Wembley is significant for many football legends. Arsene Wenger and Pep Guardiola are no exceptions. Arsenal’s manager has seen the club through eleven FA Cup semi-finals. Guardiola has been in the center of some of Barcelona’s finest Champions League performances at England’s main stadium.
When asked what it would mean for Manchester City to claim the FA trophy Pep said, “Winning titles gives you the self-confidence to say we’re good enough to compete. Whether we win the trophy or not, nothing will change in terms of expectations for us.
“I would like to win the FA Cup so my players realize how good they are. At the moment, they don’t realize how good they are, but winning titles helps this. When you win a title, it’s a lot of stress and pressure, and if you handle that the next time it will be a little bit easier. That’s why it’s important.”
Arsene Wenger’s perspective is similar: “We are of course ambitious. We’ve done it before, we know we can do it. It’s much more level at the start (against City). We know we have to be at our best to qualify (for the final).”
The Arsenal manager was generally a bit short as he answered numerous questions about Jack Wilshere and contract extensions.
When asked to comment on the notion that his tactics have become too predictable, “(Using three in the back) was testing to give us more defensive stability because lately we concede too many goals. The definition of a good football player is that he is adaptable to the situation.
“That’s what makes football rich. If you’re not adaptable, you’re not a top level player.”
Guardiola reflected a much brighter attitude, saying, “My task is to show them how many good things they do in the game... I’m so proud of what we’ve done so far and how we’ve overcome bad moments such the way we played against Liverpool after the Champions League defeat to Monaco. That is what I want to see from my teams.”
Regardless of the tension surrounding Arsenal, Wenger is focused on achieving as much as possible. “The FA Cup is very important to me. We are focused on that. My future is Sunday", the Frenchmn said.
Pep joked about using Vincent Kompany as striker and commanding Yaya Touré to maintain his Wembley scoring streak. Guardiola has many reasons to be pleased with his season, but would surely love to topple one of England’s modern dynasties to meet Tottenham Hotspur or Chelsea in the FA Cup final.