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Arteta discusses shame of FA Cup Final at empty wembley

Ann-Marie Donelan
Ann-Marie Donelan

13:11 31 Jul 2020

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has said it will be disappointing to contest Saturday's FA Cup Final in an empty Wembley Stadium. 

Arsenal face fellow Londoners Chelsea at 5.30pm on Saturday in the 90,000 seater stadium.

The Spaniard, who has guided the Gunners to the showpiece in his first season in charge, won the competition twice as a player while with the north London club.

He says it will be a very different sort of occasion minus supporters.

"For me, I always say that it is, for me, the most beautiful day in English football.

"The last game of the season, everybody is waiting and everybody is watching and the atmosphere of Wembley with the two halves of that stadium in different colours, is incredibly beautiful.

"It's a shame that we cannot enjoy that moment."

Arteta won the FA Cup medals with the club in both 2014 and 2015.

The 38-year-old says he has particularly fond memories of that first final where they defeated Hull City 3-2 after extra-time.

"I have pictures, I have memories, I've got a lot of moments that made that day really, really nice.

"I think we have to understand the context of how long the club was... I think nine years without a trophy.

"We wanted to do it for everyone, for the club, for our fans obviously and for Arsene as well, who was handling the situation really well.

"We knew how important it was for him, and he generated a really good connection between the club, players and fans.

"The next day was beautiful, the celebration with our people in the streets.

"Great memories."

Their opponents Chelsea also have a new manager in Frank Lampard, who's enjoying his debut season as boss.

Many have tipped the Pensioners to be favourites for the showdown, having finished fourth and four places above Arsenal in the Premier League table.

Arteta though has dismissed this, saying in such a fixture form can be irrelevant.

"It's a final. The only aim, the only focus, and all our energy is going to be on winning that trophy, it doesn't matter where we start.

"Two big clubs playing each other, Chelsea are in a really good moment, they have come back so far this season where they are - they are playing a really good level.

"We are going to go for it."

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