Mikel Arteta is setting out to replicate the winning culture at Chelsea – starting with victory over the Blues in today’s FA Cup final.
The Arsenal head coach could win his maiden trophy as a manager, walking out at Wembley less than eight months since he was appointed to his first post.
The Gunners go into the game as underdogs given they finished four places and 10 points behind Chelsea in the Premier League, but they did beat Manchester City in their quest for an unmatched 14th FA Cup title.
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Arteta followed on from Unai Emery at the Emirates Stadium, himself the replacement for Arsene Wenger, who had departed following 22 years. Contrastingly, Chelsea have had four different managers in the past four and a half years – but have won more than Arsenal in that time.
Asked if Arteta was keen to instil a similar culture of winning silverware, Arteta replied: “Absolutely. They have some very important core players in those winning teams and it has probably given them a platform to be consistent.
“They have had some really good managers, players and structure at the football club. But before the time you mentioned, they were not a winning team.
“But they managed to change that mindset and convince players and put the pressure on everybody at the club that the only aim and the only thing that was allowed at that football club was to win. When that happens, obviously everybody performs better.”
Saturday’s London derby will be the third time Arsenal and Chelsea have met in a major final in the past four years. Arsenal lifted the FA Cup in 2017 while Chelsea ran out comfortable 4-1 winners in the Europa League final last May.
Arteta said he has not talked to his players about the loss in Baku 15 months ago when defeat cost Arsenal a place in the Champions League.
This time around, victory is required to secure Europa League football for the 2020/21 campaign and the financial benefits that come along with it – but Arteta does not want his players to be under any added pressure under the Wembley arch.
“We have to play the game and try to win the game and perform at the highest level,” he added. “We know the opponent that we’re going to have in front of us and the rest is a consequence of our performance and what we do on the day.
“There’s no need to talk to them about that [financial ramifications of losing]. They are aware of it. I don’t want to add any extra pressure onto them in terms of that.
“They are preparing really well this week, they look ready to go and what they have to drive them forward is the energy and ambition to grab that cup at the end of the 90 minutes.”
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