Fabianski: We have the quality to compete with Arsenal
Lukasz Fabianski believes West Ham United will give his old club Arsenal a run for their money on Saturday, despite the fact the Hammers will be without a number of players through injury.
A host of senior stars will be unavailable to face the Gunners at London Stadium, including former Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, centre-back Fabian Balbuena and winger Andriy Yarmolenko.
However, goalkeeper Fabianski, who will be facing his old club he represented 78 times between 2007-14, says the Irons have the strength in depth to challenge Unai Emery’s side.
When you look at our squad, there is loads of quality and that gives us the belief that we’re going to compete
“When I look at our team, it’s full of quality and I think that, when someone is missing because of injury or any other issues, it doesn’t really affect us because we still know that whoever is going to replace him has so much quality about him that we’re not really losing anything,” said the Poland international.
“When you look at our squad, there is loads of quality and that gives us the belief that we’re going to compete, even if there are important players missing.”
West Ham’s recent haul of 16 points from their last eight matches has seen them rise to tenth in the Premier League table and to within three points of seventh-place Leicester City.
With confidence rising, Fabianski says the Hammers should look to finish the season as the ‘best of the rest’, with the established top six likely already too far ahead to be caught.
“We are in a strong position to finish around the seventh place,” the No1 confirmed. “We’re in a group of teams divided by only two or three points, which is only one result going differently, so we’re in our own little league.
“We want to try to finish as high as possible, so we’re all going to aim for that. We want to get as much as we can from the rest of the season.”
While the Premier League is West Ham’s meat and drink, everyone associated with the club would also love nothing more than to launch a sustained challenge for the Emirates FA Cup, Fabianski included.
The 33-year-old won the trophy as an Arsenal player in 2014 (pictured, right) and believes the Hammers have an opportunity to go deep into this season’s competition after being drawn away to League One outfit AFC Wimbledon in the fourth round.
“In football, anything is possible,” he observed. “You have a clear example from not so long ago, when Wigan won the FA Cup, which just shows you that this cup is so special and at the same time it can be so unpredictable.
“For us, as a club, I think it’s something we want to really go for and see what we can achieve in it. Hopefully, we’ll have a good journey and who knows where we might end up?
“It’s the oldest competition in the world and it has something special about it and it’s so respected for me personally, and it’s a great chance to have this special feeling.
“I already had the chance to experience it once before and it’s something you can’t really compare anything with.
“As players, us as a group, we are pushing for some sort of success, so why not go for the FA Cup?”