Arsenal boss reveals his FA Cup regrets

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has claimed that his own obsession with the FA Cup has had a negative affect on his side’s Champions League campaigns in past seasons.

The Gunners take on Middlesbrough in the fifth round of the competition on Sunday and go into the game as favourites to lift the trophy for the second year running, after Man City and Chelsea were knocked out in the previous round by none other than Middlesbrough and Bradford City respectively.

However Wenger believes the club could gone further in the more prestigious Champions League had he not taken the FA Cup so seriously and fielded strong sides every year.

“Nobody has won it more in the last 18 years, so we have always taken it seriously. Sometimes so seriously that we suffered in the Champions League,” the Frenchman said.

“Many times a cup game was in front of a Champions League game – for instance this week we play in the cup and then the week after next in the Champions League. Many times we lost some players.”

As manager of the Gunners, the 65 year-old Wenger has won the FA Cup five times, equalling Manchester United legend Alex Ferguson’s own record in the competition for the Red Devils. Arsenal’s 3-2 victory over Hull City in last year’s final marked their first piece of silverware in nine years.

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