Arsenal boss Arteta wants FA Cup replays to be scrapped
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta believes it is time for FA Cup replays to be scrapped.
The Spaniard was speaking ahead of his side’s crunch third-round tie against Premier League leaders Liverpool at the Emirates Stadium.
Following Sunday’s match, the Gunners – who have slipped five points behind Jurgen Klopp’s side in the race for the title – are set to be out of action for 13 days.
But a draw at the Emirates would force the two sides to meet at Anfield during what would be a rare and crucial near-fortnight off for Arsenal in their challenge on both domestic and European fronts.
When asked if the Football Association should consider pulling the plug on replays, Arteta, whose side will also contest a rejigged Champions League next season if they finish in the top four, said: “I think so.
“We will see what happens because with the new format of the Champions League, there will be more games (to play) so I don’t know how we are going to fit them in.
“The (mini) break will be minimal and we have plans for both scenarios. We want to win the game and we will try to win the game, but that (cancelling replays) has to be considered.”
With just one win from their last five outings, Arsenal will head into Sunday’s mouth-watering fixture against in-form Liverpool as marginal underdogs.
In contrast to Arsenal’s drab defeat against Fulham, Liverpool fired four past Newcastle on New Year’s Day to allow them to take top spot in the league.
Arsenal’s free-scoring form of last season has dried up following just four goals in their previous five league outings – with half of those coming in a 2-0 home win against Brighton.
None of Arsenal’s frontline have managed to break into double figures for the season so far with Bukayo Saka leading the way on nine.
“What they (the forwards) did last year was exceptional and we knew that to maintain those numbers would be extremely difficult because it was a one-off,” added Arteta.
“Not just for us, a one-off in the league. We know that we need all the resources and all those kinds of goals to maintain the level that we want in the league.
“When it comes to those spaces, the timing and the definition of the action (in front of goal) that becomes trickier to coach and certainly to replicate as an action in the game.
“It’s very tricky but it’s something that we have to improve, especially in the way we have not transformed recent chances into goals.”
Published: by Radio NewsHub