But what are Jack Wilshere’s team-mates doing to him?
Asenal were all smiles on Friday ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup final against Hull, with Jack Wilshere the subject of some fun and games at training at London Colney.
The England midfielder, recently included in Roy Hodgson’s 23-man squad for the World Cup, was subjected to a cruel ‘flicking’ ritual by Thomas Vermaelen, Carl Jenkinson and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain as a forfeit.
Club record signing Mesut Ozil is convinced if Arsenal can overcome Hull to lift the cup at Wembley, then more titles will follow.
Antics: Alex Oxlade Chamberlain, Thomas Vermaelen and Carl Jenkinson flick Jack Wilshere’s ear
Joking around: Wilshere’s team-mates gang up on him after losing a forfeit
The Gunners tackle Steve Bruce’s side looking to end a near decade without silverware.
While the Emirates Stadium club have, of course, not stood still since Patrick Vieira raised the FA Cup aloft in 2005 at Cardiff, there remains a desire for something tangible to show for all of the hard work, which has seen Arsene Wenger’s side secure another shot at Champions League football once again.
Ozil, signed from Real Madrid for £43.5million in September, has just returned following a hamstring injury to provide a timely boost for Arsenal, who should have fit-again Wilshere available at Wembley along with Aaron Ramsey, although Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is battling to overcome a groin problem.
The 25-year-old German playmaker feels once the Arsenal current squad get their first taste of success, it can prove a springboard for more.
‘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.
Arm in arm: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jack Wilshere pose for the camera at London Colney
Momentum: Ozil believes one cup win will lead to more if they beat Hull at Wembley on Saturday
‘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 fights till the end – nowhere else other than in England are there so many teams who never give up.’
Ozil could be one of three Germans in the Arsenal starting XI at Wembley, along with forward Lukas Podolski and defender Per Mertesacker, who scored a late equaliser in the semi-final which set up a nerve-shredding penalty shoot-out against Wigan.
Podolski knows the weight of expectation will firmly be on the Gunners to finally deliver.
‘We want a victory, so do the fans, and it is important for the club as well after nine years with nothing,’ he said.
Good spirits: Arsenal team-mates have a laugh and a joke during preparation for the final
‘You go to Wembley, there are 40,000 or 50,000 Arsenal fans. The FA Cup is a big cup with a lot of history – it is not like the other cups in other leagues, so it is an important game.
‘When I win the FA Cup, it will be great when I look back after my career.’
Podolski added: ‘We have a lot of players with confidence, who have played a lot of games
‘We go there on the pitch and we play our game and when we play like the last five (Premier League) games, we will win the match.
‘When you play week after week you become strong and I feel good.
‘I think I have played very well in these last matches, so I feel good and I want to finish the season with the FA Cup.’
Got you back: Wilshere returns the gesture by flicking Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain’s ear
Source : Daily Mail