We all know the problems Arsenal have had when playing lower league teams.

Complacency and stupidity have plagued this side for years but things seem different now.

Despite some blips, for the most part, the side have been imperious since they humiliated themselves against Monaco in the first leg and is appears as if, finally, the penny has finally dropped that talent alone is not enough to win games at this level.

Facing Reading on Saturday at Wembley, a side that has never registered a win over Arsenal, Arsene Wenger is in no doubt about what needs to happen to ensure his side progresses to the final.

“I’m playing my 10th semi-final on Saturday so that means we know how to prepare. We know as well that it is always tricky,” Wenger told reporters.

“It’s a special occasion for us to share with our fans and we want to go home happy. Last year we went to penalties against Wigan and we have learnt from that. The urgency level will be high in our team.

“The fact that we won [the cup] last year is a good memory and can stimulate your brain, your desire, and we want to take the positives from it. We also remember that we suffered a lot before we got there so we have to prepare ourselves to battle first.

“Once you are in the semi-final at Wembley it would be absolutely not intelligent to think you can just turn up and win the game.

“We have prepared well since the start of the season for this game and we know exactly what will face us. I think the team will have the needed focus.”

In years gone by it would be easy to doubt these statements but this Arsenal seems like a very different animal.

Previously we would have known that we should be confident ahead of the game but aware that Arsenal could quite easily ‘Arsenal‘ things up. It doesn’t feel that way this time.

Let’s hope we’re not wrong.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.