By Declan Taylor
Tuesday’s FA Youth Cup triumph was a case of ‘fourth time lucky’ for Henri Lansbury.
After spending three months away on-loan at Scunthorpe, the midfielder returned just in time for Arsenal’s Premier Academy League conclusion and then 180 minutes in their glorious Youth Cup Final tie.
While many of the young Gunners were enjoying their first taste of the competition this season, Lansbury is something of a veteran.
He first featured back in 2005 when he missed the decisive penalty in a sudden-death shoot-out against Brentford. The following season, the youngster appeared in the Semi-Final as the Gunners were dramatically eliminated by Manchester United in extra time at Old Trafford. Then, last year, Liverpool were the victors in the Fourth Round.
But at the final time of asking, Lansbury got his hands on that Cup.
“It’s a great feeling to come and win it, this is the fourth time I’ve played in it so it’s great to finally win,” the 18-year-old said. “This is my last year playing at this level, so it’s a relief!
“It’s the perfect way to cap my time as an Under-18, it’s one to keep and one to remember.
“A day out here at Anfield is a great way to win it. Looking back I think we won it in the first leg really after getting a good total at the Emirates. But we’ve come here and could relax, not too much, but overall we have done well.
“It meant a lot to us to win on the night too. We wanted to keep a clean sheet as well but you can’t always do that. At the end of the day it’s about winning and I think we have done well to come here and win.”
It has been quite a season for the Under-18s. But was Lansbury ever in any doubt that Arsenal could sweep the board?
“To be honest we thought we could win both trophies this season,” he admitted. “We’ve got such a strong team at Under-18 level and I think we showed that in the end by winning both these trophies.
“I believed in the team all season and we’ve believed in each other. We’ve played with each other for a long time now and we have done well this season all the way through.
“We’ve known each other for so long so it’s just a brilliant feeling to come all this way with them and win it.”Copyright 2017 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