As Arsenal prepare to face Chelsea in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semi-final at the Emirates tonight, Arsene Wenger has hit out at the press who he feels overlook the underachievement of other sides while playing down the fact the Gunners have won trophies in recent years.
FA Cup final triumphs in 2014, 2015 and 2017 – against tonight’s opposition – have made the Frenchman the most successful manager in the competition’s history, but he believes other teams and managers get an easier ride.
Asked if reaching a Wembley final would calm the mood among fans, Wenger said “To change the mood? I have no illusions at all.
“The mood is decided by you. Look, we have been in a few finals. Has it changed your mood? No. You celebrate some teams who have not been in a final for 25 years and yet you kill us, even though we have won the FA Cup three times in the last four years.
“It’s like that. We have to live with that.”
Wenger is expecting tonight’s second leg to be a bit more expansive than the game at Stamford Bridge.
Another 0-0 draw after extra-time would see the game decided by a penalty shoot-out, but because of the away goals rule if Chelsea score Arsenal will have to win the game in the [potential] 120 minutes to go through.
“It’s an important game and we want to go to the final,” he said.
“We have an opportunity to do it at home against Chelsea. I think the two teams know each other very well.
“The first leg was very blocked, the second leg will certainly be more open, because at some stage, the teams will have to open up to try to win the game.
“It should be much more spectacular than the first one.”