The FA Cup means more than finishing second in the Premier League and qualifying for the Champions League.
That is what former Gunners star Perry Groves claimed on talkSPORT, as he reflected on Mikel Arteta ending his first season in charge with silverware.
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.
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…