Arsenal news: Can Lincoln City topple the Gunners?

SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - FEBRUARY 20: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Sutton United and Arsenal on February 20, 2017 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images)
SUTTON, GREATER LONDON - FEBRUARY 20: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal during The Emirates FA Cup Fifth Round match between Sutton United and Arsenal on February 20, 2017 in Sutton, Greater London. (Photo by Catherine Ivill - AMA/Getty Images) /

Are Arsenal vulnerable to Lincoln City?

Lincoln is a small city in the East Midlands, home to Lincoln City and land of the Imps; it’s famous for it’s cathedral and the birthplace of famed mathematician Sir Isaac Newton. Is it conceivable they can topple Arsenal in football though?

On Saturday Lincoln will become the epicentre of the footballing world as they visit the mighty Arsenal in the Emirates FA Cup Sixth round.

A staggering achievement. The Football Association Cup, the oldest in the world has never played hosts to a non-league club. Here are five potential reasons why Lincoln can overcome the odds and accomplish the greatest footballing shock in history and send Wenger and the Gunners into infamy.

The management duo of Lincoln City brothers Danny & Nicky Cowley and their side have wowed the national since the turn of the year as their plucky tactics have seen them dispatch Ipswich, Oldham, the Championship high flyers Brighton and despite Joey Barton’s antics, Premier League Burnley. They have brought a level of standout tactical nous and work rate to the club. On a massive learning curves the brothers have an outstanding bright future in front of them and will be keenly recruited in the Summer by clubs with better resources than that are available to them now.

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The managers. Energetic, thoughtful, enthusiastic and meticulous the Cowley brothers are two extremes. Purposefully fulfilling their duel rolls. Danny Cowley the reserved ex-teacher, West Ham supporting and the tactical mind behind the throne. His brother and ex Braintree captain Nicky Cowley his dynamic sidekick provides the chest pumping motivation, visualised in the final incredible scenes at Turf Moor. If they can tempt out another spirited performance from their chargers the shock could well and truly be on.

All is not well on the Good Ship Arsenal, blighted once again with a level of inconsistency that borders on incompetence by the time the FA Cup game kicks off Arsenals European adventure may well be over. After all they are looking for a shook of their own by overcoming a heavy first leg defeat against Bayern Munich. Stories are leaking out of their London Colney training ground of senior player spats and of course the ever ending contract issues.

Both key players and the future of imperious manager Arsene Wenger are in doubt. Lincoln City will provide a challenge that will be watched in fascination by the footballing world. A shock may prove too much for Wenger, a man that revolutionised football when he came to these shores.

When former Watford and England manager Graham Taylor sadly passed away in January his extraordinary managerial journey was kick started in the forth division with lowly Lincoln. The ex-Imp then 28 became the youngest football manager in the country and went onto to obliterate the opposition and take the division as champions with a record horde of points in the fourth Division. Taylor would later have success at Watford and Aston Villa. The fondly remembered Taylor would relish such a David v Goliath game – and maybe the Imps can channel their former manager and carry on with their brilliant FA Cup run.

History is being re written all the time.  Lincoln City have already travelled further and higher than any non-league football club has done before in the competitions 146 year history. They are just one game from Wembley, a thought almost unimaginable by the majority of the footballing community.  Leicester would never win the Premier League, Greece could never win a major international tournament and Birmingham City would never beat Arsenal in a League cup final. Little Lincoln overcoming Arsenal would surely be the greatest sporting achievement of them all.

Every year during the FA cup we read about painters, driving instructors and accountants banding together to try and overcome a professional football side. For 90 minutes they can pit themselves against the Pro’s, many full internationals, men at the pinnacle of their career and sport.

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When the Lincoln team walkout at a capacity filled Emirates on Saturday players such as man mountain striker Matt Rhead, ex republic of Ireland under 21 international Allan Power, former Newcastle United youth goalkeeper Paul Farmen and the beautifully named Luke Waterfall will band together once more, unite together, forge a side stronger than its part and scrap and fight toe to toe with Arsenal and maybe once dreams can come true and lower league football can strike the greatest blow to the cash rich Premier League. It would be an eternal memory one that will not be forgotten.

Up the Imps!