ABSENTEE MESUT OZIL REACTS TO ARSENAL WINNING FA CUP

The German wasn’t at Wembley as Arsenal came from a goal down to beat Chelsea 2-1 in Saturday’s FA Cup final, in which Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang bagged a brace

Mesut Ozil sent a message of congratulations to his Arsenal teammates as the Gunners won the FA Cup in the German’s absence on Saturday.

A brace from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang saw the Gunners come from a goal down to beat Chelsea 2-1 at Wembley, after Christian Pulisic had opened the scoring for the Blues early on in the match.

Ozil wasn’t at the game having been told by manager Mikel Arteta earlier in the week that he wasn’t going to be in his matchday squad, which featured nine substitutes.

Instead, the playmaker watched the match in Turkey as he continued his Gunners absence, which has now stretched to five months as Arteta has failed to pick him since football’s restart.

Taking to his Instagram account, Ozil posted a picture of Aubameyang with the trophy, and wrote: “Great job my boys!” along with his by now trademark #YaGunnersYa hashtag.

Arteta was asked about the absence of both Ozil and midfielder Matteo Guendouzi from his squad after the match.

“We don’t have Matteo here and Mesut but they deserve credit as they played their part,” he said.

He was then pressed on just why they were absent but simply replied: “Let’s enjoy the moment.”

Elaborating on his side’s win, he said: “It was a difficult start when we conceded so early. If I know something about these players, is that we weren’t going to give up. “We played probably the best 30 minutes after since I arrived. I am so proud to represent these players and this club.

“It is a double reward for us. It is really important for this club in every way to be in Europe. We all did it so I am so happy.

“The players were completely knackered and they made a massive effort through the coronavirus to keep fit so I am so happy for them.”

Mikel Arteta sends message to Pep Guardiola after Arsenal win FA Cup

The Gunners manager was previously assistant to Manchester City boss Guardiola – and thanked his countryman for helping shape his coaching career after the final triumph

Mikel Arteta sent a classy message to Pep Guardiola after watching Arsenal lift the FA Cup following their 2-1 victory over Chelsea.

The Gunners boss worked as assistant coach to Guardiola at Manchester City for three years before leaving his role to take the Emirates Stadium hot seat last December.

During his time as Guardiola’s deputy, City won five major honours – including the FA Cup last year – and Arteta learned from one of the all-time great coaches.

On the path to his own FA Cup triumph this season, Arteta masterminded a 2-0 win over holders City in the semi-finals.

And after the victory over Chelsea, the Spaniard made sure to thank his compatriot – alongside his family – for helping him become the manager he is today.

“I miss my family so much they have been all the way with me,” Arteta told BT Sport .

“Thank you as well I have to thank you Pep in a very big way because I am a manager in a big part to him so I think I have to consider that as well.” Arteta also hailed Guardiola for his influence on him as City and Arsenal prepared to meet in the Premier League in June.

“Well, he [Guardiola] was an influence for me since I was 15 years old and we met at Barcelona, both as players,” Arteta said before the 3-0 defeat to the Sky Blues.

“And in my coaching career and my personal life, he has an enormous influence.

“If I have to talk about the person he is, his values, the way he has treated me and how he deals with the players and the staff around him, its phenomenal.

“As a coach, I have learned so much from him, we have spent some amazing moments together, some difficult ones as well, but the experience next to him has been incredible.”