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Monday cannon fodder: sipping from the Cup

Rochdale AFC v Newcastle United - FA Cup Third Round Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

The magic of the FA Cup is back for the big clubs. Notable results from this weekend’s fixtures include Manchester United and Wolves playing to a 0-0 draw that was an insult to the name “football,” Tottenham needing to come from behind to nick a draw against Championship side Middlesbrough, Fulham beating Aston Villa, and League One side Rochdale drawing Newcastle. The Dale earned the replay on the strength of a goal from 40-year old Aaron Wilbraham who has scored a goal in four decades (90s, 00s, 10s, 20s) and was assisted on that goal by a 17-year old.

Arsenal have had to wait the longest to get their FA Cup campaign underway — their tie with Leeds United is the last match of the round. The Gunners have won the competition the most of any club in England, including three times in the 2010s. They have also been bounced in the 4th and 3rd rounds the last two seasons.

Mikel Arteta faces an interesting question: does he trot out a fuller strength side so that his players can continue to get comfortable with his tactics or does he use the FA Cup to rest his key players to focus on the Europa League and perhaps making an improbable comeback in the Premier League.

What do you think he should do?