Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pires: Winning League Cup Can Set Arsenal for Double Triumph; in Association With

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Pires: Winning League Cup Can Set Arsenal for Double Triumph; in Association With

Article excerpt

Byline: Giuseppe Muro

JOSE MOURINHO viewed winning the League Cup and Europa League as success for Manchester United last season and Arsene Wenger may share that judgment if Arsenal end a difficult campaign by securing two trophies and Champions League qualification.

Arsenal have again failed to challenge for the Premier League title this season and look set to finish outside the top four for a second year in a row. But the Gunners will win the Carabao Cup if they beat Manchester City in the final on Sunday and can also qualify for the Champions League by lifting the Europa League.

And Arsenal legend Robert Pires feels that would be success for Wenger this season.

Some fans think another year without the title represents failure but Pires (right) said: "Manchester United is a good example for Arsenal. I agree with what Mourinho said last season.

"This season has been difficult for Arsenal when you see the team in sixth place and seven points behind Tottenham. But win against Manchester City at Wembley on Sunday and win the Europa League, and for me it will be a great season.

"The first objective for Arsene at the start of the season is the Premier League, but sometimes you have teams like Manchester City who are very difficult to follow.

"It is important for Arsenal to play in the Champions League again and if they win the Europa League they will go straight into the Champions League next season.

"The Europa League is not the Champions League but it is a very good competition and it is a great opportunity for Arsenal to win a trophy and get into the Champions League."

Arsenal are in control of their Europa League last-32 tie against Ostersund after they won 3-0 in Sweden last week and Wenger will rest players in the second leg tonight.

Manchester City will be favourites on Sunday but Pires believes Arsenal can inflict another defeat on Pep Guardiola's side after their FA Cup exit at Wigan on Monday. …

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