Arsenal have had to deal with more than their fair share of doubt over the years, but they are now being forced to deal with perhaps the toughest mental pressure of them all and that’s living with the tag of favourites.
OK, so the Carling Cup is not exactly the creme de la creme of trophies in the footballing world, but it is perhaps a test of just how much the Arsenal squad is capable of achieving. Most people make Arsenal betting tips to win the cup, but it may be the start of something bigger. Should the side go all the way to Wembley and pick up the trophy, Arsenal could be entering a new golden age under Wenger.
Conversely, failure to capitalise upon the fact that they are undeniably in the strongest position to win a trophy, no matter what the identity of that trophy or the level of regard in which it is held, could have long lasting effects on a squad that the club has spent millions of pounds developing and keeping hold of.
If Arsenal fail to win anything this season, or worse yet lose their nerve when they are finally being considered as a top team, then Wenger is going to have a tough job on his hands convincing players to stay together and keep believing in themselves after so long without a trophy. With Gunners fans already beginning to lose their patience with Wenger’s continued belief that success can be developed rather than bought, the mental test his side are facing may represent one of the most pivotal moments in the recent history of the club and the football predictions reflect this.
Despite this, Wenger himself seems to be continuing to play it cool and keep the faith that has often been shown in him by the Arsenal faithful. Now is the time for his team to repay that faith.