Arsene Wenger says there is no chance of Arsenal not taking the FA Cup seriously despite their Premier League title challenge.
Arsenal are top of the Premier League and also in the last 16 of the Champions League, but Wenger made only five changes to his side for Saturday’s FA Cup third-round win over Sunderland as the Gunners look to lift the trophy for a third successive year.
“You can not say ‘we are a big club’ and not go for competitions,” Wenger said.
“That is for me impossible. I’ve seen here Bayern go for the cup every year, Barcelona or Real Madrid go for the cup every year. Why? Because they are big clubs. You can’t say ‘we move out of a cup competition, a national cup’.”
With an ongoing title tilt and a Champions League clash with Barcelona on the horizon, Wenger feels keeping the momentum in one competition can help in the others – even if it leads to tired legs.
“It has positive impact and negative impact,” he added.
“Once you’re on a roll, you can rotate, if you have no injuries. Everybody is mentally focused to pull in the same direction.
“It’s easier to keep everybody on board because you have always the next competition, and everybody thinks I have a chance to play. That is the positive and negative is he fatigue factor, the injuries at the end of the season.”
Arsenal go to Liverpool in the Premier League on Wednesday, with Wenger expecting to face a much stronger side than that which drew 2-2 at Exeter in the FA Cup third round on Friday night.
When asked if he expected some of Liverpool’s biggest names to return, Wenger replied: “Yes, don’t worry, Arsene is a very good doctor – they always heal when they play against us!
“The team who played on Friday night is not the team who will play against us. They had many injures and I think they didn’t want more injuries before an important week.”