Arsenal had a better season than Man City? ‘I’d rather win FA Cup than finish second in the Premier League’, says Perry Groves

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Arsenal had a better season than Man City? ‘I’d rather win FA Cup than finish second in the Premier League’, says Perry Groves

Have Arsenal enjoyed a better season than Manchester City after lifting the FA Cup?

That what former Gunners star Perry Groves suggested on talkSPORT, as he reflected on Mikel Arteta ending his first season in charge with silverware.

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang holds the FA Cup with boss Mikel Arteta. Not a bad way to end your first season as a full-time manager…

GETTY

Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang holds the FA Cup with boss Mikel Arteta. Not a bad way to end your first season as a full-time manager…

Much has been said over the past week about Manchester United and Chelsea players’ celebrations after ending the Premier League season in a coveted top-four spot.

Then there’s Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho and his coaching staff jumping for joy on the touchline after they finished sixth, securing a place in the Europa League, with a 1-1 draw against Crystal Palace on the final day of the season.

This is a team that were Champions League finalists last year… but then Mourinho did say finishing second with Manchester United was one of his finest achievements.

Even Aston Villa players were questioned for their ‘over the top’ celebrations after securing Premier League safety on the final day, with Roy Keane saying: ‘They haven’t won anything’.

That might be accurate on a basic level but not quite true for the clubs themselves, with millions now at stake for clubs over where they finish in the table, especially with European football and possible relegation at stake.

It’s a large reason why fans and former players despair at the lack of respect given to the domestic cups with better prize money up for grabs in the league and European competitions.

Mourinho was widely ridiculed for celebrating Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, which earned last season’s Champions League finalists a place in the Europa League

AFP – Getty

Mourinho was widely ridiculed for celebrating Tottenham’s 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace, which earned last season’s Champions League finalists a place in the Europa League

Some might say Arsenal proved that the magic of the FA Cup is not dead this weekend as they extended their all-time record to 14 wins… before Aubameyang dropped the trophy.

But the cynical will point out that they too had ulterior motives as they also sealed their spot in next season’s Europa League with their 2-1 win over Chelsea at Wembley, despite finishing eighth in the table.

For some teams, of course, there is still more up for grabs this term. The Champions League and Europa League campaigns are still yet to be completed, which could give the likes of Manchester City and Manchester United fans some real cause for celebration if they go the distance.

But when it’s a question of ‘what would you rather’, Groves is in no doubt it’s the silverware that really counts in football.

“I think your club’s history is made by the trophies you win,” said Groves, a two-time First Division winner with the Gunners.

“At the beginning of the season we realistically could have won the Europa League, the League Cup or the FA Cup, we obviously weren’t going to win the title.

“And I would rather win the FA Cup than come second in the Premier League…

Be honest, what would you prefer – Winning the FA Cup or a top-four Premier League finish?

AFP

Be honest, what would you prefer – Winning the FA Cup or a top-four Premier League finish?

“Those Arsenal players have now embellished themselves on Arsenal’s history. Arsenal fans will now remember that game and that group of players.

“If you come second, third or fourth in the league no one really remembers you, you’re not part of the fabric of that football club.”

Former Liverpool, Tottenham and Fulham star Danny Murphy agrees.

Chelsea might have enjoyed the better campaign overall, the talkSPORT pundit says, having finished fourth in the Premier League table.

But, as they say, you don’t get a trophy for finishing in the top-four, and he insists silverware is all that matters to a player when you start to look back over your career.

Man City and Arsenal have been poles apart, but who will have had the better season if City end the season as Premier League runners-up and League Cup winners, to the Gunners’ FA Cup?

AFP or licensors

Man City and Arsenal have been poles apart, but who will have had the better season if City end the season as Premier League runners-up and League Cup winners, to the Gunners’ FA Cup?

Speaking on Monday’s White and Sawyer show, the former midfielder said: “You judge a season in the league across the 38 games, it’s about consistency, so you’d have to say Chelsea have been more consistent than Arsenal, that’s obvious.

“And when you talk about winning trophies compared to top-four, you’ve got to take so many factors into consideration – the size of the club, the need for finances, the individual players… it’s very circumstantial based on the club.

“But I look back on my career and I remember winning cup finals, I remember those big games and singing You’ll Never Walk Alone when I’ve won a trophy with Liverpool, they’re my memories.

“I don’t remember finishing fourth, third or second and saying: ‘Well done lads’.”

Former Liverpool star Danny Murphy says trophy wins will always mean more than finishing top four


Published at Mon, 03 Aug 2020 19:47:23 +0000

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