Wenger: We can build up to silverware
Manager Arsene Wenger feels winning the FA Cup would give Arsenal an "aura" once again.
The Gunners head to Swansea for Sunday's third-round tie aiming to keep alive hopes of finally ending their long run without silverware in 2013. A generation of players have passed through Wenger's squad since Patrick Vieira lifted the FA Cup seven-and-a-half years ago and the Arsenal boss accepts winning a trophy would change the mindset of the current squad.
"There is a change of course, there is an aura around the team that is built through the history of the team. That makes them feel strong together," he said.
"It is an energy that builds up inside the team that you sense, that is linked with the success that the team has achieved. It is the same the other way around - you only achieve if you really believe, so it is always a vicious circle."
"The fact that you can be consistent improves the confidence, after, it's [about] winning the trophy," he said. "For us, what is important [is] to fight for the Premier League, as long as we don't do that, something will be questioned. Even if you win the cup, [which] is important to me, people will say 'yes, but we want you to fight for the Premier League'."
Despite his acceptance of the need for some silverware to be brought to Emirates Stadium sooner rather than later, Wenger accepts playing at football's top table remains a pre-requisite for the continued development of the club.
"For people, the Champions League is very important today. It makes a massive difference for everybody inside the club," he said. "To recruit [and] to keep the players, you need to be in the Champions League first."
Walcott has yet to agree a new deal, but Wenger remains confident a compromise can be reached to keep the England forward at Arsenal past the end of the season. With figures of around Â£100,000 a week being touted as the going rate to secure the 23-year-old's signature, Arsenal are likely to have to push the boundaries of their wage structure to seal the deal.
"As long as our business is organised in a way where we do not need any help from anybody, and pay our people with our resources, it's defendable economically," Wenger said. "You can always say 'is it enough? Is it too much or not enough?', that becomes a more philosophical question."
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