James McArthur made his long-awaited return to the Crystal Palace first-team at Old Trafford on Wednesday night and now, he has his sights firmly set on earning a place in the side that will take to the Wembley turf against Watford this Sunday.
As the only current member of the Palace squad to have played in and won an FA Cup final, the Scotsman is hoping that his experience will count for a lot in tomorrow’s semi-final clash, but after seeing the team embark upon a trickier run than he did with Wigan when they won it, there is an understandable sense of confidence from the central midfielder when assessing the threat that Watford pose us.
Fans and players alike have made no secret of the fact that we have missed McArthur terribly since he sustained a ligament injury a few months ago, but following a trouble-free run-out against Manchester United a few days ago, Alan Pardew hinted that he may well give Jimmy a starting place this Sunday; news that would no doubt act as a huge boost to everyone associated with the club.
As an interviewee, McArthur emphasises the emotional importance that the FA Cup holds for him as any true fan would, drawing on the presence of his family and friends in the stands as a driving force in his desire to push both himself and his teammates further than they would have thought possible.
He also speaks extensively about the importance of the supporters on the mental state of our players, admitting that, when looked at in comparison to Wigan, the backing we as fans give to the club as a whole is on a different level entirely, which, although it may sound like a throwaway line, is something he has often referenced in the past.
It probably isn’t possible for you to love James McArthur more than you already do, but this interview will almost certainly increase your level of affection for him.