In all, it boils down to a more than decent record against the Gunners. That is largely because Arsenal are one of the most predictable sides in world football in terms of how they will play. The rule is, if you are going to be predictable, be perfect at it so that whatever the opposition, you're play prevails. It's why Barcelona can be successful with that model of football but Arsenal can't quite. Similarly, Arjen Robben is one of the most predictable footballers in the game in terms of how he cuts in and lets fly into the top corner. So you know what he's going to do, but try stopping him!
The danger for LVG is therefore to attempt to play Arsenal at their game on Monday night. United have a very successful blue print for Arsenal games that involves playing beautiful football but denying them the joy they usually crave for in matches. I mean, the last time we met them in this competition in 2011, we still managed to win 2-0 despite fielding a starting XI that comprised 7 defenders. Even before that, back in 2009, Luis Nani still managed to look like Ronaldinho by playing keepy-upy against Arsenal in a 4-0 4th round win.
United have the psychological edge ahead of this one and the confidence of playing at the ground where we seem to click best. The first of the many tests to come in the next 6 weeks is an opportunity to build confidence ahead of the next. Goodness knows all manner of confidence in achieving the season's target could go up in smoke if we fail at the first hurdle.
The boss has described the game as an important facet of the 'rat race' for qualification for Europe and rightly so because these two sides reconvene on the penultimate weekend of the premier league season in what could yet be a straight shoot-out for a top 4 spot.
It's been a while since we were at Wembley in the FA Cup. Our last contribution there must have been Dimitar Berbatov's back pass of a penalty to Tim Howard in 2010/11 or thereabouts. Our last appearance there in all competitions was (can you believe) David Moyes winning silverware in his first game in charge (which he at the time attributed to Sir Alex, but you'd reckon he'd take it now) against Wigan Athletic. It would be great to see the lads out there again.