Antonio Conte believes FA Cup will be much harder to win than last year

• Conte: ‘I don’t play to enjoy, I play only to win’
• ‘Last season Chelsea missed a great chance to win it’

Antonio Conte believes Chelsea passed up “a great chance” to win the FA Cup last season and will find success this year far harder to come by as they prepare for Sunday’s semi‑final against Southampton.

The Italian, who has yet to claim a knockout trophy as a manager, had seen his team secure the Premier League title by seven points last term, finishing 18 clear of Arsenal, their opponents in the cup final. Yet Chelsea failed to maintain the high standards they had set – they won 19 of their last 23 fixtures in all competitions before the showpiece – and his 10 men succumbed to a late Aaron Ramsey goal to lose 2-1.

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via Football | The Guardian

This is the one decision nobody is saying Arsène Wenger has got wrong | Daniel Taylor

His spellbinding peak is too long ago for anyone to still be in denial but as the Frenchman heads to the Arsenal exit it is time to cherish his best years

The saddest thing, perhaps, is that of all the thousands upon thousands of words that have been devoted to Arsène Wenger over the last couple of days, it is difficult to recall a single sentence arguing that this is all threatening to be one big mistake and that, contrary to what you might have heard, it isn’t the right time for him to go.

It was difficult, however, not to appreciate the cartoon in Saturday’s edition of L’Equipe showing two Arsenal supporters debating the issue and the impression it left about how strangely unsettling it is to imagine somebody new in Wenger’s touchline seat next season. One of the supporters has a can of spray paint in his hand and has scrawled the words “Wenger Come back!” in red capital letters on a brick wall. “Was it not you who was screaming: ‘Wenger Out’?” his companion asks. “Yes,” says the fan responsible for the graffiti, “but, like Brexit, I’m afraid I will regret it.”

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via Football | The Guardian

Paul Pogba surges to centre stage at Wembley with display of art and graft | Barney Ronay

Midfielder recovered from a shaky start against Spurs to showcase his silky creative gifts in the game’s pivotal moments

It seems safe to say Paul Pogba won’t ever please everyone. Not least when so many of those watching seem so eager to be displeased: to rail at every moment of struggle, those times where Manchester United’s most intermittently captivating midfielder refuses to do all of the many things that have been expected of him since his return to English football.

United and Pogba have both sputtered and sparked this season. At times they have seemed a perfect fit in the most unwanted way, a team and a star player who are both prone to fades, moments of drift, a sense of trapped energy.

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via Football | The Guardian