Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is convinced his side's dramatic FA Cup semi-final penalty shoot-out win over Wigan can prove the turning point of their season - and feared what defeat would have done to the squad. The Gunners will host West Ham on Tuesday night looking to move themselves back above Everton and into the top four of the Barclays Premier League on the back of a nerve-shredding encounter at Wembley. Arsenal were just seven minutes away from what would have been another catastrophic failure to deliver when trailing 1-0 to Jordi Gomez's second-half penalty, before Per Mertesacker redeemed himself for his earlier costly foul to head home an equaliser. The woodwork denied Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a winner in extra-time, and so the outcome was decided on the lottery of spot-kicks, when for once this season the Gunners' luck held as stand-in goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski's two early saves proved pivotal in a 4-2 victory.
Wenger knows full well the negative headlines and broken cannon motifs which would have been emblazoned across the sports pages had things once again gone against his side.
"There was a lot at stake for us, you know how it is today in football - had we gone out of course we would have been tremendously questioned and I knew it was a turning point of our season. To go out on Saturday would have been very difficult, but we have shown resilience and nerves, and that is an important quality at the top level."
Wenger is now one small step closer to finally seeing his side deliver silverware after what has been a near barren decade of unfulfilled potential.
"It means a lot for the club, and I want to win. I am not standing on the touchline and just expecting a result, I am fighting for the results," said the 64-year-old, who has yet to sign the offer of a new contract extension.
"I want to win every single game, when you go to the FA Cup final, you want to win it, we don't then I don't think we will do it."