Theo Walcott urges Arsenal to rewrite FA Cup history

Theo Walcott

Arsenal winger Theo Walcott believes 90 minutes is plenty to win their upcoming FA Cup final encounter with Aston Villa.

In last year's FA Cup final against Hull City, Arsenal found themselves two goals behind inside 10 minutes. They made hard work of a fixture they later won in extra-time, but Theo Walcott believes they should get the job done in normal time a year later.

Successive FA Cup final appearances is some achievement for any English football club. A win for Arsenal on Sunday will make history, though, with the Gunners chasing down their twelfth triumph - one more than Manchester United, who won their eleventh back in 2004 against Millwall - becoming the competition's most successful club.

Arsenal will also become the seventh team to successfully defend the trophy if they emerge victorious on Saturday.

Walcott, however, has had a difficult season due to injury, but managed to enhance his case to start at Wembley after scoring a hat-trick against West Bromwich Albion on the final day of the Premier League season.

“It always will be special, not just to me but all the players,” Walcott told the London Evening Standard.

“People say the love has gone for the FA Cup… not at all. For me, not being involved last year hurt so this year you want to take every opportunity you can.

“You want to be in those history books. You want to be remembered for the way you played and a winning team.

“Every single player, me included, will be putting in 110 per cent in this game because it means a lot to us and the fans.”

It's not every year you reach a cup final, so Arsenal really need to make the most of this opportunity. Taking nothing away from Villa, who have not won the competition in 58-years, the pressure Arsene Wenger is under to deliver is far superior. Next, he needs to start competing for league titles again.

Prior to Arsenal's comfortable 4-1 victory over West Brom, they struggled by drawing at home to Sunderland, following a defeat to Swansea. Walcott believes they have learnt from those mistakes going into Saturday's final.

“Those games, we didn’t have to win,” he added.

“It would have been nice to finish second, of course. We wanted to finish as high as we can but when there are a couple of minutes left in the game, you need to make sure you don’t lose it and the manager has put that message into us.

“The players know that so we won’t let that happen again. Sunderland was a bit of a step up from Swansea. We didn’t manage to score but then in the West Brom game you could see that everything worked, so we have learnt our lessons I think.

“Overall, finishing third is a step up from last year but we need to challenge for the Premier League with this squad. I have been here for nearly 10 years and this squad is the best I have been involved in.

“You need to be patient in games and you can’t go all guns blazing straight away. In FA Cup finals, especially, you can leave yourselves open to be exposed at any time. On that side of it, I have learnt not to make rash decisions. You have got 90 minutes which is plenty of time to win a match.”

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