Wenger in search of reviving Arsenal’s flagging spirits

The Gunners to face holders Wigan in Saturday’s FA Cup semi-final


Afp April 11, 2014
SEEKING REVIVAL: Arsenal will meet Wigan with hopes of stepping closer to winning a major trophy for the first time since they last lifted the FA Cup in 2005. PHOTO: AFP

LONDON: Arsene Wenger has challenged his Arsenal players to use Saturday's FA Cup semi-final against holders Wigan to lift their shattered spirits.

Wenger's side head to Wembley with their confidence in tatters after a miserable run ended their hopes of winning the Premier League and left them fighting to secure qualification for the Champions League.

Last weekend's chastening 3-0 defeat at Everton was a major blow to the Gunners' hopes of securing a top-four finish and the squad's morale is at a low ebb following the latest in a long line of big game flops this season.

Arsenal had already been thrashed at Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea, but it is the loss to Everton which could prove the most costly as the Toffees will climb above them into fourth place if they beat Sunderland on Saturday.

In the circumstances, Wenger knows Arsenal desperately need the confidence boost of moving a step closer to winning a major trophy for the first time since they last lifted the FA Cup in 2005.

"What is important after our performance against Everton is to respond well,” said Wenger.

“That's where our future lies, is our capacity to respond with a strong performance and that is the next game and the next game is the FA Cup.

"We have lost a little bit of confidence; you could see that against Everton because it all went bad for us."

"There is no perfect team and we will always try to improve our squad and our team. This season we lost key players at big important moments of the season, but we have to just to focus on finishing as well as we can."

Rosler looks to copy Everton strategy

Wigan's primary concern is to win promotion via the second tier play-offs, but the fifth placed Latics could prove tricky opponents for the Gunners.

Uwe Rosler's side gave a classy display to stun Manchester City in this season's quarter-finals in a repeat of last season's victory over the Eastlands club in the FA Cup final.

And Rosler revealed he will copy Everton's blueprint as he bids to emulate their victory over the Gunners.

"I watched the game last Sunday and it was another very impressive lesson from [coach] Roberto Martinez, tactically how Everton approached the game," Rosler said.

"There were good pictures for me to learn from and also take one or two things on board, like I did with Manchester City in the last round."

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