- Title: Sutton boss has no sympathy for beleaguered Wenger
- Date: 16th February 2017
- Summary: SUTTON, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (FEBRUARY 16, 2017) (REUTERS PICTURES) (MUTE) VARIOUS STILL PHOTOGRAPHS OF SUTTON UNITED PLAYERS TRAINING
- Embargoed: 2nd March 2017 18:05
- Keywords: FA Cup Arsenal Wenger Sutton United Paul Doswell
- Location: SUTTON, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- City: SUTTON, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM
- Country: United Kingdom
- Topics: Soccer,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00463RUWQN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: The magic of the FA Cup will be sprinkled liberally around Sutton United's Gander Green Lane ground on Monday (February 20) but Arsenal's multi-millionaire players will not find anything magical about the changing rooms.
Coming off the back of their 5-1 drubbing by Bayern Munich in the Champions League on Wednesday (February 15), Arsene Wenger's men could not be going into a more different environment.
Already billed as a David v Goliath clash, Monday's FA Cup fifth round tie at Sutton has taken on an even greater intensity as Arsenal come into the match reeling from Wednesday's heavy defeat.
However, Sutton boss Paul Doswell says he feels no sympathy for Wenger.
"Sympathy? No. I think he is well schooled, he is 20 years in the job. Ferguson, Mourinho, Guardiola, Wenger - I don't feel sorry for them at all, because they are in that mad world that is football," he said to reporters on Thursday (February 16), before going on to defend the Frenchman's steller career.
Painted a rich chocolate brown, with metal hooks on the walls, simple shower-heads and the old players' bath stripped out and cemented over, the visitors' facility is not designed to lift the spirits.
"We thought about putting new shower heads in ... for about two seconds," smiled manager Paul Doswell, meeting reporters ahead of his minor-league side's fifth-round tie against the 12-times winners.
"And then thought, no. We haven't done it for any of the other teams that are coming down. It's only because we haven't been able to afford it. It's not us trying to be big and clever.
"One of the players said to me the other day, 'When I played against you it was always hot in the dressing room'. I said that's because we can't turn the (radiator) off -- the valve's gone."
Football lore is rich in anecdotes of clubs deliberately making visiting teams uncomfortable -- Cambridge United's former manager John Beck famously flooding the changing rooms before opponents arrived or turning the heating up to the max.
Sutton, wrestling with a leaking roof and other infrastructure problems familiar to clubs scraping by in the lower reaches of the English game, have no need to be inventive for the visit of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil.
All the money from the club's amazing cup run will go on improvements, with new youth changing rooms a priority as well as fixing the leaks.
Arsenal, whose lavish Emirates ground seats 60,000, will know they have arrived in another dimension when the coach pulls up outside the 5,000-capacity ground in the south-west London suburbs.
For Doswell, a draw against Wenger's Arsenal would represent an amazing achievement and secure a lucrative - and dream-fulfilling - replay at the Emirates.
"If we were able to get a draw and get back to the Emirates it would be one of the biggest results in the cup's history and for the players - I think half of my team support Arsenal - for the chance for them to go to the Emirates and just have a great day out would be probably what would be their preferred result," said Doswell.
The next home fixture is spelled out at the entrance like any other forthcoming game -- "Mon 20th FA Cup v Arsenal" -- next to adverts for a local waste-disposal firm and plumbing and heating services.
"Welcome to Sutton United," it declares. "Proud members of the Vanarama National League."
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