11th April, 2014
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes there is a special appeal about the FA Cup because the majority of teams have a realistic chance of winning it.
While the priority for top flight clubs is down to strong performances in the Premier League, Wenger concedes only a few teams can claim the top prize in English football.
Wenger last enjoyed success in the FA Cup in 2005 when Arsenal beat Manchester United on penalties at the Millennium Stadium, the club’s last piece of silverware.
But Arsenal are favourites to lift this season’s FA Cup and are expected to see off current holders Wigan in Saturday’s semi-final at Wembley.
The winners of the tie will play Hull City or League One Sheffield United in the final next month, and Wenger reckons that scenario is part of the tournament’s attraction.
“If you are in the FA Cup everyone can dream of winning it at the start of the season, while the championship – only seven clubs can dream of winning it,” Wenger said.
“Last year Wigan won the FA Cup, this year you have Sheffield United in the semi-final and that kind of dream, open to everybody, makes the competition special.
“In the championship you can talk and talk, but we know the biggest budget will win it; that open dream is what makes this competition special in football.
“In basketball if you play against a team from Division Two, there is absolutely no chance unless you give them 30 points; only our sport can create that excitement because it is uncertain.”