While Arsenal have seemingly choked in their Premier League title challenge, their hunger for an end to their barren trophy run remains a constant but, having not only fallen seven points behind Liverpool in first place, combined with their exits from the Champions League and League Cup, the FA Cup is their only chance of silverware this season.
Arsene Wenger has attracted tactical criticism for the manner in which his Gunners have been defeated by Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, however, in the FA Cup, Arsenal have not had it easy and, aside from Coventry City, have had to progress past accomplished elite-level opposition in Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Everton.
A semifinal against Wigan Atletic now awaits them for April 12, a match they are 4/11 favourites to win, however, former Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Jamie Redknapp implies that the Frenchman may be distracted with ensuring his team do not become embroiled in a dogfight for the final fourth position in the qualification process for next season's Champions League tournament.
"If you could have one or the other I think Arsene Wenger would probably take the top four," Redknapp is quoted to have said by Sky Sports. "But I think for that club now you've got to win a trophy. Nine years is too long. They need those big moments; any player, when you finish your career, talks about those big moments and what you won.
"You don't think about qualifying and finishing fourth and then going out in the quarter-finals [of the Champions League]. They need to win a trophy. Financially, of course it's better for them to get in the top four, but it's been miles too long. Arsenal fans want to see silverware back there. That club has been built on winning trophies.
"Whether it's the FA Cup, Capital One Cup or the league they've got to start doing it. This is the year. If he doesn't win a trophy this year he'll never win one. He'll never get a better opportunity."
Hull City and Sheffield United represent the other two participants in the FA Cup final four.