balls than some “made for TV” ties. If I am to believe that sixteen numbered balls were used, but chosen by one person who could see the balls, it makes no sense. Somehow this is like the NBA draft when one has to wonder how certain big-market teams end up with the best player available. The only positive is, assuming Arsenal can get past Liverpool, one of the other top four will also be gone.
agreed. I thought that it was a completely unseeded and open-ended draw, but I stared in disbelief. How could all of the Prem clubs be pitted against each other? The geographic element must not have played all too large a role.The “made for tv” element is not to be ignored, but it seems a bit ham-handed to pit the four biggest clubs against each other so early. Two of the Prem's top four will be out by mid-February. Given our own recent draws in this and other competitions, something does seem a bit fishy.
In hindsight, you would expect TV to want to have the “Big 4” not play one another until, at least, the next round. This way, as they move on, a big chunk of the audience drops off and there could be fewer people when one of these teams is playing Sheffield Wednesday or Nottingham Forest (no offense to their supporters). On the other hand (if things go right) they could have a match coming up with Sheffield United playing Sheffield Wednesday, That might be better than Arsenal (think positive) or Chelsae playing one or both of those sides.
ain't no one cryin' 'round here. In fact, if you read what I had to say, you'd see that I don't care that we'll face Liverpool.
Right. TV would have wanted to keep the big clubs away from each other a bit longer. If there was some kind of manipulation going on, maybe they thought this arrangement would fire people up for the FA Cup earlier on with a lingering after-effect on the remaining rounds. As you mentioned before, it feels similar to the NBA draft when teams magically get the first pick when a hometown hero is available (Chicago, Cleveland…).