Belfast Telegraph

Teams scared of Arsenal - Wilshere

Jack Wilshere feels teams are "scared" of being ripped apart by Arsenal at Emirates Stadium, but has warned his team-mates not to "do anything silly" in Saturday's FA Cup third-round tie against npower Championship promotion hopefuls Leeds.

Arsenal remain very much in the Barclays Premier League title race following Wednesday night's frustrating goalless draw against rivals Manchester City. However, they could have been closer to leaders Manchester United, who have a match in hand, after they hit the woodwork twice in the first half and Robin van Persie was also later denied by a fine save from England number one Joe Hart.

"We just have to learn to break teams down. City's approach was a credit to us and the way we play. Teams come here and they are scared and want to defend," he said. "There are going to be a lot of teams who come here and defend and we have to learn to break them down."

Wilshere continued: "Leeds will bring loads of supporters and they'll be up for it, so we have to make sure we are up for it, not do anything silly and hopefully progress to the next round."

Arsenal host United at the end of April, in what could yet be a decisive fixture.

Wilshere said: "We have got a point towards catching them and they have still got to come here, so it's still really open. When they come here, we can beat them."

Arsenal also have the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final at Ipswich next week.

With goalkeeper Manuel Almunia, centre-back Thomas Vermaelen and midfielder Abou Diaby all on the road to recovery out of an uncharacteristically sparse treatment room, Wenger does not want to take any chances by overloading the rest of his team.

"We will rotate. There are going to be changes, many changes," Wenger confirmed. "I will certainly rest van Persie and maybe [Samir] Nasri."

Wenger added: "It will be another big game - you know the third round of the FA Cup is always very tricky. We need to swallow our frustration from the Man City match and quickly focus again for Saturday."


From Belfast Telegraph