All eyes will be on the Chelsea v Tottenham game today, but for the fans of Arsenal and Man City it will only be to see which high-flying rival we could be facing in the Final on May 27th. But first of all there is the small matter of our own semifinal tomorrow afternoon.
Both Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola have had poor campaigns by their usual high standards, although City have the advantage in the race for the Top Four, and both of them are desperate to win the FA Cup to salvage some pride from the season. Wenger is keen to see his players show some more motivation than has been evident in recent weeks. “Going to Wembley is always a special experience,” Wenger said on Arsenal.com. “When our supporters go to Wembley, I think it’s a special occasion in their life. You want them to come out there and be pleased by having a positive experience.
“On our side, we want to win the game. It’s important that you go into big games and feel you can win them. That’s something that’s vital in the players’ heads, for their careers, for their confidence and for their self-esteem. It’s something special.”
Arsenal have the benefit of more experience of playing on the hallowed turf, although Man City have already won the League Cup Final there earlier in the season so will know what to expect as well. Guardiola simply wants to win another trophy to set his players up for more success in the future. “It is important to achieve a final.” he said. “I would like to win the FA Cup so my players realise how good they are. For all clubs, titles are important. Winning titles gives you the self-confidence to say, ‘We’re good enough to compete’.
“When you win, the next time it will be a little easier. This is a fantastic club and team, I’m so proud of what we’ve done and how we’ve overcome bad moments. But you are judged on titles.”
One thing for sure is that Guardiola will still be at the Etihad next season, while for Wenger maybe even another record FA Cup success won’t be enough to appease the Arsenal fans. It should be a great closely-matched game between two very highly motivated rivals, but who wants it the most?
We will find out tomorrow….