Search

Pressure is off Arsenal in FA Cup final, says Gunners boss

12:38 15 May 2014

Arsenal

Arsenal's manager Arsene Wenger. Picture: Lynne Cameron/PA Wire.

PA Wire

Arsene Wenger believes his side will go into Saturday’s FA Cup final with less pressure than they faced on their last Wembley appearance.

The Gunners had failed to win any of their four league games in the build-up to last month’s semi-final and looked unconvincing as they scraped past Wigan after a penalty shoot-out.

By contrast, Wenger and his team return to Wembley to face Hull City on the back of a five-match winning run – bidding to end their barren spell of nine years without a trophy.

While the Arsenal boss insists his side will not be complacent, he expects them to be more relaxed given their form and the fact that they are no longer battling to seal Champions League qualification.

“At the time [of the semi-final] we were at a lower level of confidence. We had come off some bad results and let’s not forget we played against a team who had beaten Manchester City away,” said Wenger.

“Now we’ve secured the minimum required in the Premier League and that takes the pressure off, but there’s a big desire to finish the season on a high.

“I don’t feel there’s any danger of complacency. Hull are a Premier League team, they can pass the ball and create chances and it’s down to us performing well on the day of the game.

“We know the difficulty of the task. If you look at our run in the FA Cup, we had a hard task – Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton – but we have done the job and we want to finish it now.

“Expectancy always brings pressure, but we played many games in the season with that tension and pressure and our experience of that will help us.

“To be favourites is one thing, but it doesn’t guarantee anything. Let’s just focus on turning up with a great performance and finishing the season well.”

Wenger refused to drop any hints about his team selection for Wembley, although club captain Thomas Vermaelen (knee) and midfielder Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (groin) remain major doubts.

Opinion is divided as to whether Lukasz Fabianski – who has played in every round of the FA Cup so far and also featured in Arsenal’s Premier League match at Norwich last Sunday – will retain his place in goal or make way for first choice Wojciech Szczesny.

Right-back Bacary Sagna, whose contract expires shortly, is expected to make his final appearance for the Gunners.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

46 minutes ago
Ngolo Kante of Leicester City (Nick Potts/PA Wire)

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits he has been tracking the progress of Leicester midfielder for many years.

Yesterday, 07:45
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates scoring (John Walton/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says defender Gabriel is still struggling to grasp the English language.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he is enjoying the best time of his managerial career as he prepares to take Tottenham to Manchester City for a title showdown on Sunday.

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla (Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says Santi Cazorla and Jack Wilshere will remain sidelined for at least the next two or three weeks.

Peter Crouch celebrates his decisive goal for Tottenham at Manchester City in May 2010

Sunday promises to be a big day in the title fight as the Premier League’s top four teams go head to head – Leicester City visit Arsenal while Tottenham travel to face Manchester City.

Kevin Wimmer:

Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer is yet to concede a goal in the Premier League since replacing Jan Vertonghen – and he is aiming to keep it that way as he prepares to face Sergio Aguero in Sunday’s title showdown at Manchester City.

Thu, 09:00
Left to right: Gareth Davies, Max Hanson, Joe Northover, head coach Paul Doyle, Renat Samur, Alex Vonckx, Max Green

Haringey Aquatics teenager Renat Samur recorded a double as the club collected a total of five gold medals at the ASA Middlesex Age Group Championships.

Thu, 08:30
Back row (left to right): John Beckett, Joe Bruce, Wyn Bliss, George Everitt, Nick Corbett, Joe Beckett. Front row: Joel Robb, Ben Miller, Alfie Buxton

Haringey’s Under-13 indoor cricket side narrowly missed out on qualifying for the finals of the London Youth Games at Harrow Leisure Centre on Saturday.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Champagne experience

This Valentine’s Day, the Coca-Cola London Eye is the perfect destination for lovebirds, offering a range of romantic experiences from Friday 12th February - Sunday 14th February 2016.

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe