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Mikel Arteta puts Arsenal through final training session ahead of FA Cup final

Mikel Arteta kept a watchful eyes over his players on Friday, as Arsenal put in their final full training session before the FA Cup final.

Whistle in hand, Arteta had his men go through the paces under the searing heat at their London Colney base, ahead of the curtail call on the 2019/20 top flight season.

Arteta is bidding to get his hands on silverware after just seven months in charge at the Emirates, following his appointment last December to replace his compatriot Unai Emery.

The Gunners looked to be in high spirits, decked out in pale yellow training kit and working together as an entire squad. 

Arteta oversaw a series of small-sided drills, before splitting his players into two sides for a full-sized match.

Chelsea will be waiting for the Gunners in the final, as Frank Lampard too sets his sights on winning a trophy in his first season in charge.

Lampard’s side knocked the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United out of the competition on their route to the final, while Arsenal eliminated current holders Manchester CIty.

Arteta has overseen a change in mentality since his arrival, with Arsenal looking more cohesive on the pitch and turning in impressive victories as a result.  

Earlier this week former captain Granit Xhaka waxed lyrically about the new Arsenal boss, and insisted players now perform with believe and smiles on their faces purely down to Arteta’s work.

Xhaka told BT Sport: ‘Since Mikel came to this club a lot of things have changed.

‘He’s changed the mentality, the spirit, not only for us players but in the group.

‘Everyone knows exactly what their job is. We have a clear game plan. He prepared us really well against a lot of good teams and yeah, at the moment, it’s like we are back with happiness. Coming to training with happiness. We do amazing work.’

It was Arteta also, Xhaka adds, who encouraged him to remain at the Emirates and repay the belief shown in him.

‘Mikel was the guy,’ says Xhaka. ‘He turned me around and gave me a second chance and he showed me he trusted me and I tried to give him everything back.’

Arsenal and Chelsea will meet behind closed doors at Wembley stadium on Saturday, with kick-off at 5.30pm.

Coverage of the match is available via both BT Sport and BBC. 

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