I was absolutely shocked by the result as were most people but credit has to go to Wigan and their desire to hold on to the trophy which the won against the odds last season. They will again be underdogs at Wembley in the semi final against Arsenal, but they will be a very dangerous underdog. Arsenal will have to be at their best and play a strong team to get the win they want to bring them back to Wembley again for the final.
Arsenal are old hands at FA Cup semi finals and no other team has played in more semi finals than they have, in fact only United have won the FA Cup more times than Arsenal and an Arsenal win in May would see them join United on 11 wins. It's yet another incentive for the team to win the trophy, but they have plenty of them already.
It's been nine long years since Arsenal won a trophy, but the FA Cup offers them a very real prospect of ending that drought this season. They're still in the hunt for the Premier League title but they are now seven points behind Chelsea with a game in hand and 10 games to go. It's by no means a lost cause but they have four really tough league games in a row and probably need to take 10 points from those games including wins at Spurs and Chelsea.
To win the FA Cup they need to beat Championship side Wigan at Wembley and then play either Hull or Sheffield United in the final. If they can overcome Wigan then both Hull and Sheffield United are going to be underdogs and Arsenal will be huge favourites to win the final. Of course they were just that in the 2011 Carling Cup final against Birmingham and that went awfully wrong on the day.
At the start of the season I would have been very happy to see the team finish in the top three and win the FA Cup and they're still very much on for that target. Champions League football is an absolute must to generate income and attract new signings to the club and Arsenal deliver it every single season. A trophy is something fans and players crave though and the prospect of winning the FA Cup is one which has to be taken seriously.
The club seems to be genuinely moving forward on a financial basis at last and now they have the chance to move on in footballing terms too. A trophy and a top three finish would be real progress from last season and there is plenty of money to spend to add to the current squad this summer. If the right players are brought in during the summer then maybe the strength to take a league tile might just be there.
It would be great to have a trophy to defend next season as Arsenal move forward again and maybe even add to their tally of league titles. Lifting the FA Cup will hopefully kick start that and they now have a great chance to do so with just two games standing between them and a trophy. It would be great to get the monkey off their back and put an end to almost a decade without a trophy. I haven't given up on the league quite yet but if the FA Cuo is all they win I won't be unhappy.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.