Football

Mourinho's Jibe angers arteta

Mikel Arteta is still angry that Jose Mourinho brandished Arsene Wenger a "specialist in failure" - a derogatory tag Arsenal players can lay to rest in tonight's FA Cup final against Hull.

It has been nine frustrating years since the Gunners last held a trophy aloft, resulting in scrutiny and mounting pressure on the man at the helm.

Fans and pundits alike have made their annoyance known during that period, with that talk fuelled in February by Chelsea manager Mourinho calling Wenger a failure specialist.

The Arsenal boss refused to bite back at what he called "silly, disrespectful remarks", but they clearly irked him, as well as midfielder Arteta (right).

"If, for you, success is only to win a trophy, it doesn't matter how, then I think he (Wenger) is the way he (Mourinho) is saying," the Spaniard said.

"If you analyse everything he has done for the club, then if he is a failure I have a different opinion.

"I don't like it when someone criticises my teammates, the staff, the manager, the club because I see what he does every day to look after this club.

"When they are right, maybe you can accept everybody makes mistakes. You can criticise the manager, whoever, but when it comes in a certain moment in a certain way I don't like it."

Tonight's Wembley showdown against Hull offers Arsenal the perfect chance to answer Mourinho's criticism, winning what would be a first trophy since the 2005 FA Cup.

"Of course, when you win a trophy and you don't win it is very different," Arteta said. "With the history we have over the last nine years without any trophies at all, obviously it could be a great turning point.

"It's something else apart from the trophy as to what it can mean to the club, to the fans, to everyone.

"I have not played in a cup final, I had an opportunity with Everton (but injured my cruciate a few weeks before).

"The history of the FA Cup in England is massive compared to Spain. I was very surprised with the atmosphere we got in the semi-final against Wigan, so I imagine how it is going to be like on Saturday.

"It's a great opportunity to be there. It's a big incentive to win."

Club-record signing Mesut Oezil is convinced if Arsenal can overcome Hull to lift the FA Cup at Wembley tonight, then more trophies will follow.

Oezil, signed from Real Madrid for £43.5 million ($91m) last September, has just returned following a hamstring injury to provide a timely boost for Arsenal, who should have fit-again England midfielder Jack Wilshere available at Wembley along with Aaron Ramsey, although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is battling to overcome a groin problem.

"We are in the final and we want to take this silverware now. I am convinced we will achieve that," he said.

"We can win titles with this squad, this is very important for the fans as well because they have been waiting for so long.

"I am very proud of the team. We qualified for the Champions League and we are in the FA Cup final.

"If we can win the cup, then it will be a great season.

"However, it will be a tough game because Hull fight till the end - nowhere else other than in England are there so many teams who never give up." 
- PA Sport.