Arsene Wenger has admitted that the club’s recent Premier League, and Champions League, form has produced ‘negative vibes’, but says that playing in a different competition can help players find an escape from that.
Although the Gunners beat Boro 2-1 last Monday, it wasn’t the most convincing of wins, and Man City are probably seen as favourites for Sunday’s FA Cup semi-final.
The Arsenal manager is hoping the ‘fresh’ surroundings of Wembley can boost them to reach a third final in four years.
“It’s a different competition and every competition brings a psychological atmosphere,” he said. “We have many times seen teams not doing well in the championship and, when it is a different competition, suddenly they are doing very well.
“They don’t carry the negative vibes of bad experiences into the competition. When you walk out, half of the stadium is red and half is blue, so you realise it is something different.”
Wenger is also hopeful a good result can provide some harmony at what has been a difficult time for the club.
“When you have negative results like we had, it can divide or unite,” he continued.
“At some stage you have to show you can fight together. People will say it’s normal you win at Middlesbrough but, when you go through a bad period, it’s difficult in your head to win everywhere.
“The fact that we fought and won had a positive impact.”
How much of an impact remains to be seen – tomorrow from 3pm should give us a good idea.