Premier League English

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta plans to use Chelsea’s strength against them

Two of the Premier League’s most promising, albeit relatively inexperienced, younger breed of managers, Mikel Arteta of Arsenal and Frank Lampard of Chelsea go head-to-head at Wembley in the FA Cup final on Saturday – and the Spaniard has urged his side to imitate, and follow in, the footsteps of their rivals.

The Gunners are gearing up to take on the Blues at Wembley on Saturday in a game that will play a big part in defining the debut seasons of the two new bosses at their former clubs, with Arteta’s side facing greater pressure as they go in search of European qualification, having finished four places behind fourth place Chelsea in the Premier League table.

Bidding to make his long-term plans clearer for supporters, the former Everton midfielder has issued a target involving the winning mentally that has brought regular success at Stamford Bridge.

When posed the question if he wanted to replicate that mentality at Arsenal, Arteta said:

“Absolutely. They [Chelsea] have some very important core players in those winning teams and it’s something that has given the platform to be consistent.

“After all, they have some really good managers, players and a structure at the football club.

“Before they weren’t a winning team and they managed to change that mindset and convince players, and even put pressure towards everybody at the club that the only aim was to win. When that happens, everybody performs better.

“I think we have some really good core players. We need to add certain things but we have the ability tomorrow and the possibility to win a trophy so that tells you that we are close.”

Arsenal fans are eager to get one over on their old rivals after missing out on Champions League qualification, but Lampard is no less determined to crown off a positive season with his first piece of glittering silverware in his first gig as a manager.

Chatting with BBC Football Focus, Lampard said:

“I’ve heard how there’s more on this game for Arsenal, and that idea worries me. We must put ourselves under pressure. This is a huge game for Chelsea.”

And added:

”It worries me that we as a club, as a team, think we achieved something last week by finishing in the top four.

“We are happy with that but that’s gone now. We don’t consider what it means for Arsenal – we want to win the match.

“I’ve been in this game a fairly short time but I’ve played for many years and I know what I want the feeling to be around a final. It needs to be pressured; we need to be on edge. We cannot cruise into a final. You lose them that way.

“The feeling of losing as a manager is worse than as a player because you take on more responsibility – but the feeling of winning is better.”