They may realistically be in contention for one and only one trophy, but a treble still stays within their reach – at least until their visit to the Camp Nou where anything other than a defeat would be a massive shock – as Hull City were ruthlessly brushed away in the archetypal Arsenal style, which, of course, had the veriest of certainties attached to it (in an ideal world).
After all, the Gunners are known to be one of the best “bullies” of all time.
The bullying job is not over, however, as Arsenal prepare for a third FA Cup Quarter Final in a row with the outcome already known (one may have to think so), even if you don’t vaticinate.
Watford, in all probabilities should be an easy target to run over and book their tickets to Wembley, but then again, it’s Arsenal and you never know what are they up to till the time the game kicks off.
Arsenal’s home form has been somewhat tricky throughout the season. To begin with, they lost 2-0 to West Ham United on the opening day of the season at The Emirates Stadium and their struggles have since continued.
No wins in their last three home games (one draw, two defeats) goes on to show just that.
Maybe it’s the increasing pressure on the players’ shoulders and the ever shrill moans from among the Arsenal-faithful at The Emirates that are starting to affect the Gunners’ performances at home, a place where they are supposed to be free-flowing on their carpet-like pitch, and dominant as well.
Watford will no doubt be intent on springing a surprise against a vulnerable, fragile and a worried Arsenal team in their own backyard.
They do possess the ingredients to do the same as well, with Troy Deeney and Odion Ighalo – both reported Arsenal targets – capable of getting through any defence in the league as they’ve recently shown.
The key for Wenger’s side, hence, would be to not do anything silly – that’s what any team banks upon, especially an underdog, when coming up against Arsenal.
Again, it’s a bit of a cliche, but Arsenal can’t afford missing one chance after the other.
The performance against Hull City was the perfect demonstration of how to make the most of your chances, and the current holders should aim to repeat that performance. They don’t surely want another replay or, well, a defeat in the tournament offering them their best chance of a trophy.