Wenger: Trophies needed to build aura
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes a trophy triumph in 2013 will give his team an aura that has been lacking at the club during the last seven years without any silverware, but admits a top-four finish remains his prime target.
Sunday's 2-2 FA Cup third round draw with Swansea kept alive Arsenal's best hope of a trophy success this season, with Wenger suggesting a team that lacks proven winners will be transformed in their mentality if they enter the winner's circle.
"The Champions League is very important today, for everyone inside a club, to improve the players, to keep players here, so the first target is to reach the top four in the Premier League," stressed Wenger. "I know people do not agree with me on this, but a top-four finish is a basic requirement for top, top level players. After that you want to win the championship or the FA Cup.
"(Winning silverware) would give the players more confidence, of course. There is a change in players when you win a trophy. There is an aura around a team that is built through the history of a team. That makes them feel together strong. It's an energy that builds up inside a team that you can sense it is linked with the success the team has achieved.
"For us, it is important to fight for the championship. It is important to win a cup, of course, but people want you first to fight for the Premier League title. That's where the strength of a team and a club really lies."
Wenger conceded there will be question marks hovering over his rebuilt team until they put a piece of silverware into the as yet unused Emirates Stadium trophy room, but he remains convinced that can happen if his troops find some consistency.
"People are doubting me and the team this season, I cannot deny this," he added. "In truth, it is difficult to analyse this team at the moment. When you score seven goals in one game against Newcastle and the next game against Southampton, you only score with an own goal, then it is hard to understand.
"The trouble for us at the moment is we are not consistent enough. We have good offensive potential in this team, but we don't always perform to our maximum levels.
"Apart from our four defenders, you could say the rest of our team are all offensive players. Mikel Arteta, Jack Wilshere, Lucas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Oliver Giroud. They are all offensive players, but you look from game to game how to improve the efficiency of the team."