Arsene Wenger has revealed that he still has an undying love for the FA Cup as it was the first tournament he had ever seen on television while in France. The Frenchman has gone on to become the most successful manager in FA Cup history, lifting the trophy six times, including twice in the last two consecutive years. He will play his 100th competitive game in the FA Cup on Saturday, 20 February against Hull, a feat unmatched by any manager in the league at this point.
The Gunners have a chance to win the trophy for a record thirteenth time and third time on the bounce should they be able to get past Hull City whom they host in the fifth round of the FA Cup at the Emirates stadium. The north London club have played Hull in each of the last two occasions, including in the final in 2014, where they came back from going two goals down in the opening few minutes to taking the game into extra time and scoring the winner through Aaron Ramsey.
Wenger is likely to start a very competitive squad, with the likes of Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny being given a rare chance to prove themselves on the pitch. Welbeck is back in the fray after missing more than nine months through injury while Elneny is still acclimatising himself to the rigours of the Premier League.
"I believe the first game on television I ever saw in France was an FA Cup game," Wenger told Arsenal's official website. "We had no television and we had to go to school where we had a black and white screen and we could watch the FA Cup final.
"It's funny because I had an interview yesterday with some people from the FA and they asked me about the history of the English game.
"The first real players I remember are the 1966 players — Bobby Charlton, Bobby Moore, Stiles, Hurst, all these players. Before that, I was nine or 10 years old when I saw some FA Cup finals. But I don't even remember what teams played.
"At that time I could never imagine I would play 100 FA Cup games. It is a privilege, because 100 is quite a big number and we have always done well in the FA Cup most of the time. I want to defend my record [against Hull City] on Saturday," he added.