x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Carling win will be start of things to come for Arsenal

Jack Wilshere feels that a victory for Arsenal in today's Carling Cup final against Birmingham City will be the start of bigger things to come for Arsene Wenger's talented squad.

Jack Wilshere feels that a victory for Arsenal in today's Carling Cup final against Birmingham City will be the start of bigger things to come for Arsene Wenger's talented squad.

The 19-year-old midfielder is enjoying a breakthrough season with Arsenal, and he made his full England debut against Denmark earlier this month.

Wilshere has found himself a central part of Arsene Wenger's young side, who today must do without their captain, Cesc Fabregas, and the winger Theo Walcott because of injury.

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 the Champions League, Wilshere believes it is only a matter of time before they win something.

"At the moment, this has been the best season I could have asked for," Wilshere told Arsenal TV Online. "I am really looking forward to the match. 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."

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."

Tomas Rosicky could be drafted into the starting XI today, with Abou Diaby, just back from a three-match suspension, another option should Wenger decide against bringing Samir Nasri in from his wide role.

Meanwhile, Birmingham's manager Alex McLeish has hailed the "massive impact" of Barry Ferguson, who has rebuilt his career after ending his spell in Scotland in disgrace.

Ferguson was stripped of the Scotland captaincy and told he would no longer be considered for international selection after well-publicised breaches of discipline two years ago. The midfielder also had the captain's armband taken off him at Rangers.

But McLeish showed faith in the player he had already managed at the international and club level by bringing him to St Andrew's during the summer of 2009.

It has proved to be an inspired signing and Ferguson will be a pivotal figure at Wembley.

"The [Rangers] fans thought Barry was on the wane or he was finished but he's proved since he's come to England that he's got plenty of fire, ability and still has the legs," McLeish said.

"He has been superb for us and his experience will be important.

"It's amazing he's played so many games and he's hardly ever injured. His playing record is remarkable over the years. He's got amazing toughness."

Said Ferguson: "This is up there with everything I have achieved, including getting to the Uefa Cup final. I'm not taking anything away from my time at Rangers, but you are expected to win every game. But here, a good achievement is just to stay in the Premier League. For us to get to this final is a great achievement."

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