Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger said that he wouldn’t be surprised by Middlesbrough in the FA Cup game.
Arsene, in his pre-match press conference, said it Bor wouldn’t be a surprise after they knocked out big boys Manchester City at the Etihad. At the same time, he also said it was a good opportunity for Arsenal to reach the quarterfinal
“It’s a big challenge but a big opportunity as well,” Arsene said. “If we qualify we are in the quarter-final and that’s of course a big excitement for us to focus. We have the luck of the draw to play at the Emirates, so let’s take this opportunity.
“We won’t be surprised by them. At least we will not have the excuse to be surprised because they beat Manchester City in a convincing way. That is a good warning for us.
“We are at home, we have a possibility to go to the quarter-finals so we cannot be surprised by them, that’s for sure. In the Championship, any team that plays at the top is a danger for any Premier League team.
“They suffered in the first half [against Manchester City] but they won the second half in a convincing way. They are well organised, play good football with good pace and they are very creative.
“You look at their recent record in the Championship and it’s absolutely impressive. They’re on a strong run and of course we want to stop that.”
Arsene Wenger also talked up new Arsenal signing Gabriel Paulista and said he was close to making a debut.
“[Gabriel is] a player who has the ability and likes to defend – it’s more and more difficult to find people like that,” Arsene said. “He’s a player who has good qualities – he has good pace, he’s good in the air and is good in one against ones.
“It’s better I don’t talk too much, let him play and he can show how good he is.
“We have the squad to [compete], but that’s down to how dedicated, how focused, how motivated, how united we’ll be until the end of the season that will of course decide that.
“This is a period where you need more from your players than usual, because it’s the last four months of the season. You need everybody to give a bit more than they’re used to.
“[The squad will] not [be rotated] especially because it’s the FA Cup. Some players will play who have not played recently, but we treat this game exactly the same as a Premier League game.”
Arsene also touched upon the latest blockbuster tv deal for the EPL clubs and said it would give clubs more chances of getting quality talent to England.
“It shows the popularity of the English game,” the manager explained. “Maybe we don’t realise it enough but if football is so popular all over the world, the television [companies] in England have contributed to it a lot.
“The way the games are filmed, the way they promote it has contributed a lot to our success. On top of that, they have to pay heavy money now but they must have calculated. It looks to me a very impressive number.
“It makes the clubs in a bigger, stronger financial position all over Europe. It will contribute to get the best players all over the world to come to England. The movement of the players is always linked with the economical and financial power in the countries.
“When I was a coach in Monaco we bought the English players because we were the first to have the television money. Today the biggest financial power is in England and the best players come to England.”