Mikel Arteta Arsenal
Mikel Arteta Arsenal

Mikel Arteta took charge of Arsenal back in December of last year and since then the Gunners have made slow and steady progress under their relatively inexperienced manager.

Arsenal might have finished eighth on the Premier League table this season but they have the chance of picking up a silverware and getting into the Europa League by winning the FA Cup this weekend.

A win at Wembley will also be really significant for the Chelsea manager but according to pundit Charlie Nicholas, it’s Mikel Arteta who needs to win the FA Cup more badly.

Nicholas told Sky Sports: “It’s very important for Arteta as having walked through the door he’s found the poorest Arsenal team in the Premier League.

“He’s had to deal with individuals like Matteo Guendouzi not responding in the way he wanted him to, he’s had to wait for Kieran Tierney to get fit, how bad is the defence, the injury to his goalkeeper Bernd Leno… he’s had nothing but problems.

“But he’s gradually given us, as Arsenal people, hope. I’ve heard people say that if he wins this, it will cover over the cracks. It won’t. Arsenal were in decline and have been now for five, six, seven seasons.

“Arsene Wenger, towards the end of his reign, kept on winning FA Cups just to keep things going. When you’re new and you bring in a winning mentality, that is part of the fabric of the rebuild.

“Yes, it’s very important for Arsenal but it’s just as important for Frank Lampard rather than Chelsea.

“As an Arsenal man, I’m pretty confident that things are going in the right way, we’re kind of limited defensively, but I do think that Arteta knows exactly what he’s got, and I think recently, with the bad results we’ve had against the big teams, beating Liverpool and beating Manchester City I think proved a point.

“They go into this one with confidence, with belief, and it’s just two teams that just love to attack.

“It will be a back three for Arsenal with David Luiz as the central figure – we will have to rely on him. The thing about Chelsea is that they’ve been playing a back three also, and I don’t think they’re any better defensively than Arsenal.

“The wide areas are going to be key and I’m delighted that Tierney has finally been able to get fit and he is starting to look the real deal for Arsenal. This is where I feel Arsenal could win this, with pace and pinning Chelsea back.”

Mikel Arteta has had to really sweat it out over the past couple of months at Arsenal but in the preceding few weeks, the Gunners boss has really understood his side’s strongest aspects.

This has helped Arsenal pick up wins against teams like Liverpool and Manchester City and there’s a big chance the North London club might be able to nick the FA Cup final as well.

Read: Lampard drops a major selection hint for Chelsea’s FA Cup clash vs Arsenal.

Read: Why Frank Lampard has an edge over Arteta in the FA Cup final.

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