Back then, Arsenal were regular top-four challengers in the premier league and had qualified for Champions league for 19 successive seasons, so a devalued cup of moderate importance wasn’t the be-all and end all in the football calendar.
As his tenure continued and his powers began to wane, he suddenly felt that some silverware was better than none, even if he wasn’t overly keen on it and he turned his attention to winning it by putting out sides capable of doing so.
He is currently acknowledged as the most successful manager in FA Cup history after winning 7 finals but it could have been so many more.
It’s interesting to note that Today, winning the much-maligned competition would bring in around £3.6m and perhaps Arsenal find that more attractive than the classic trophy.
The FA Cup was once a must-have trophy but with the emergence of the European competitions, it became more of an inconvenience.
In a congested football fixture list, the prospect of playing Wigan away rather than Real Madrid contributed to the way in which top teams approached the Cup.
It’s sad because of the romance and History but in terms of prestige and income, it offers little.
Winning the CL could generate a prize pot of around €75m. Last season, Chelsea’s Europa League triumph netted them a prize fund thought to be around £7.3m.
The Carabao cup is simply awful and relies on gate receipts to top up the rather unattractive £50,000 that goes to the runners up and a stingy £100,000 for the winner.
Arsenal have very little to play for this season, a top-four qualification slot for the champions league is fairly pointless with the current side but it makes financial sense going forward.
At the moment Arsenal are not at that level but the money generated by the group stages and beyond. would give Arteta more cash to play with. Getting knocked out could bring in £4.4m, more than both domestic trophies (FA and Carabao cup) combined.
Last season, 6th position in the premier league was worth £28.8m and 4th was £32.6m, so there is still a rather attractive sum available to the gunners should they win the FA Cup and finish in either of the positions in the table.
From Arteta’s point of view, the money is secondary to a trophy but from the club and board’s perspective, it is equally, if not more important.