Arsene Wenger Arsenal
Arsene Wenger gestures during the FA Cup quarterfinal between Arsenal and WatfordReuters

Another poor Arsenal performance, another loss, another round of questioning over Arsene Wenger's position as manager, another round of replies from the Frenchman, insisting his team have the mental capabilities to cope with the pressure.

The Arsenal in crisis mode is at full tilt now after Watford bullied the Arsenal defence and stood strong at the back themselves to secure their passage to the semifinals of the FA Cup. Arsenal at home is almost turning out to be a perfect opportunity for away teams to pick up points and/or victories, after another poor performance in front of goal led to the Gunners relinquishing their double hold on the FA Cup title.

Questions were naturally raised over Wenger's ability to turn things around, with the scary Champions League last 16 second leg against Barcelona at the Camp Nou around the corner. Wenger was his usual adamant this-is-far-from-a-crisis-self, insisting Arsenal are still capable of turning this season into a successful one.

"We have shown that we can always respond," Wenger told the club's official website. "This team has a great spirit and a very strong attitude. They play at the moment with the idea that you cannot afford any negative results.

"We can deal with that and we will deal with the fact that we have a good opportunity to show on Wednesday [against Barcelona] that we are up for it."

When it has come to the really big matches, though, Arsenal have not been able to respond. The FA Cup victories in the two finals, particularly the one against Hull City when they came from two goals down, were quite impressive, but when it has come to coping with the pressure of winning a Premier League title or progressing far in the Champions League – the two really big trophies that are up for grabs every season – Arsenal have been found wanting.

This FA Cup loss would not have seemed that bad had Arsenal been flying – as they should be – in the Premier League. Instead, they are limping to another top four finish, while seeing their Champions League hopes come to an end in the last 16 stage, yet again.

If Wenger expects his own fans, let alone those of other teams or the "neutrals", to believe in that "great spirit and strong attitude" the manager insists is there in this Arsenal side, they need to show it on the big stage. Beat Barcelona at the Camp Nou or – and this is more likely, because nobody beats Barca at the moment – go on a six-match winning run in the Premier League to at least put the pressure on the leaders.

The way Arsenal are playing at the moment, neither of those look likely, and if Wenger's side end up finishing third or fourth with no trophies, questions regarding the manager's future will be valid.

Wenger, though, believes the "crisis" is being blown out of proportion.

"You are always in the middle of a drama," Wenger was quoted as saying by The Guardian. "It is becoming a farce. We have lost a game. We are sad and we want to focus on the next game. Arsenal have lost games before in history and we will lose again in the future. We will stick together and cope with it and prepare for the next one with complete belief."

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