The Latest FA Cup News including Team News, Player Interviews and Injury Updates

Arsenal won the FA Cup for a record 12th time after beating Aston Villa 4-0 in a one-sided final at Wembley....

Match Report

Aaron Ramsey has insisted that winning the FA Cup last season has not lessened Arsenal's hunger to prevail at Wembley once again this weekend.

The Welshman scored the winning goal against Hull City in the showpiece final 12 months ago to bring to an end the Gunners' nine-year wait for major silverware.

Arsenal now have the chance to retain the famous trophy when they take on Aston Villa on Saturday evening, although Ramsey acknowledges that it will not be a straightforward task.

"Even though we've been in that situation and we won it last year, it's so important to have that hunger and determination to go out and prove that you're worthy winners," The Guardian quotes him as saying.

"It's not going to be an easy game – we're going to have to be aware of that – but all the lads are even more hungry this time around. We want that feeling that we had last year and want to go on and win more things."

Ramsey, who has recently been linked with a £50m switch to Barcelona, has made 40 appearances for Arsenal this season.

Mathieu Flamini has praised the emergence of Francis Coquelin at Arsenal this season, but has vowed to fight for his place in the starting XI ahead of Saturday's FA Cup final against Aston Villa.

Coquelin has become a key member of Arsene Wenger's first-team squad since his loan spell at Charlton was cut short, making 22 league outings in defensive midfield as the Gunners earned a third-place finish.

Flamini, meanwhile, has not completed 90 minutes for the club since December and accepted that Coquelin has increased competition at the Emirates Stadium, but the Frenchman insists he thrives off such a rivalry.

"It's part of the game when you're playing in top teams," he told reporters at the club's London Colney training headquarters. "You have to fight to find your place, but it's part of the game.

"You have to accept the competition and I believe it makes you better because you fight in the morning in training to prove that you can play in the team. It makes you better.

"We all knew Francis was a great player and we're really pleased for him because he had the chance to prove it. He has been doing very well since coming into the team so I'm not surprised.

Flamini's absence from the team coincided with a remarkable upturn in form for the Gunners who had suffered their worst ever start to a Premier League season.

A shock 3-1 home loss to Monaco in the Champions League last-16 first leg preceeded a 15-game unbeaten run, and the midfielder admits he has little room to complain given the club's results.

"I played a lot first part of the season. Second part of the season I got injured, then coming back it was difficult to get in the team," he added.

"We nearly won every single game since February so when the team is winning there's not much to say except working hard and every day trying to get back in the team.

"The situation I accept. Competition makes you better. There's not much to say when the team is winning every single game. You just have to accept it. I'm looking forward. I’m happy to be part of this club.

"I'm looking forward to win another trophy, that's the most important. I don't think the personal situation of every player is important, especially when we're about to play another final and add another trophy.

Although Arsenal head in to the FA Cup Final as bookies’ favourites, Danny Welbeck has told his teammates it won’t be easy and labelled Tom Cleverley and Fabian Delph as two players that could hurt them on the day.

Talking to Arsenal.com, the former Manchester United striker admitted anything can happen in the final and declared the winner will be the team who wants it most on the day.

“It’s who wants it most on the day and it’s going to be a very difficult game,’’ said Welbeck. ‘’They’ve got talented players all over the pitch and there’s a lot of young talent there.

“I know quite a few of them like Fabian Delph and Tom Cleverley pretty well, and I know that they’re players who can really change a game at any moment. It’s going to be difficult.

“To get to an FA Cup final is huge for the club and we obviously want to go out there to try and win as many trophies as possible. I’m looking forward to the game and I’m sure everyone’s going to be well prepared for that.”

The England striker is likely to miss the game and could just be warning his teammates to keep an eye on Villa’s danger men.

Christian Benteke will, of course, be dubbed the key player for Villa in the build up to the game but, as Welbeck said, it’s important not to overlook the other players in Tim Sherwood’s side who have hit form at the right time.

Cleverley, Grealish and Delph will all be looking to put their names in the West Midlands side’s history book when they play each other this weekend as Arsene Wenger will be looking to capture his second FA Cup trophy in two years.

Both sides have picked up nine points from a possible 18 in their last six Premier League games and will have the belief that they can win the match on the day.

Most of the pressure will be on Arsenal and Wenger, naturally, but Sherwood will also know what an FA Cup win could do for his own reputation at his new club.

