He hasn't raised the bar - Wenger plays down Guardiola success

24 February, 2018, 06:50 | Author: Regina Lloyd
  • Wenger provides Cup final injury update on Arsenal trio

Arsenal were huge favourites ahead of the Wembley decider seven years ago, but Obafemi Martins' 89th-minute victor following a mix-up between Wojciech Szczesny and Laurent Koscielny - secured an unlikely Blues win.

Wenger can become the eighth boss to win the League title, FA Cup and League Cup after Mercer, Revie, Nicholson, Graham, Ferguson, Mourinho and Dalglish.

Last month, Liverpool dashed their hopes of emulating Arsenal's unbeaten league campaign.

City remain unhappy with the standard of stewarding and has sought answers over how it was possible so many fans got onto the pitch and so close to their stars. For the FA Cup final against Hull in 2014, after nine years without a trophy, Wenger picked Lukasz Fabianski - who had played in all the earlier rounds - over No 1 Wojciech Szczesny.

"What a run like that means is that you have enough belief to think you can do it, that on the day you managed to turn up with the right spirit and right mentality, the right belief", Wenger said. "The modern game has changed with the recruitment of the best players going to a small number of clubs", he insisted. That will be the target again: to have a belief but as well to find that right balance.

Wenger has often used the competition as a way of offering valuable game time to some of the fringe members of his squad but is confident in his side's experience ahead of the first major showpiece final of the campaign.

Now he accepts it is the Gunners who are able to spring a surprise this time around.

The Frenchman will lead his side into their fourth domestic cup final in four years as Arsenal prepare to take on the Premier League's runaway leaders. I thought it was a massive call for Wenger to play Ospina in last season's FA Cup final.

Guardiola has a decision to make at left-back as Fabian Delph is suspended following his sending off against Wigan while Benjamin Mendy is still recovering from a serious knee injury. At the end of the day, you have to be cool.

"We are maybe underdogs but we have to believe in our quality".

Wenger revealed he nearly signed Guardiola as a player for Arsenal in 2001.

Wenger shows loyalty to his players and his second-choice goalkeepers are no different.



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