By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger is not going to allow Saturday's drubbing at Manchester United to drive him "crazy".
The Arsenal manager was at a loss to explain his team's performance in the FA Cup Fifth Round tie. All he could do was admit the Old Trafford side's clear superiority and head home in preparation for the Champions League Knockout Round first leg against Milan on Wednesday - a game that was already being billed as a season-shaper.
"What can I do?" said Wenger afterwards. "I never felt we were really in the game and afterwards that can make you crazy.
"But I have difficulty being crazy today because I am more worried about the consequences it could have on the team.
"The targets are so big for us that you don't feel sorry for yourself. We have a massive game in front of us on Wednesday night and I feel the immensity of the game makes you forget your disappointment.
"What we have learnt today is that this sort of performance will not be good enough against Milan."
Saturday's game was a total turnaround from last weekend when Manchester United's defeat allowed Arsenal to move five points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
"From one week to the next things can change," agreed Wenger. "Man United did not look at their best last Sunday and we gave a lot on Monday night.
"However today we looked mentally lethargic. When you play so many games it can sometimes happen.
"There was a study in a French newspaper saying we are the team who has played the most games in Europe. We have played 42 till now and no one has played as many as us.
"Sometimes that can catch up with you but three days later you can be sharp again."
Wenger needs to pull off that very trick before Wednesday.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 18 Feb 2008