Arsene Wenger keen to avoid Arsenal trophy 'obsession'
Arsene Wenger has urged his young team not to become obsessed by ending their trophy drought with the Carling Cup - and warned more hard work lays ahead before anyone can dream of Wembley glory.
The Gunners, fielding a team of some nine changes, moved into the semi-finals with a 2-0 victory over Barclays Premier League strugglers Wigan at a freezing Emirates Stadium last night following an own goal from Latics captain Antolin Alcaraz and a close-range effort by Nicklas Bendtner.
Manchester United's shock 4-0 defeat at West Ham now leaves the Gunners as hot favourites for the competition and to collect their first silverware since 2005.
However, Wenger insisted the team must stay focused.
"You cannot say that [a first trophy] is not important, but we should also not make obsession of that," the Arsenal boss said.
"We want to focus on the quality of our performances, and the rest will be the consequences of those performances.
"The major trophies are the Champions League and the [domestic] championship, but if we can win this as well, we will take it.
"We want to win trophies and be at the top, but you can only do as well as you can.
"At the moment, we are at the end of November and are in quite a good position in all of the competitions."
Aston Villa, who lost to United in last season's final, play Birmingham tonight, while West Brom travel to Ipswich in the other quarter-final.
The bookmakers may have already installed Arsenal as odds-on to win the Carling Cup, but Wenger warned against complacency.
"You have seen it in the Premier League, and with West Ham, that it can happen to Manchester United, to Chelsea and to us this season," he said.
"We have to accept there are no guarantees, even if we are in the semi-finals, that we will win the trophy - you have to fight in every single game to win."
Robin van Persie impressed on a first start since the end of August, but Arsenal were still without injured captain Cesc Fabregas, who has a hamstring problem, and may struggle to recover in time for the trip to Old Trafford on December 13.
"It is impossible to say at the moment," said Wenger.
"It is not a big injury, but we have to wait.
"In the next three days, we will know more."
Latics boss Roberto Martinez felt his side had shown great character, but admitted they were always up against it.
To add to their disappointment, Victor Moses was taken to hospital with a suspected dislocated shoulder following an awkward fall in the first half while striker Mauro Boselli limped off with a knee problem late on.
Martinez, though, insisted his squad would bounce back as they battle for Barclays Premier League survival.
"Now is one of the key moments, we need to regroup and act like men," he said.
"We are short in numbers, but not in character.
"It would be very easy to feel sorry for ourselves, but if we carry on working with levels have been showing, luck can change very quickly."
Apple has been hit by complaints about the 1.1GB download
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Matt Smith is set to join cast of the Jane Austen classic - with a twist
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Latest in Sport
Nottingham Forest vs Fulham match report: Britt Assombalonga hat-trick deepens Felix Magath's gloom
Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal player ratings: How did Ozil and Welbeck do in Germany?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City player ratings: Joe Hart? Thomas Muller? Jerome Boateng? Who was the star man?
Bayern Munich vs Manchester City report: Jerome Boateng thrashes home winner against former team
- 2 Scottish independence: Learn from Quebec's mistakes and beware of promises. Vote Yes.
- 3 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 5 Have you heard about the film Singapore has banned its people from watching? Well, you have now
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
Scottish independence referendum: A nation divided against itself
The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Portuguese academic says British are 'filthy, violent and drunk'
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'