Wenger: we’ll have to be at our best to reach final

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In 2014, Arsenal required a late goal from Per Mertesacker and a penalty shoot-out to defeat Wigan to reach the FA Cup final.

In 2015 it was an extra-time goal from Alexis Sanchez that saw us through the final against Aston Villa at the expense of Reading.

So, even when the opposition are ‘on paper’ supposed to be overcome relatively easy, the occasion plays a big part. And speaking ahead of Sunday’s clash against Man City, Arsene Wenger says his team will need to be at their best to get past Pep Guardiola’s side.

“We are ambitious because we have done it before and we know we can do it” he said.

“In the previous semi finals, we were super favourites but in this game it is between two teams who are very close to each other in the Premier League so it is much more level on chances at the start.

“We know we absolutely have to be at our best to qualify.”

Arsenal drew 2-2 with City a few weeks ago, and lost to them 2-1 earlier in the season, but the Arsenal manager is excited to face them again, knowing a trophy is just two games away.

“It’s always something special,” he said. “I remember my first, when we played at Villa Park against Wolves.

“That’s the day when I realised how big the club is, how much it means to our supporters because suddenly the stadium is divided in two for an away game and your fans are all there.

“So it’s a special experience and we are focused and highly motivated.

“Maybe not at the maximum of our confidence because we had recently some disappointing results, but that is a good opportunity to show we are ready for a fight and how much we want to go to the final.”

If Arsenal were to win the cup this season, Wenger would set a record for the most wins by any manager, one he shares right now with George Ramsay who won the cup six times with Villa.

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35 Comments on "Wenger: we’ll have to be at our best to reach final"

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Alex

Yes please Arsene

Old Boy Gunner

Some chance!

Anonymarse

We might raise our game for this one, often happens in these types of games.

On the other hand we might just be shite again.

ClockEndRider

Let the oft repeated, space filling, meaningless platitudes begin.
No doubt to be rounded off by Walcott talking about how we need to dig deep to qualify for Europe once we go out on Sunday.
Round and round and round we go, and where we stop we all bloody well know.

Too Sober to be Onside
Too Sober to be Onside

At least save this shit for after the game. Relentless negativity isn’t going to help.

ClockEndRider

Neither is refusing to acknowledge the fact that we’ve heard it all before and nothing changes. By the way I’m a season ticket holder and going on Sunday so don’t give me lectures you condescending fuckwit.

jackson smith-wellis

I think the big part of our problem right now is the attitude of our supporters. If I had the opportunity to go to the games right now, I would support the shit out of our players. Even as I watch the games on the computer screen I continuously yell positive feedback at our players. I don’t really understand the necessity to abuse and criticize all the negative things that our players and manager do. All right, maybe some of them ought to do better, but abuse by our own fans is not gonna make them do better, quite the opposite in fact. I think it’s quite likely that our drop in form has been largely caused by the attitude of fans just like yourself (considering the tone of your post) and if you really care about our club, then you ought to get out there and support our team and make them feel comfortable on the pitch, instead of deepening the issue with meaningless negativity and a bitchly attitude.

Mein Bergkampf

Since when did addressing the problems with our team make us somehow less loyal of fans? If anything the problem is you, just hoping aimlessly for the best season after season and continually making excuses for a club in decline. That attitude has allowed us to fester for sometime now. And yes, I’ll be supporting the team with all my heart, but I certainly won’t be expecting anything other than another lacklustre performance from jaded and disinterested players.

spinner

Jackson, when we were 3-0 down at Palace were you yelling positive feedback at your computer screen then?

salmok

spinner, when tony adams and seaman would lose 2-4 from coventry at home and get ridiculed in europe 3-1 by benficas…did you march? protest ? ask for players heads on a plate?

how about when seaman got lobbed from the halfway line in the dying seconds against saragosa?

spinner

salmok, I remember a couple of weeks back when you randomly started slating George Graham’s teams on here and Arseblog came and owned you. If I remember correctly your comment received over 100 thumbs down.

Anyway, I’ll answer your pointless questions and then you can get back in your box:
1) Tony Adams and David Seaman never went 13 years without winning the league.
2) The Benfica defeat you refer to was when we qualified for Europe as League Champions. Yes 3-1 loss was disappointing but I would say 10-2 is worse.
3) When Seaman got lobbed in a European final, that wasn’t a good moment. But at least we were in that final. And at least that team managed to win a European trophy the year before.

Anymore pointless questions?

Computer screen

I need a courtesy wipe

masterofthegoonaverse
masterofthegoonaverse

As you say, if you had the chance,sitting in front of a screen(watching for free I guess) I’ve got to take a whole day and it’s £50 lower tier so you need to understand that we get a bit upset at some of the recent performances!

Papyrus

Look who’s talking!

It still makes sense to hold it till the game is over.

Romford Pelé

I am also a season ticket holder. Although the price is high, it doesn’t include the right to abuse fans for common sense opinions. What we have heard before was the same before the 2 finals we won recently, quickly turned to suit the negative moaning before the game has happened.looks like the fuckwit is the one who calls everyone names because they don’t agree with your opinion and happen to be acting rational. Hows that for condescending?

Mizog

That’s what they all say!!!

Nick

So your a season ticket holder ? Whoop do doo ! Does that mean to imply your some sort of superior supporter ? Not everyone can afford a st but that doesn’t make them any less of a gooner ! Many who will have followed the Arsenal for decades will not be able to stump up the cash for a st but that doesn’t mean they don’t bleed red n white or that every goal against us isn’t a dagger thrust or a loss a spear to the heart ! It doesn’t mean they are less entitled to any opinion or that their opinion is somehow worth less than yours! I put it to you sir that it is YOU who are being “condescending ” not to mention snobbish and superior, ” I’m a season ticket holder peasant ” that may not be how you meant to sound but be assured it’s how it came across! Oh I’m one of those whose budget does and health doesn’t allow for a st but I’ve been a Gooner since long before that word was invented my first Arsenal game as a small child saw Jack Kelsey between the sticks for us and over the years I have travelled all over the country and abroad to support the Gunners and from 1963 to 1989 I think I only missed around half a dozen home games either through work commitments or illness my support became more intermittent after that period as other life matters such as keeping my family housed, fed and given holidays took up more of my available cash and match tickets became harder to get with the introduction of all seater stadiums and all ticket matches however still consider myself on a par with any other sup porter st holder or otherwise !

salmok

a fantastic reply well said

if you allow i just want to focus on this :

‘my support became more intermittent after that period as other life matters such as keeping my family housed, fed and given holidays took’

amen! obviously there are more important things in life than whether arsenal wins or not. and thats the problem with the modern fan. they have no lives. or they have messed up their priorities and they will sadly go buy a season ticket when they cant really afford and deny holidays to their families or a good meal or a good house. then they will moan and protest when the club does not match their personal ‘dreams’ and ‘hopes’ to relate to winners.

Too Sober to be Onside
Too Sober to be Onside

A lecture normally lasts longer than a couple of sentences. Lectures, would be the plural of one lecture. Being a season ticket holder doesn’t give you the right for anything, except a seat. Which seemingly you do not even enjoy. Sound’s fun.

Me So Hornsey

I had a dream the other night where we reached the FA Cup final and had to win to stop Spurs completing the double. But before it ended, I woke up with vomit In my mouth. And it tasted so sweet because I realised it had to have been a dream as it’s inconceivable that in my lifetime Spurs could ever be in that scenario…

👀

Paul

This is the kind of game we win. COYG.

Heavenly Chapecoense

I have the feeling the ref will decide the outcome by showing a red card to someone. Hope Kane receives two yellow cards for diving instead of Kos or Xhaka shown red.

Stringer Bell

You are aware it’s city we are playing and not the scum

Heavenly Chapecoense

I was too drunk.

Scott P

Kane to get sent off anyway

Lula da Gilberto

I have hated this season. Honestly, I am numb to what almost all the players say, the automated drones in the hierarchy, and Arsene. People don’t need to be too imaginative to envision how the run of fixtures could make this season one of the worst in Arsenal history (Tottenham doing the double over us in the final is one possibility) when right now the best we can hope for is to end a season where we consider our performance as totally unacceptable.

Having said all this, I really hope we pulverize City this weekend.

spinner

I really hope Chelsea smash up Sp*rs on Saturday then the following weekend it’s our job to extinguish their hopes of the winning the league.

Lula da Gilberto

Right on.

Lord Bendnter

Some Arsenal fans have already written us off. Why are we doing this to ourselves? Hurting ourselves even more? COYG! Time to put on a performance of the season! This is our cup, let’s bring it back home!

Ausdrexler

Yet expect the players to be 100% committed. I want and like to think the team can win every game they play in. A 2-1 loss and a 2-2 draw in the league, a good showing in the cup vs them wont be a surprise.

spinner

I expected the players to be 100% against Palace.
If we get hammered on Sunday, Walcott can helpfully tell us their players were more up for it from the first minute.

Ozilicious

I was reading this thread thinking….’shit we’ve lost again’ then realised the game isn’t until Sunday. Take some chill cake people and get behind the lads for Sunday. It’s going to be huge!!!!
#yellowribbon

shokim

History in the making. Let’s do this. COYG

punter

On another note. Great cast today blogs.

santori

and this is the problem, we are trying a new system which we may be unfamiliar with and they can exploit.

The old system also has issues.

We need to be well motivated for this one. If we play thinking about tactical issues and are over cautious, we may pay the price.

Players like Alexis need to also be a bit more protective of the ball. Granted we won’t want him to curb his enthusiasm with the take ons and trying something different but the passing from him and several other players in the second half of the Boro game was poor.

Defensively, I’d like to see Mustafi back in next to Koscielny and either of Monreal or Holding on the left.

Ox and Bellerin as wing backs.

Giroud, Ozil and Alexis.

The rest of the team picks itself bar the person next to Granit. Coquelin may be more effective with the current system (we don’t know) but may curtail some momentum going forward. Ramsey will add going forward but neither he nor Granit are particularly good tacklers. Iwobi is untried in the position although I feel he can add something.

Whoever starts, we will need a bit more grit and gumption.

Wenger should borrow Fergie for the half time kick up the Arse. Surely Mr Ex United won’t want to see City prosper.:D

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