Wilshere, Rosicky relishing cup final
Jack Wilshere feels Arsenal are just too good not to be getting their hands on silverware and believes victory in the Carling Cup final against Birmingham City tomorrow can be the start of bigger things.
The combative midfielder is enjoying his breakthrough season with Arsenal following a productive loan spell at Bolton Wanderers, with the 19-year-old making his full England debut against Denmark earlier this month. Wilshere has found himself a central part of Arsene Wenger's young side, who must do without captain Cesc Fabregas and England winger Theo Walcott tomorrow because of injury.
However, despite all of their promise, the Gunners have not delivered any additions to the trophy cabinet since moving to Emirates Stadium in 2006. With Arsenal still competing for honours at home and in Europe, Wilshere believes victory at Wembley can only lead to more success.
"At the moment, this has been the best season I could have asked for. I have played for England and now am about to represent my club in a cup final, which is massive," Wilshere told Arsenal TV Online. "I am really looking forward to Sunday, it will be the biggest game of my life so far. If we can win, it will give us confidence for the rest of the season.
"It has been five years since Arsenal won anything and this team is too good not to win things. Every game brings pressure when you are at a big club like Arsenal. The cup final is a one-off game and anything can happen, so we have to be ready. We just have to play our own game, because on our day, we can beat anyone. Hopefully we can do it for the fans and then bring more at the end of the season."
Wilshere feels the absence of Fabregas and Walcott can be used as a positive. "Cesc is a great leader and if we win it, there will only be one person to go up and lift the trophy," he said. "In a way we can do it for him and Theo too, he has been a massive player for us in the Carling Cup and scored two goals against Newcastle. We will miss them, but we need to go and do the job without them."
Tomas Rosicky could be drafted into the starting XI tomorrow, with Abou Diaby, just back from a three-match suspension, another option should Wenger decide against bringing Samir Nasri in from his wide role. At 30, Czech Republic international Rosicky is one of the more senior members of the squad. The former Borussia Dortmund and Sparta Prague midfielder knows full well the impact victory at Wembley would have for the future.
"It will be important for the whole team. Remember, there are a lot of young guys here that haven't won a major trophy before so it could be a very big boost for everyone," he said. "Beating Birmingham could lead to more success, it'd be a huge step up for the future. Once you have tasted how great it is to win something it makes you even hungrier for more so it's a vital game for us on Sunday."
Just what that feeling could do for the confidence of the group is also not lost on Nicklas Bendtner. The 23-year-old Denmark striker, who netted a superb goal in the 3-0 semi-final second-leg win over Ipswich Town, added: "I would love to say that I have trophies to show for my time at Arsenal - that's why I'm here, to win things and play with the best players. Everyone wants to be a part of that, so it would be nice if we can start off with some serious silverware on Sunday."