Arsenal boss dodges most awkward question

As the season enters its final few weeks, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refuses to be drawn into revealing his priorities.

Wenger was asked a simple question at Thursday’s press conference. Which would he choose: winning the FA Cup, or finishing fourth in the Premier League ?

The Arsenal manager’s response was rather dismissive: 'I will not choose because we must respond well after our game against Everton last week because that's where our future lies', the Frenchman told reporters.

'We need to have the capacity to respond with a strong performance in the next game. It is important to focus on Wigan who have already beaten Man City this season at Man City - as well as last year's final - and we respect Wigan for that'.

After a season that promised so much for Arsenal following the signing of world-class playmaker Mesut Ozil, it's come back to a salvage job once again - winning the FA Cup, or finishing fourth.

Arsenal are currently in 4th position in the Premier League, with 64 points from 33 matches - 10 points behind leaders Liverpool. Thoughts of the title is long gone and now the challenge is to remain in a Champions League place. And that's not a shoo-in either, because Everton are just a point behind in fifth - but with a game in hand.

So when Wenger takes out his Arsenal team out onto the Wembley pitch for the FA Cup semi-final tie against holders Wigan Athletic on Saturday, the Gunners could already be in fifth place in the Premier League, as the Toffees take on Sunderland at the Stadium of Light in an earlier game.

And make no mistake, Wigan will be tough opponents too. Uwe Rosler’s side have moved up from 14th to fifth in the Championship, and have knocked out three Premier League clubs in their last three rounds of the FA Cup (including a 2-1 win against Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium). Moreover, Wigan are, of course, the FA Cup holders and will be pumped up at the possibility of clinching the prestigious trophy two years in a row.

This Saturday is going to be massive for Arsenal - and not just for this season, but the next too. Much has been made about Manchester United’s failure to make it to the top four, but the consequences could be just as severe for Arsenal. Remember, Wenger’s contract is up at the end of the season, and some commentators suggest that he won't sign on for a further 2 years unless he really believes that he is the man to take Arsenal forward.

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