Club Focus – Arsenal – Every game a cup final for Wenger as Bentner stakes claim for starting berth

As Arsenal approach the business end of the season, manager Arsene Wenger has declared that: “It will be only ‘Cup’ games for the rest of the season.” In light of the Carling Cup final defeat, this was not the most encouraging of sentiments, but reaffirms the importance of each and every fixture.

In the wake of Chelsea’s midweek defeat of Manchester United, Arsene Wenger sensed a golden opportunity beckoning for his side. Arsenal host Sunderland on Saturday knowing that Manchester United must travel to Anfield without Nemanja Vidic or Rio Ferdinand the following day. With the opportunity to close the gap to a single point come Saturday evening, Wenger’s assertion is intended to warn against complacency as much as it is to inspire.

In the first of many ‘cup’ encounters to come following his statement, Wenger’s men progressed to set up a quarter-final clash with their title rivals by dispatching Leyton Orient with a thumping 5-0 win at the Emirates. Ahead of the match the visitors took heart from the shock result in the Gunners’ previous outing with Orient midfielder, and former Chelsea trainee, Jimmy Smith asserting: “Ars

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