Birmingham winger Sebastian Larsson has revealed that he owes a lot to Arsenal ahead of his teams Carling Cup final against the Gunners on Sunday.
Larsson was a youth team player at Arsenal and moved up through the ranks before leaving five years ago to join Birmingham in search of first team action.
The Swede, who plays regularly for both his club and country admitted he has nothing but respect for his former club, and is grateful for the football education they game him.
“Arsenal is a club that means a lot to me, definitely. I had five great years there,” said Larsson.
“It was the best football education I could have had so I will always be grateful for that.
“I always want Arsenal to win and do well – apart from when they play us, including Sunday, of course.
“I have played against them a few times now and it’s not like I played 100 games for their first team.
“But, like I said, it is a club that means a lot of me.”
Talking about the heat on Arsenal after six years without a trophy, Larsson added, “It takes a bit of pressure off. There’s more pressure on them to get the trophy than us.
“But once you have got to a game like this, a major cup final, there’s only one thing you want to achieve – and that’s to get the trophy.
“It will be a massive occasion. Playing in these type of games, you dream of as a kid.
“It’s taken a while since I came to the club to get there, but we finally are and hopefully we can put on a decent display. We want to win.”