Wilshere: League Cup defeat devastating

Arsenal and England midfielder Jack Wilshere has told FourFourTwo of the devastation still felt after losing the Carling Cup Final to Birmingham City, and its psychological effect on both him and his team-mates.

The PFA Young Player of the Year has enjoyed a successful first full season in the Gunners’ senior team, but still looks back at what “killed” Arsenal’s hopes of ending a six-year trophy drought.

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“It’s devastating, even now the boys still says ‘we could have got a trophy there,’" he says in the June 2011 issue of FourFourTwo, out now.

The 2-1 defeat to Alex McLeish’s Blues - after goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny and defender Laurent Koscielny’s mix-up allowed Obafemi Martins to score in the final minute at Wembley - sparked a catastrophic chain of defeats that saw Arsene Wenger’s men also exit the Champions League to Barcelona and FA Cup at Manchester United in a horror two weeks.

“I don’t know what went wrong. An individual mistake lost it, which is horrible, but we should have killed the game off long before that,” says Wilshere.

“At 1-0 down we really started to play. The second half we were dominating, they got really tired and then... that happened. It killed us.

“There was always the psychological feeling that if we won that it would give us the confidence to win more.”

To add to Arsenal’s cup woes, the Gunners’ Premier League results have seen them fall significantly behind leaders Manchester United, although Sunday’s victory over the Red Devils at Emirates Stadium reduced the gap to six points.

And Wilshere insists the club must banish the bad memories of their League Cup loss at Wembley if they are to finally get their hands on more silverware – something they have not done since 2005.

“We have to win something and we won’t win if we keep thinking about those two weeks,” he says.

The full in-depth interview with Jack Wilshere can be found in the June issue of FourFourTwo – out now – in which the midfielder talks about his loan move to Bolton and his love of both Paolo Di Canio and Twitter!. The issue also features exclusive one-on-ones with Neymar, Niall Quinn, DJ Campbell and Luis Fabiano. Subscribe now!

By Ian Perkins