Arsenal 2015 FA Cup Final Promo

Road to Wembley A look back at Arsenal’s journey to this year’s FA Cup Final - featuring wins over Hull, Brighton, Middlesbrough, Manchester United and Reading

Danny Welbeck has been ruled out of Arsenal’s FA Cup final team.

A knee injury has sidelined Welbeck since the goalless draw against Chelsea last month and Arsene Wenger has said that he will be “short” for the FA Cup final with Aston Villa because he has not yet trained.

Captain Mikel Arteta and right-back Mathieu Debuchy are still in contention for a squad place after returning to full training while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain should also be in the Arsenal squad but is not, according to Wenger, quite ready to start.

 

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The BBC has announced it will devote a whole day of programming to the 2015 FA Cup final, reviving the tradition of all-day coverage of the Wembley showpiece.

The match on Saturday, 30 May sees holders Arsenal take on Aston Villa live on BBC One. Kick-off is 17:30 BST.

Highlights of the television build-up to the game include special editions of Saturday Kitchen and TOTP 2.

There will also be special content on Radio 5 live and the BBC Sport website.

The programming will include (all times BST):

  • BBC Breakfast (06:30-10:00, BBC One)
  • FA Cup Rewind: Classic Finals (08:30-09:30, BBC Two)
  • MOTD Kickabout (09:30-10:00, BBC Two)
  • Saturday Kitchen ( 10:00-11:30, BBC One)
  • FA Cup 50 Greatest Moments (10:00-12:00, BBC Two)
  • Fighting Talk (11:00-12:00, Radio 5 live)
  • Football Focus (12:10-13:00, BBC One)
  • Gary Lineker on the Road to FA Cup Glory (BBC One, 13:00-14:00)
  • FA Cup TOTP 2 (14:05-14:30, BBC One)
  • Pointless FA Cup Special (14:30-15:20, BBC One)
  • The Road to Wembley (15:25-15:55, BBC One)
  • MOTD LIVE: FA Cup Final Build Up (15:55-17:15, BBC One)
  • MOTD LIVE: Arsenal v Aston Villa (17:15-19:50, BBC One)
  • 5 live Sport: FA Cup Final: Arsenal v Aston Villa (12:00-19:30, Radio 5 live)
  • MOTD: FA Cup Final highlights (22:50-23:25, BBC One)

History of The FA Cup

At a meeting held in the offices of The Sportsman in London on 20th July 1871, a proposal by FA Honorary Secretary Charles Alcock "that it is desirable that a Challenge Cup should be established in connection with the Association, for which all clubs belonging to the Association should be invited to compete" met with favour and was finally approved three months later.

The first FA Cup competition in season 1871-72 had fifteen entries. (This season more than 700 took part.) Wanderers, a team formed by ex-public school and university players, won the first final 1-0 against Royal Engineers at Kennington Oval. A crowd of 2,000 attended the match and they each paid one shilling for the privilege. The first Cup Final goal was scored by Morton Betts, playing under the assumed name of 'A.H. Chequer'. He was an Old Harrovian who had once played for Harrow Chequers.

The original trophy, much smaller than the present one, was made by Messrs Martin, Hall & Co. and cost £20. In 1895, after Aston Villa had won the competition, the cup was stolen from the window of a firm of football outfitters in Birmingham where it had been placed on display. It was never recovered.

The present trophy, played for since 1992, is the competition's fourth and an exact replica of the third. Manchester United have won the Cup the most times (11), followed by Arsenal (10) and Tottenham Hotspur (eight). Forty-two different clubs have won it.

In January 1922 the Duke of York, later to become King George VI, cut the first turf to mark the beginning of the building of Wembley Stadium and it was completed in under a year at a cost of £750,000.

The 1923 FA Cup Final between Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United (pictured) was the first football match at the new stadium and it drew an estimated crowd of 200,000, vastly exceeding the official capacity. It was only due to the good nature of the spectators and the efforts of the police, notably PC George Scorey on his white horse 'Billie', that the match took place at all.

The Cup Final was played at Wembley in every year, excluding the war years, until 2000. The FA Cup has become established as one of the country's great sporting institutions. It is now over 130 years old and yet, season by season, it generates tremendous interest not only in the country of its birth but all over the world. The history and tradition of the competition, and the pageantry of the Cup Final, is familiar to millions.

The new Wembley hosted its first Final in 2007. Sir Bobby Robson, a Cup winner as Ipswich Town's manager, once said: "The FA Cup Final is the greatest single match outside the World Cup Final - and it's ours".