Mikel Arteta has expressed his sympathy for Arsenal fans who couldn’t be at Wembley on Saturday night to watch their side beat Manchester City and make their 21st FA Cup final.
Before the match, nobody gave us a chance. While Liverpool, in their post-title malaise, could maybe have been expected to be sloppy, City are supposed to picking up form ahead of a Champions League surge.
With Arsenal players already seemingly exhausted midweek, where they were going to get the energy from to stand up to City, nobody knew. We all feared the worst.
Not only did Arteta help them find the energy, he then made found a way for them to focus for a full 90 minutes.
“I am really thankful to the players for the effort they are putting in, the performances they are putting in, the chemistry that they are generating,” Arteta told Arsenal Digital.
“They are trying to play every week, every day. It doesn’t matter, we have players with injections, players that were sick, but they’re willing to play. At the moment I have a feeling that I can pick anybody that is ready to play and perform at that level.
“We made five or six changes the other day, we made the same again today and look at the level of all of the players.
“I’m so happy today. To beat [City] in a semi-final and to beat the best two teams in Europe probably in three or four days is something I am very proud of.
“I am sorry for the fans because we could’ve enjoyed a beautiful moment today with them. They are not here but I just want to tell them that we are thinking about them.
“It feels incredible. I’m so proud today. To bring the club back into a final… we’ll see who we will face but now we make sure we finish the league the way we should.”