Quincy Owusu-Abeyie will be hoping to take out a season of frustration on Wigan tonight, as he aims to help fire the Gunners to the Carling Cup Final.
The 19 year-old Dutch forward has made 13 first team appearances for Arsenal this season, in four different competitions, including starting every game so far in the Gunners' Carling Cup run. Yet he feels he is still to do himself justice with his performances this campaign, and the honest youngster knows it's down to him to make the improvement - as soon as possible.
"I'm pleased that I've been able to play a few games this season, but I'm not pleased with myself," he begins. "I don't think I have given my best in the games I've played so far, I think I can give a lot more than I have this season. I have to admit my form has been on and off, I play a good game, then the next one not so good. I haven't been consistent so that's what I have to work on. I am ambitious and I know what I want to achieve. It's up to me to do it."
When Quincy is asked why he has been unable to produce his best form on a regular basis, he doesn't look for excuses.
"Maybe I need to be more focused on what I'm doing," he states, "I think that's the problem. I need to give my all in every match and every training session. I'm in the reserve team dressing room but really I want to be with the first team, and I know it's down to me to make it happen.
"I have spoken to Robin van Persie about it quite a bit. He said I just have to be more focused. He is a great example. He said to himself 'I want to do this, I want to have this' and you could see that in November when he scored loads of goals. Everything can change in the space of a month, because it's all down to you."
Quincy, now in his fourth season at the Club, is naturally a very confident person, on and off the pitch. His extensive repertoire of tricks is evidence that he's not afraid to try things in matches. He says that while he will always play his natural game, he has cut out a few of the unnecessary step-overs. "They are not really needed all the time," he adds, "but sometimes they are. Basically I try to use my pace and do what's best for the team in any situation.
"When I go on the pitch I don't think about anything else, and I am still confident in the games. I try to give everything all of the time, and I'm still the same player, still confident of playing my game."
A two-goal victory this evening though would provide the perfect boost to Quincy, and the rest of the youngsters who have enjoyed an eventful Carling Cup run so far.
Quincy, who says he now sees himself more as a left-winger than a centre forward, is clearly excited at the prospect of appearing at the Millennium Stadium, and will be hoping to add to his one goal so far this season tonight. It was his deflected effort which drew the Gunners level for the first time in the dramatic Quarter-Final at Doncaster. "Yes it was a bit of a deflection, actually it was a big deflection!" Quincy smiles. "I don't know if it was going in or not, it might have just gone in the far corner, but it was an important goal for us, and sometimes you get lucky.
"The Carling Cup has gone well for us this year," he continues, "I think we've done well, especially after the disappointment of last year when we lost to Man U. Now though we are one game away from the Final. We are 1-0 down from the first leg but we can turn it around. Look what we did at Doncaster, we were virtually out but we won the game. Of course it is not done yet, but it would be amazing if we could get to the Millennium Stadium."
Quincy was unable to finish the Doncaster game, after picking up a knee injury in the second half, which thankfully, wasn't as serious as first thought.
"Luckily it wasn't really that bad," he explains, "I just injured the ligament but only slightly, so I wasn't out as long as we first thought I would be.
"That was a big relief and if I play against Wigan it will be one of the biggest games I've been involved in. It would be great to get to the Final and see how good we are. It's one step more, so let's go for it."
Finally, the African Cup of Nations started at the weekend, and Quincy will be closely monitoring the fortunes of Ghana in Group D. "Yes, my parents are both from Ghana, so of course I will be supporting them in the African Nations Cup, and in the World Cup too. It's the first time they have qualified for the World Cup so it's a good time for them.
"People have asked me if I would ever play for Ghana," continues the Amsterdam-born forward, "but no, I've never really thought about it. I know sometimes you can have double nationality, but I'm just thinking about Holland now."24 Jan 2006