Arsenal keen to win FA Cup for fans: Podolski, Gibbs and Vermaelen at London Colney
PUBLISHED: 07:58 17 May 2014 | UPDATED: 08:24 17 May 2014
Arsenal players have been buoyed by their supporters ahead of today's FA Cup final, with several telling reporters at their London Colney training grounds they are keen to lift the trophy on behalf of their many fans.
The Gunners live in or near London Colney.
Belgian international Thomas Vermaelen told the media that to lead out the club at Wembley today (Saturday, kick-off 5pm) would be “special”.
He added: “Everybody wants to play at the finals. It would be something special for me to go out there.”
In regards to there being a nine-year-long wait for a trophy, Thomas said: “We know there has been a lot of talking about not winning a trophy for a long time, and for us it would be important to win it.
“It would give us a massive boost if we could win it. There is a lot of potential in this team, a lot of good players.”
Thomas said players were determined to win, not just for boss Arsène Wenger and themselves, but “for the fans”.
However Thomas said he did not feel “comfortable” in assuming a win against Hull City.
He went on: “Hull is a good team, They have a great manager; it doesn’t mean we are going to win easily. There are a lot of quality players there.”
Thomas added that having Jack Wilshere, of Harpenden, back on the pitch had been a “massive boost” for the team.
He said: “When he is in the team, he always gives something extra, his creativity, he is very strong on the ball, so as a team we are very happy that he is back.”
Reflecting upon the importance of winning today he said: “The FA Cup is very important to us. It’s a big thing you know, in England, to win the cup would be amazing.”
And his message to the Gunners’ fans? “They have been amazing for us all season. We are very thankful for their support.”
Lukas Podolski told journalists that it would not be easy defeating Hull City as they too have, “prepared well and they want to win the cup”.
But he hoped to be part of an Arsenal team that could end a nine-year drought for a trophy: “We want the cup back in the club.”
Lukas said that despite beating Hull recently, Arsenal did not have a psychological advantage “because both teams are strong.
“We want the cup for the fans. The pressure is big. Everyone is focussing on the game.
“I don’t think Hull are underdogs, because when you are in the final, you don’t have underdogs, you play against a strong team.
“They will give all and fight, [and] run right to the end.”
Lukas added: “We want to finish the game in 90 minutes. And when we get to the penalties, we have a lot of players who can score penalties, but our focus is to win the game after 90-95 minutes.
“I will give all that I have to win this trophy. The FA Cup is the biggest cup in the world. We have a lot of confidence and we are strong enough to win.”
Kieran Gibbs added: “If you feel the pressure, it gets the best out of you. We have played under pressure throughout the season. We are very excited about the game and want to make that pressure into a positive.
“We want to be focussed on the whole game and not take anything for granted. We are going to prepare 100 per cent and give everything.”
Kieran said Arsenal was keen to finish the season, “strongly, and I feel the team deserves to finish in a positive way.”
He added: “It’s a cup final and anything can happen in cup games. It’s a case of remaining as calm and composed as possible for the whole game. We know we have the quality to win the game.”
Kieran echoed his teammates’ comments about not taking Hull City for granted as there had been “a lot of surprises in the finals over the years”.
He went on: “I feel like this is the best team that I have played with for a long time. The team has a good balance, and there is just a strong desire to want to win every game.”