Yaya Sanogo says Arsenal’s record of playing in the Champions League for 16 successive years makes qualification for the tournament the ‘duty’ of Arsene Wenger’s current crop.
The French striker was only 3-years-old when the Gunners, led by the likes of Tony Adams and Dennis Bergkamp, began feasting at Europe’s top table but at the tail end of his first season in London the teenager feels the weight of history on his shoulders.
“It is very important for such a great club as Arsenal to be in the Champions League. It is a duty,” Sanogo told Arsenal Player.
“We really want to get qualified. We have been participants for 16 years so we want to be there again. To do that we have to give our best on the pitch, give 100 per cent in every single match.
“We were very happy [to get back in front of Everton] because we have come from a difficult place. The wins over Wigan and then West Ham and Hull have given a boost to our morale.”
The former Auxerre man also spoke optimistically about ending Arsenal’s silverware drought with an FA Cup final against Hull City on the horizon.
“It is the right time for us to take the FA Cup. Even if it was a painful victory [over Wigan] it is a good experience, we were very happy and so were the fans.
“We have to use that positive pressure, the fans have been waiting for that moment for nine years now. A final is a final so we need all the ingredients to win it. I believe the team has what it takes to win.
“But we are not thinking too much about the final at the moment because we have championship matches before that. We have to think about these matches first.”
Sanogo isn’t the only player excited about the prospect of a showpiece game at Wembley, Mesut Ozil has thanked fans for their support during his recent five week layoff and revealed he ‘can’t wait’ to step out on the hallowed turf of England’s biggest arena.
Writing on Facebook, the German midfielder said:
“I’m still happy about the fact that I was able to play last Sunday fo Arsenal and we even won 3:0. I think that we are on the way up after a rather difficult time.
“There are only two goals for the rest of the season: to be among the first four of the Premier League and to win my first title this year in the UK – the F.A. Cup! All we need is 4 x 90 minutes of full concentration and then it’s all in our hands.
“I can’t wait to play for the first time in Wembley as a Gunner after missing the semi final due to my injury. Herewith I want to thank all who supported me during the last weeks – especially you!
“I constantly followed your comments on Facebook. I was really happy about all the get well soon wishes during these difficult moments.”
Arseblog News can’t help but chuckle at Mesut (or should that be Melvin Orwell) adding ‘herewith’ to his lexicon. @ArsenalGent would be proud of the dear boy.