• Manager says player problems not his vision caused struggles
  • Arteta comfortable with adapting style in short term to win

When Mikel Arteta looks over the Wembley turf on Saturday night, what will he see? Part of the answer is simple: at certain points he will have to watch Manchester City whirring into gear and rendering his players virtual onlookers, regardless of the outcome. But the sight of his former team in full flow may be interpreted in different ways. Is it a vision of what he expects to replicate in the process of making Arsenal fully relevant again? Or will it be a maddening 90-minute confirmation of exactly how far his plans are from being realised?

Anyone dismissing Arteta’s chances of leading Arsenal to the FA Cup final should exercise caution, particularly after they punished slackness in a manifestly superior Liverpool on Wednesday and dug out a potentially crucial win. He knows that kind of firefighting display is no long-term route to success. It may be required again, though, and the idea does not sit easily. Arteta was asked whether Arsenal’s transition to his preferred style had been slower than expected and the bristling in his reply was unmistakable.

Related: Arteta shows promise in beating Liverpool but Arsenal errors remain | Jonathan Liew

Related: Mikel Arteta warns Arsenal to spend heavily or forget Champions League

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