Arsenal News and Notes: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Mikel Arteta


Like Manchester United wins the league, Liverpool owns the Champions League and Manchester City dominates the League Cup, the FA Cup is truly Arsenal’s garden. Today saw the Gunners secure European football by beating arch-rivals Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley Stadium in the FA Cup final.

Arsenal won the trophy for a record 14th time and this glory means that they have claimed four of the last seven in the competition. It also means the Gunners are headed back to the Europa League, which isn’t ideal of course, is still much better than no European football.

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Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has indisputably established himself as the star man of this team right now. After bagging a brace in the Semis against Manchester City, he did it again here, and truly earned Man of the Match. Now it’s a matter of whether or not the club will pay him what he’s worth.

Out of contract at the end of next season, transfer rumors continue swirling about him, just as they have for months on end. Manager Mikel Arteta was of course quizzed about the Gabon international’s future in the postgame media opportunity.

“I want to build the squad around him,” Arteta said. “He is loved by everyone at the club.”

Asked directly if he believes Auba will put pen to paper on a new extension: “I believe so, yes.”

Arteta, who took the job after Unai Emery’s sacking December, became the first man to win the FA Cup as both Arsenal manager and Gunners Captain.

The 38-year-old became the first Arsenal boss to win a major trophy during his debut season in charge since George Graham in 1986-87. Arteta defeated his mentor, Pep Guardiola, in the semi-finals in order to get here, and after the match he lauded his former boss.

“He has been a key figure in my development as a coach,” Arteta said at his post-match news conference of the Manchester City mentor.

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“He has my gratitude. I wouldn’t be sitting here today without him. I have to thank him big time.”

Paul M. Banks runs The Sports, which is partnered with News NowBanks, the author of “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry,” regularly contributes to WGN TVSports IllustratedChicago Now and SB Nation.

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