“Still making progress” – Zinedine Zidane
The New Year brought us the third round of the FA Cup, we started our cup run with an away tie to Arsenal. It really could not have started with a harder tie. We had both rotated our sides and by no means was either side at full strength. All the players were out and eager to impress none the less, resulting in an end to end match. However the score remained one a piece and it would mean we would have to play a replay.
Returning to the Premier League with another draw. Yet another team that came out with the intention of just stopping us from playing our natural game. It was hard for us to break Wigan down after Robert’s first goal. As we pushed for the winner they caught on the counter. Something that is becoming a bit of a habit and we have to stop.
Normal order was resumed as we welcomed a struggling Hull side to Goodison Park. We wasted no time in making their time here a nightmare. We started very quickly and before the time had even reached twenty minutes we were 3-0 up. The game was settled and it was a very pleasing performance.
The free scoring form continued as we played our replay match against Arsenal. They would not have known what hit them. Keen to progress I recalled some of the starters that sat out the previous FA Cup match. They certainly delivered. None more so than young Patrick Roberts. On his return to the first team, he went on to score a seven minute hat-trick. Arsenal never looked like coming back from 2-1 but that sealed the victory for sure. A fantastic return for Roberts.
Due to the replay we had to play our next round just days later, against struggling Premier League opposition in Millwall. They put their league form to one side and gave us a very good game. They were unlucky not to score, we defended very well and were resilient throughout as we continue in the cup.
We then faced Arsenal for the third time in just three weeks, this time it was domestically. Both team sheets were much stronger than the previous two encounters and it showed in the match. A great advert for the Premier League some would say. A very attacking game from two top teams. A draw was a fair result, a very entertaining game for the neutrals.
Player of the Month
Roberts has been sensational for us this month. His seven minute hat-trick against Arsenal just shows you how quick and how well he is developing. He is becoming a top quality player, I have been very pleased with his performances and he saw us through to the fifth round of the FA Cup.