Tomas Rosicky maintains Arsenal are serious about landing the Carling Cup this season as they aim to end a six-year wait for silverware.
The Czech winger Rosicky captained a strong Arsenal team which beat Tottenham 4-1 after extra time at White Hart Lane on Tuesday night. The manager Arsène Wenger – watching from the stands as he served a one-match touchline ban – selected a balanced squad, with Henri Lansbury, who opened the scoring on 15 minutes, the only reserve-team youngster to make the starting XI.
Wenger has said the Gunners will continue with the selection policy in an attempt to reach Wembley, should he not see his options further depleted by injuries, with full-back Kieran Gibbs now out for a few weeks after what was initially feared to be a serious foot injury. Arsenal have not lifted a trophy since the 2005 FA Cup final, which was played in Cardiff.
Rosicky, who joined from Borussia Dortmund the following season, believes another piece of silverware is long overdue. "It is important to end the trophy drought because it's gone on too long," he said. "You can see the boss is going for it. He wants to win the Carling Cup more this season because he took the whole team here. That gives us a better chance of winning it, we have a good enough squad to compete on all levels. I came in 2006 and have won nothing yet. I came here to win trophies, so let's go for it in style."
Robbie Keane had drawn the home side level just after the restart, and neither team was able to find a winner in normal time. However, Arsenal went back in front at the start of the first period of extra time when Samir Nasri slotted in a penalty after being tugged back by Sebastien Bassong, before the Frenchman added another from the spot four minutes later following Steven Caulker's foul on Marouane Chamakh. Andrei Arshavin scored a fourth to silence the White Hart Lane crowd.
Rosicky, who missed a crucial penalty at Sunderland on Saturday, admitted he was somewhat taken aback by the squad selection, which also included a strong bench. "I was happy I was playing because a game against Tottenham is a great one to play in," he said. "Maybe I was a bit surprised that the whole team came here, even though he rotated a little bit, but all the players who played in the starting XI showed that they want to play."
Teenager Jack Wilshere continued his progression with another impressive display, which Wenger described yesterday as "outstanding".