Arsenal have matured since League Cup defeat, claims Szczesny

Wojciech Szczesny believes that Arsenal are “in a very strong position” to win the FA Cup this season.

Arsenal will be under tremendous pressure when they take to the pitch at Wembley in London on Saturday for the FA Cup semi-final tie against Wigan Athletic.

Not only could the Gunners head into the tie placed fifth in the Premier League, but they could also lose their last realistic chance of silverware this campaign.

Arsene Wenger’s side 3-0 drubbing by Everton at Goodison Park last weekend has taken their destiny out of their own hands in terms of finishing fourth in the league.

If Everton win their 3pm kickoff against Sunderland at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, then Roberto Martinez’s team will be in pole position to end up fourth.

There can be little doubt that Wenger and his players will be under pressure against a Wigan side who have defeated Premier League opposition in the last three rounds, including the mighty Manchester City in the quarter-finals.

However, Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny is adamant that he and his teammates are in “a very strong position” to win the FA Cup this year.

The 23-year-old Poland international claims that the Gunners have matured in the last three years since they got beaten by Birmingham City 2-1 in the final of the League Cup.

On that occasion at Wembley, a late goal from Obafemi Martins, thanks to a defensive mix-up between the keeper and Laurent Koscielny - saw the eventually relegated Blues win the clash while under the management of Alex McLeish.

Szczesny argues that he himself has come of age over the years, and so has his teammates who were – and still are – young, the likes of Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey, and insists that now the players are “more prepared” against a less fancies but tricky opposition.

“It's huge - we know that we’re in a very strong position to win the FA Cup this year, and we're two games away from doing so,” he told Arsenal’s official website.

“We're at Wembley so we know how important it is for the fans and all the players. I hope it's going to be a very positive day for the club.

“We had a bad experience recently at Wembley in the League Cup final. But [we’ve matured] a lot and we’ve got a lot more experienced players. Also I think that the likes of Jack and Aaron Ramsey and myself were only 18 or 19 at the time.

“We’re three years older now, we've got three years of experience under our belt and we're more prepared for it.”

Nevertheless, Wigan are a tricky opposition and under Uwe Rosler, the Latics have put together a good run of results that has propelled them from 14th up to fifth. A Championship side they may be, but the FA Cup holders are not a team to be lightly or to be trifled with.

Arsenal will find that out on Saturday.

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