I truly hope that Arsene doesn't succumb to temptation to field a weakened team against Stoke City in the FA Cup at the end of January.
Although the match comes a few days before a congested run of tough fixtures against the likes of Villa, Utd, Chelsea & Liverpool in short succession, we cannot underestimate the potentially debilitating affect of a confidence draining defeat should the unthinkable occur & we lose to stoke.
We need only look back to February 2008, when we were building up a head of steam at the top of the league playing the best football (surprise, surprise), looking good in the champions league only to be drawn away against Utd, then for some reason unbeknown to myself the Arse decided to take their foot of the gas & play at half strength.
We subsequently got turned over 4-0 & the players got totally humiliated, you may remember Billy Gallas trying to Kick NANI in half - fans included myself felt totally disrespected, me more than most, being in a pub full off Utd Scum in My Arsenal Shirt all on my lonesome - & our title challenge subsequently fell apart.
Confidence in football is a fragile creature !! Takes many games to build up but only one game to destroy.
Granted we should rest a few players prior to such a gruelling run of fixtures & hopefully we can expect a few returnees from our extensive injury list to return to the squad (the likes of bendtner, walcott, rosicky & denilson to name but a few), however we cannot underestimate the importance of keeping our momentum going, prior to taking on the likes of Utd, Liverpool & Chelsea in the space of 18 days.
Not to mention the fact that the FA Cup is still a prestigious competition & would be a most welcome addition to our trophy cabinet which has been shorn of any additional silverware since the summer of 2005, which coincidently was the FA Cup?
A game if memory serves me right we didn't deserve to win during the 90 mins nor during extra time, but somehow managed to overcome Utd during the penalty shoot out, with Patrick Vieira winning the trophy with his final kick for the club, which made the victory all the more sweet !!
I mean how can you beat fortuitously overcoming your great rivals, with your team captain and club legend scoring the decisive penalty with his final kick for the club, not to mention the icing on the cake, provided by Martin Keown jumping all over the horse faced one, politely reminding him of the fact that he & his team squandered numerous opportunities to win, and had some how managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, is this not the stuff from which legends are made off !!