The Independent London Newspaper

 

FA Cup a big priority for us, says Wenger

Main sports: 
Arsene Wenger

Published: 6 January, 2017
by STEVE BARNETT

ARSENE Wenger will reignite his love affair with the FA Cup this weekend, admitting that it’s a competition that “everyone dies to win”. 

Wenger (pictured) is the joint most successful manager in the tournament’s history having lifted the oldest cup competition in the world no fewer than six times. 

On Saturday Arsenal face a “tricky” third round tie away at Preston, and the Frenchmen is fully focused on securing another “special” trip to Wembley. 

“It is a big priority for us. We have shown historically that we care about it and it is a massive competition for everybody,” Wenger said.

“To win the FA Cup is always a target each year. We know as well that after a congested Christmas period that the third round is always a tricky game.

“That is why I believe it is a mental challenge for the Premier League teams to prepare well and not have a bad surprise, especially when you go to a Championship team, as it is always difficult.”

Wenger said there’s a debate every year about how special the FA Cup is, and added: “I personally have no special solution but when April and May comes and teams go to Wembley, it’s something special. 

“In January, people do not really know if they can win it or not. It’s a special occasion, a special trophy and in every single country, everybody dies to win the cup. I believe it’s still the same in England. Maybe in the past it was even more important because the European Cup wasn’t as important, but it’s a special occasion for me.” 

Meanwhile the rumour mill is tipping Hednesford Town youngster Cohen Bramall to make the move from non-league to Premier League by signing for Arsenal. 

The left-back, aged 20, will leave the Staffordshire-based Northern Premier League side for north London in a deal believed to be worth around £40,000. 

Bramall reportedly travelled to Arsenal’s London Colney training ground on Thursday with his agent, Dan Chapman, following an initial period on trial, to complete the deal. 

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