Arsene Wenger: Arsenal motivation high for FA Cup final

Arsene Wenger: Will set post-war record for FA Cup wins if Arsenal beat Aston Villa
Image: Arsene Wenger: Will set post-war record for FA Cup wins if Arsenal beat Aston Villa on Saturday

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal will not lack motivation for Saturday's FA Cup final even if the pressure to win a trophy is less than 12 months ago.

Victory over Aston Villa at Wembley would give Wenger a sixth winners' medal - a post-war record - and mean retaining a title they won against Hull last May.

In the run-up to the 2014 final, Wenger faced repeated questions about Arsenal's nine-year trophy drought and what another failure might mean for his own future.

His future appeared in some doubt when Arsenal trailed Hull 2-0 Hull early on, but they went on to win 3-2 and Wenger signed a new contract a fortnight later.

"I cannot measure the pressure on me," Wenger said at his pre-match press conference. "But personally I am always the same when I go to big game like this - I just want to do it.

Arsenal's victory over Hull last year gave Wenger a first trophy since 2005
Image: Arsenal's victory over Hull last year gave Wenger a first trophy since 2005

"Maybe last year the expectation level was more demanding - the demand was absolute last year. But we have our own demands inside the group here and we have high expectation for our game on Saturday and we want to do it."

George Ramsay is the only previous manager to have won six FA Cups, and the last of his successes came with Aston Villa in 1920.

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"It's not easy. I would love to do it but I'm not honestly focused on that," Wenger added. "I like to beat records but that's not the most important thing on Saturday.

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"I'm more focused on the fact that we have fought so hard to get there. We went to Man United to qualify and we had to win big games to get there. Now we want to finish the job. The most important thing is that we come back home all together and happy."

Standing in the way of that ambition are a Villa side revitalised under Tim Sherwood, although results have dipped since Premier League survival was secured earlier this month.

Christian Benteke has thrived under the new manager, scoring 13 of his 16 goals this season since Sherwood's appointment, which coincided with his return to form after a long-term injury.

"Maybe last year the expectation level was more demanding - the demand was absolute last year. But we have our own demands inside the group here."
Arsene Wenger on FA Cup final

"(Sherwood) has done extremely well," Wenger said. "He has lifted their confidence and got them to go forward a lot. They are positive so overall I believe he has done a very good job.

"Benteke is a player who has a massive potential. I think some of the bad fortune of Aston Villa this season was linked with the fact that Benteke was not there.

“When he came back into the team, he gave a lift to everybody and of course he has a fantastic leap, he’s an intelligent player as well and he can score goals with his feet. He’s fantastic in the air and can score headers against any team in the league."

Christian Benteke celebrates against Liverpool
Image: Christian Benteke: Arsene Wenger said he is wary of Villa striker's aerial threat

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