Arsenal issue title challenge

Date published: Saturday 31st January 2015 5:27

The Gunners thrashed Aston Villa 4-0 in the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday and took to the streets of Islington on Sunday to parade the trophy in front of thousands of fans in the rain.  
Speaking to Sky Sports News HQ on board the bus, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey said the club now want to build on their second successive FA Cup triumph by lifting the Premier League trophy next season.  
He said: “We wanted to do well this year and win something else and we have managed to do that, it’s a great feeling and you can see all the fans here today out in great numbers.
“There is a bit of rain today but it is fantastic for the supporters. They have given us great support throughout the year and hopefully next year we can go on and challenge for the Premier League and win more things.
“Hopefully we can all stay fit and have a full season. When we keep everyone fit and healthy we are capable of going on these great runs and hopefully we can maintain that throughout the season next year.
“This winning habit is very important to pick up and hopefully we can start the season well and challenge for the Premier League next year.”
Forward Theo Walcott, who open the scoring at Wembley with a stunning 41st-minute volley, said: “Even with the weather being terrible it’s great. The support that we have throughout the whole country and across the world is amazing and I can’t thank them enough.  
“I have the belief in this team and the manager does, each player has to trust in each other and this has got to be a stepping stone to challenge for the title – that’s the ultimate goal.
“We need to do it for these fans because they have been waiting a long time.”
Arsenal captain Per Mertesacker, who headed in the third goal at Wembley, said: “With this squad everything is achievable and that’s what we are proud of. The fans have been amazing throughout the season.
“Hopefully we can (challenge for the title) and build for next season.”
Midfielder Mikel Arteta said: “I don’t think we have any limits and I think we have the quality and everything needed to go and be bigger and bigger and hopefully we can do that in the next few seasons.”
Striker Olivier Giroud, who sealed the win over Villa with a 90th-minute tap-in, added: “Next year we really want more, it’s been three years that I have been here and I am really enjoying playing for this club.
“We really want to start the season strong next year and, for sure, to join the title race. We want more.”
Following a civic reception at Islington Town Hall, where the squad posed for photos with both council officials and local school children, the bus returned to the Emirates for a presentation to the thousands of supporters who had waited patiently for hours in the rain.
After the players and manager were introduced to the crowd, Mertesacker and Arteta brought the FA Cup onto the stage before midfielder Jack Wilshere took to the microphone – as he had done during the celebrations 12 months ago – to lead a cheeky chant mocking rivals Tottenham. 

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