On a ‘perfect’ evening…
“Result-wise for sure. To be 4-0 up so quickly – I really couldn’t have predicted that. The performance was nowhere near the level that we’ve set this year. We just didn’t pass the ball, maybe for 10 minutes we did, but we struggled after that. It was a fabulous start which I could never have foreseen. Perhaps we didn’t do ourselves justice after that.

On the pleasing defensive performance…
“We said at half time that we really ought to try and step it up a bit and I thought James Shea was actually our best player tonight – you wouldn’t normally believe that on a 4-1 result. I thought he was fabulous.

“The back five were probably our best players tonight. Going forward we weren’t great, other than scoring four goals – I know it sounds ridiculous! I thought our back four were the best unit of the night. Craig Eastmond has been steady all year and what he lacks in a bit of pace he makes up for in nous. He very rarely gets done and I thought him, and the rest of the back four, were fabulous."

On starting with an attacking line-up…
“Well we changed it at half time but first half we started with Jack Wilshere in the hole. We were trying to get him on the ball an awful lot more. He didn’t get as much space and I think they kind of man-marked him in the second half. I changed it again in the second half to a kind of 4-4-1-1 just to contain City a bit."

On over 9,000 turning up for the occasion…

“It’s fantastic to get 9,000 for a youth game. Everybody has seen the stadium now and I think two years ago when 38,000 turned up it was because everyone wanted to see the stadium. It’s great for the kids and it gives them that little experience of what it’s like to play first-team football."

On playing at Emirates Stadium once again in the Final…
“It’s the first time for a lot of those kids at this place. I thought a few of them looked a little bit nervy. Hopefully the nerves are gone and they’ll be a little bit more used to it next time round. Let’s hope we get a good performance.”

On the chances of facing Liverpool in the Final…
“I saw the first leg and it was a bit similar to us in that they were 3-0 up in the first 15 minutes I think. It will be a tough game that’s for sure.

“This is what we’re all involved for. The season is prolonged until late May now and it’s a great incentive for everyone and it keeps the training lively.”

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 23 Apr 2009