FA Cup: Arsenal must end trophy drought - Parlour

Arsenal's players should be more interested in ending the club's nine-year wait for a trophy than booking another Champions League campaign, according to ex-Gunner Ray Parlour.

Gunners gloom

Olivier Giroud
  • Arsenal have lost all of their Premier League away games against the current top five by at least three goals this season
  • They were beaten 6-3 at Manchester City on 14 December, 5-1 at Liverpool on 8 February and 6-0 at Chelsea on 22 March, before losing 3-0 at Everton
  • Those four defeats account for 20 of the 40 league goals Arsenal have conceded this term

Arsene Wenger's men, who are competing with Everton for the coveted fourth spot in the Premier League, face Wigan in the FA Cup semi-finals on Saturday.

"If I had to pick fourth and no trophy, or fifth and a trophy... I would take the trophy," said Parlour.

"It would give the club a big boost."

Ex-England international Parlour won nine major honours with the Gunners, including three league titles and four FA Cups.

"I know the Champions League is important and great for the club financially but you don't want to be a professional footballer to make money for your club," he said. "The whole objective is to win.

"If at the end of your career all you've got is coming fourth eight years running - what is that?"

A run of just four wins in 13 games in all competitions has increased the pressure on Wenger, whose side start as overwhelming favourites to win the competition for a record-equalling 11th time.

Wigan emulated last season's stunning final triumph over Manchester City by beating the Blues at the Etihad Stadium to reach the last four.

Parlour believes the pressure on Wenger would become "huge" if the Gunners do not win the FA Cup, but the manager is relaxed heading into the Wembley meeting.

"Everyone can dream of winning the FA Cup at the start of the season," said Wenger. "In the championship you can talk and talk, but we know the biggest budget will win it.

"But last year Wigan won the FA Cup and this year you have Sheffield United in the semi-final.

"Only in our sport can you create that excitement. If you play against a team from Division Two in basketball, there is absolutely no chance unless you give them 30 points."

It is a mystique that has captivated Wenger throughout his life.

"I don't remember the two teams (who played in the first one I watched), but what stays in my memory is the place where I sat at school, because we had to pay one Franc to watch," said the 64-year-old.

"The ball was white and the pitch was absolutely immaculate - I played in a village where the pitch was a disaster.

"Also, the players had their hair well combed. And the managers were relaxed - they joked together on the bench."