If you cast your minds back to the 5th Round of the F.A. Cup when Arsenal made the relatively short trip to Sutton United, I made the comment that it was almost the impossible game as they were obviously expected to win but if they did not then there would be blood spilled.
That was because they had just been handed a 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League Round of 16 1st Leg, well it seems as if the more things change the more they stay the same as Arsenal have just been handed another 5-1 defeat by Bayern Munich and once again they are paired with Non League opposition in the F.A. Cup.
Once again they are expected to win due to the simple fact they are four leagues higher than Danny Cowley’s side but not only will there be blood spilled if they lose Today but you get the feeling that the National League leaders will smell blood and look to cause what would arguably be the greatest cup giantkilling of all time.
Lincoln have already made easy work of Millwall, Brighton and Burnley since the 3rd Round of the competition and it is that trio of scalps that has earned them this historic trip to The Emirates this Evening. If ever there was a right time to play Arsenal then this would be it.
It’s a club which was in a relative crisis but is now in relative turmoil. A 10-2 aggregate defeat to German giants Bayern Munich was for now a vocal majority for their fans and with a game that will take place among the backdrop of protest before, during and possibly even after then this fixture will be played in a highly charged toxic atmosphere.
Back to back defeats in the past week in key games for Arsenal has seen the maelstrom surrounding Arsene Wenger pick up pace and you do wonder whether he will stay on after this season or whether the board will offer him a new contract.
Will Wenger’s stubbornness be the attribute that drags the club down further or will it be the innate quality that sees him continue his Emirates empire for a couple more seasons. Should the unthinkable happen later on Today then you get the feeling that the decision will no longer be in his hands.
Very few players came out of with even a modicum of credit after Tuesday night’s defeat with arguably Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott doing enough to earn a somewhat faint level of praise and you would imagine they have done enough to start against Lincoln.
How strong does Wenger name his side though. Surely he has to treat Lincoln with the full respect they deserve, whether that means a recall for Mesut Ozil after illness remains to be seen while and the same question has to be asked as to whether contract rebel Alexis Sanchez will be used from the start or on the bench like in their defeat to Liverpool at Anfield.
Now you would imagine that 999 times out of 1000 Arsenal would win this, but the interesting sub plot of the current goings on with Arsene Wenger just makes a very interesting sub plot. Surely it’s Arsenal to move on to Wembley but we’ve already seen some very strange things in Football this week. Home win?