Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
Wenger's side are again favourites to win the FA Cup this seasonReuters

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger admits that the Gunners' Champions League ambitions have suffered due to them putting too much importance on the FA Cup over the years.

The Gunners were able to finally end their nine-year trophy drought by lifting the FA Cup last season.

Now they are again the favourites to win the FA Cup this season as they prepare to take on Championship side Middleborough in the fifth round of the competition on Sunday.

However, the North London club have failed to progress beyond the round of sixteen stage of the Champions League in the last four seasons, losing to Barcelona in 2010/11, AC Milan in 2011/12 and Bayern Munich in 2012/13 and 2013/14.

And Wenger admits that their Champions League form has suffered due to them giving too much importance to the FA Cup.

"It is important to us and we have always taken it seriously," Wenger told ESPN. "We did not always manage to win it, but we have won it five times during my period here. Nobody has won it more in the last 18 years, so we have always taken it seriously."

"Sometimes so seriously that we suffered in the Champions League after. Many times a cup game was in front of a Champions League game - for instance this week we play in the cup and then next week in the Champions League."

"Many times we lost some players. I remember against Manchester United when we played against Chelsea in the Champions League three days later we lost some because we took the game seriously."

Meanwhile, Wenger feels that Arsenal latest signing Gabriel Paulista's poor English could prove to be a big problem as the Brazilian looks to settle in England.

"It is a problem," added Wenger. "When you don't speak English and you don't understand 'Come out, come back, right, left,' it is a problem for a defender."

"You need to know the key words. Offside. Referee. Foul. [But] he has the physicality and motivation. He has an opportunity to show that now."

The 65-year-old Frenchman says that he faced similar problems when he was in Japan managing J-League side Nagoya Grampus.

"When I was in Japan, people could say what they wanted. In Japan, you can speak Japanese and still not read the alphabet. The kanji has 2,000 different characters.

"In Japan I only read the Japan Times - because it was in English."

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