Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney is determined to add the FA Cup to his trophy collection but knows Monday’s quarter-final clash with Arsenal will be a tough game to get through.
Rooney was not at Man United when they last won the Cup with a 3-0 victory against Millwall in 2004 and it remains the only medal he hasn’t been able to get his hands on.
The 29-year-old joined the club the following year and has since been on the losing side in two Cup finals, firstly in the 2005 defeat to Arsenal on penalties and again in 2007 against Chelsea.
There are only two players in the squad who have won the competition in Robin van Persie from his time at Arsenal and Juan Mata with Chelsea. Rooney wants to change that but acknowledges Arsenal will not provide an easy passage through to the semi-finals.
Speaking about United’s hopes for the Cup, Rooney said: “We have an FA Cup quarter-final against Arsenal on Monday and that is massive for us. We haven’t been to a final for a few years, we want to try to win that game and we are looking forward to that.
“Of course, I think it is a massive trophy. It is a trophy that, growing up as a youngster, I used to love watching and I was fortunate enough to see Everton lift the FA Cup in 1995 when I was nine years old. It is something which I would love to do and hopefully it can be this year.”
For a club like United, the fact they haven’t won the Cup for 11 years is not good enough and Louis van Gaal has made it clear he wants to end that drought this year.
With Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur all knocked out of the competition earlier in the season United have a golden opportunity to win it this time around. However, Arsenal will provide a stern test with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and Mesut Ozil all likely to pose an attacking threat.