Wenger wants to go for all four
Arsene Wenger has warned that his Arsenal players fully intend to "go for it" as they target an unprecedented quadruple.
The Gunners host Premier League relegation-battlers Wigan Athletic tomorrow looking to maintain the momentum from a 3-1 midweek FA Cup third-round replay win at Leeds United, which followed the 3-0 drubbing of bottom club West Ham United.
Next week Arsenal, who last won a trophy in 2005, take on Championship strugglers Ipswich Town in the second leg of their Carling Cup semi-final looking to overturn a 1-0 deficit and stay on course for Wembley, while a place in the last 16 of the FA Cup is there for the taking against League One Huddersfield Town.
The small matter of a UEFA Champions League showdown with Barcelona is also fast approaching, and Wenger knows his men must continue to produce their top form as they battle for success on four fronts.
"We are motivated to give our best in all the competitions, that is for sure," the Arsenal manager said. "What can we win? We are not in a position to say that, we are in a position where we want to give our best and afterwards we will see where we end up. What is good is we are in mid-January and we are still in all four competitions, so let's go for it."
Wenger continued: "We have shown since the start of the season that we can beat everybody. We feel that we are getting stronger and stronger. We have a stronger belief than at the start of the season and our togetherness is better than at the start. I believe there is more to come out from this team and am convinced we will be stronger and stronger. We are on a good run in the championship and every game becomes crucial now."
Arsenal now have four home matches in succession and Wenger will not accept any more below-par performances at the Emirates Stadium. "We know our home form can make a huge impact on our success and that's why if it is Wigan or anybody else at home we want the three points," he said. "Everybody has learned since the start of the season that there is no room for taking anybody lightly because everybody can beat everybody in this league."
Wenger, whose side head into tomorrow's fixtures two points behind both Manchester United and Manchester City, added: "We are in a period where we want to show we can get our best out in every single game. When you play so many games, that is not easy."
There had been reports of disharmony within the squad this week. However, Wenger insisted: "There is a strong bond in the team, most of these players have been here since they were 15 or 16, they have grown up together, there is a natural understanding and they are hungry for success. They want to show they can do it. On the mental front, I have no problems. For us it is important to show we have the mental resources to focus every three days now."
Arsenal are short of cover at the centre of defence, but Wenger refused to be drawn on whether he was set for a £10million swoop for Bolton Wanderer's England international Gary Cahill. "At the moment, I cannot come out with any name," he said. "I think Gary Cahill is a very good player, but I cannot tell you more. We like to keep our transfer negotiations always very secret, because it puts more pressure on when you go public so you would understand we don't want to speak publicly about that."
Thomas Vermaelen has been sidelined since August with a troublesome Achilles, but could be back within six weeks after undergoing a medical procedure in Sweden. However, Wenger maintains even without new additions, the squad can cope. "It is a worry as long as [Sebastien] Squillaci is out, I must say, as we are short, but we have other resources," he said. "If the worst came to the worst, [Abou] Diaby is coming back so if we have to put [Alex] Song back we have Diaby coming back to play in midfield."