Arsenal’s French striker Olivier Giroud, (L), Arsenal’s French defender Laurent Koscielny (C) and Arsenal’s English defender Rob Holding celebrate victory after the FA Cup semi-final football match between Arsenal and Manchester City at Wembley stadium in London on April 23, 2017. / AFP PHOTO / Justin TALLIS /
Aaron Ramsey wants Arsenal to win the FA Cup for manager Arsene Wenger as the Gunners try to end a turbulent season with some silverware.
Arsenal will play London rivals Chelsea in next month’s Wembley final after coming from behind to beat Manchester City 2-1 in a controversial last-four clash at the national stadium on Sunday.
Victory, sealed by Alexis Sanchez’s extra-time winner, was a much-needed boost for all connected with Arsenal in a season that could yet end with the club missing out on a top four Premier League place, which brings with it the prize of Champions League qualification.
Wenger hasn’t signed an extension to the contract that runs out at the end of the season and is yet to reveal whether he will remain in charge next term.
The 67-year-old Frenchman, in charge of Arsenal since September 1996, has repeatedly refused to make his future plans clear amid a torrent of criticism from unhappy supporters.
But having seen the club get through to the showpiece final, after Nacho Monreal cancelled out Sergio Aguero’s second-half opener, Arsenal midfielder Ramsey wants his side to lift the Cup for long-serving boss Wenger.
“It was important for us to get to the final for him, for ourselves and for the fans, and have a bit of positivity around the club,” Ramsey said.
“He was over the moon for us but we are delighted as well that we have got to a final for him.
“I think he deserves that and hopefully now we can kick on and win it for him.”
Arsenal remain seven points adrift of fourth place in English football’s top flight and Wales international Ramsey added: “We have seven ‘cup finals’ now to try to finish off the job and get that Champions League place, then hopefully we’ll have something to celebrate at the end of the year.”
Sunday’s match, which left City’s Pep Guardiola facing up to his first season as a manager without a trophy, was also something of a vindication of Wenger’s decision to switch to three at the back as part of a new 3-4-3 line-up.
“There was a tactical turnaround but we have been working on it for 15 days,” said Laurent Koscielny, in the middle of an Arsenal back three featuring Gabriel and Rob Holding.
“I think we have also found more confidence in this system with three defenders. We are more solid.”