January 26, 2013
Poyet primed for ``scary'' Gunners
|Brighton & Hove Albion||Arsenal|
|1/4||H: Reading||1/4||H: Tottenham Hotspur|
Brighton manager Gus Poyet admits it will take "something special'' from his side to beat Arsenal in the FA Cup fourth round.
The npower Championship play-off hopefuls will on Saturday host a Gunners side fresh from Wednesday night's 5-1 drubbing of West Ham.
Poyet sent his first-team coach Charlie Oatway to the Emirates Stadium to watch the game, and got the report he was dreading on Thursday morning.
"Charlie went, and he's quite scared,'' Poyet told reporters. "Apparently they were unbelievable but I'm not surprised. I know the quality they have got and if they have a good day it will be practically impossible. So we need to make sure we do something special ourselves.
"We need luck and we need to be at our very best in every department. We need to put in the best tactical performance. We lost heavily to West Ham last year, and West Ham lost heavily on Wednesday so if you put one plus one it's easy to see the result.
"But it's a football game, things happen, there can be accidents, a sending-off, a decision from the referee. You need to wait for that.''
Despite being a former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder, Poyet is a huge admirer of Arsenal and their playing style.
"I don't support Arsenal but I like to watch them, and that says a lot,'' he added.
"Arsenal are one of the teams I try to learn from. I understand the supporters want to win - I am the same - but there are different ways of winning. You can win one year and then go five years in the bottom half.
"I really admire Arsenal, it's a very good place and the manager who goes in there after Arsene Wenger will be very lucky.''
Poyet will make a late check on right-back Bruno's Achilles injury but another Spaniard, former international Vicente, could start again in midfield having returned from a long lay-off in the draw at Blackburn in midweek.
Arsene Wenger maintains Arsenal must put as much focus on beating Brighton as they will next week against Liverpool in the battle to climb the Barclays Premier League table.
The Gunners head to the Amex Community Stadium on the back of their resounding 5-1 win over West Ham, but after crashing out of the Capital One Cup at Bradford, Wenger knows full well the added importance of keeping alive the most likely hope of ending an eight-year trophy drought.
"It has a big importance to me because it is our next game and we are looking for consistency because we know that will be the key for us to be successful until the end of the season,'' he said.
"It is a possibility of course for a trophy and we do not want to neglect that.
"Let's be a bit realistic and pragmatic and go game to game, but I feel there is a potential in our team.''
Wenger added: "Let's just continue to play and not worry too much about who we play, but focus on how we can repeat the quality performances.''
Brighton have continued to improve under the guidance of Poyet and Wenger is not expecting their trip to the south coast to be an easy ride.
"Poyet has done very well because he got them promotion and in a position where they can challenge for the play offs,'' Wenger said.
"Brighton play out from the back, have a lot of possession and a big South American influence with their manager, the players they have, and the way they play, so you know you face a typical away game in the Premier League.''
The Gunners have been linked with a string of players across Europe, from Barcelona's David Villa and Borussia Dortmund defender Mats Hummels, to Montpellier playmaker Younes Belhanda and West Ham's combative midfielder Mohamed Diame.
Wenger, however, insists Arsenal fans should not expect any "miracle'' signings during the January window.
"You have to stop thinking you can sort all of the problems out by just buying players. That is not the case in our game,'' the Arsenal boss said.
"I am not worried too much about the message I give out (by not signing anyone), I am worried about what we do on the football pitch. The image and how it looks has never been my worry.
Wenger has also seen his name linked with jobs elsewhere.
Bundesliga outfit Schalke are the latest side said to be keen on the Frenchman, along with Paris St Germain, should he decide to leave Arsenal, where his current deal runs until the summer of 2014.
However, Wenger, 63, said: "I have a contract here and I will respect my commitment to this club, always.''