Arsenal train in London Colney ahead of FA Cup final at Wembley
- Credit: Photo courtesy @Podolski10/Twitter
Arsenal’s first team squad today (Friday) completed their final training session, in sunshine, at the Gunners’ training grounds in London Colney before tomorrow’s FA Cup final.
And with FA Cup fever sweeping the team - and its legions of fans - before they reach Wembley, players have been tweeting about training, and their “FA Cup final boots”.
The players live in or near London Colney.
Fans have responded to players in their droves, wishing them good luck as they gun for the trophy, with one asking them simply to “bring home the cup”.
On Wednesday (14) the media descended upon the grounds, to quiz players about the impending final.
Harpenden’s Jack Wilshere reflected upon his return to the pitch last weekend, in the Premier League game against Norwich (2-0) after recovering from a broken foot, saying, “it was nice to play. I felt alright”.
Commenting on the FA Cup final, he said: “No disrespect to the Carling Cup but this is bigger. The FA Cup is a trophy that, when I grew up, you remember the FA Cup finals.
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“I won the FA Youth Cup  so it’s right that we go on and win this. We don’t have to prove we have leaders to win this; we just have to win it.”
According to tactical expert Michael Cox on Arsenal’s website, the Tigers will prove an unpredictable opponent in the final.
He added: “Of the 20 sides that competed in the Premier League this season, perhaps only Liverpool have been as flexible as Steve Bruce’s Hull City. It will be difficult for Arsenal to make solid tactical plans to combat Hull’s strengths.
“Arsène Wenger will probably emphasise the importance of Arsenal playing their own game, rather than worrying about the opposition.”
The FA has said that when either Arsenal or Hull City are presented with the 2013-14 FA Cup on Saturday, they will be lifting a brand new trophy at Wembley, and only the third edition of the world’s most famous domestic cup.
The 2014 trophy will replace the 1992 edition - considered fragile and too delicate to repair - which in turn replaced the first iteration of the current design in 1911.
Made by world renowned silversmiths Thomas Lyte of London, the new trophy is made from 6.3kg of sterling silver and, standing at 61.5cm, is a perfect replica of the 1911 trophy.
Alex Horne, General Secretary of The FA, said: “This is an historic moment in the proud 143-year history of The FA Cup. This is only the third version of the iconic trophy since 1911.”
It will be presented to the winning captain by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
• The Gunners are aiming to win the competition for the 11th time in their history when they take on Hull City at Wembley Stadium on Saturday May 17, 5pm.
• This weekend’s final is the 80th time the showpiece fixture will have been played at the iconic Wembley Stadium