Hector Bellerin says Arsene Wenger’s team talk before last season’s FA Cup final win “really stuck in our heads”.
It was before the 2017 FA Cup final against Chelsea that Bellerin and his Arsenal teammates was given a stirring speech by Arsene Wenger.
Few people had given Arsenal a realistic chance of winning the game, but the team started the game quickly, and played with real belief that they could win against the newly crowned Premier League champions.
Bellerin started that game, and recalls what Arsene Wenger told them before kick-off. “We’ve had loads of team talks,” Bellerin told Arsenal Player. “I can’t remember all of them but I remember more the positive talks and the talks that can change a game at half-time.
“That stays with you more than being shouted at. Being shouted at will probably get a reaction out of you in the short term, but the [inspirational talks] you have even before games, important games and finals, that’s what sticks with you.
“But the most important ones are the ones that the players express their feelings in. That’s something that should always stay in the dressing room.
“The FA Cup final team talk was a very meaningful and emotional speech. You know how much it means to the boss. There’s a lot of criticism on him and in finals like Chelsea, the year they had won the league, everyone was on their side.
“The boss was just getting into our head that we could do it, have the potential and that we are a great team and if we play our football it could be ours and that’s the way it was and I think that emotion and that meaning in those words really stuck in our heads.”
Arsenal took the lead early on thanks to Alexis Sanchez, and then spurned several chances to kill the game in the first-half. We were well in control of the game. Even when Chelsea equalised in the second half, we didn’t let that get us down, and went straight up the other end to score again.
The FA Cup has been very kind to Arsenal and Arsene Wenger in recent years. You could go as far as saying that it’s saved the manager’s job more than once. With three FA Cup wins in four years, Arsenal will be looking to add yet another come the end of the season.