Wenger: We will fight on all fronts
Arsene Wenger has challenged his young Arsenal side to come out firing on all cylinders in every match - whether it is the League Cup or UEFA Champions League. The Gunners head to Newcastle tomorrow night looking to stay on course for a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup.
Wenger used last week's annual general meeting to declare his intentions to give all in every competition - with momentum continuing after a 3-0 win over Premier League title rivals Manchester City on Sunday which lifted Arsenal back up into second place followed the 5-1 thrashing of Shakhtar Donetsk.
The League Cup had been used in previous campaigns as something of a breeding ground for many of Wenger's promising young Gunners.
However, the likes of Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Kieran Gibbs and Laurent Koscielny are all in contention to face the Magpies, along with emerging talents Craig Eastmond, Henri Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel-Thomas. Wenger maintains whichever XI he sends out must all have the same focused approach.
"I said to the players 'we will go for everything we can, as simple as that', and not really specifying one more than the other one, that is why I believe we are on a good run and we want to keep that going," Wenger told Arsenal TV Online.
"It is important to keep it moving no matter what competition it is, that is what we want to do. We are doing well in the Champions League and we have done well so far in the League Cup and we are back on track in the championship, so it is just all movement."
Wenger continued: "I believe we have a good squad enough to go forward with trophies, that's why I think 'ok let's go as far as we can'. If needed we can still always choose later, but at the moment it is important for everybody to think we go for everything we can."
Wenger understands the need to deliver silverware, of any kind, but maintains Arsenal have not been standing still in the past five seasons. "We want to respond with the maximum commitment to the demands of people. We want to go as high as we can.
"People forget that we have been at the top every year, but we want to add what people want from us and we want as well. I can promise that we will try to give our best in every competition."
Wenger, though, is not taking progress for granted against a Newcastle side which knocked Premier League leaders Chelsea out at Stamford Bridge in the previous round.
"We are not in the final yet, we have a long way to go," the Arsenal manager stated. "When you go to Newcastle you have to be realistic. That's why I repeat we play with a good team and we do our best and that's all we can do.
"Newcastle are competitive. They have a good mixture between physical power, technical level and spirit. That is why they will be a dangerous side for everybody.
"It is important that we go into the game and think we want to qualify, also we want to produce a great performance because the Chelsea game has shown that you don't get away with an average performance against Newcastle."
As Arsenal number one Manuel Almunia continues to recover from an elbow problem, Lukasz Fabianski - who impressed again at Eastlands - is likely to be left on the bench tomorrow, meaning an opportunity for 20-year-old Wojciech Szczesny.
"He can show he is a good keeper," Wenger said. "I believe he is one, but there again let's not make stars before they have proven they are. He has the talent, he has a good attitude and let's see his performance in the games."
Szczesny is out of contract in the summer, and has talked of his desire for regular football. Wenger maintained: "He is a goalkeeper we rate, he knows he has been educated here, we want him to stay here and the only way I can show him that is by giving him a chance when it is possible. Tomorrow he gets that chance."