There are signs up in Islington warning about traffic disruption for the Arsenal Victory parade on Sunday – I don’t like it. We fans know that there is many a slip twix’t the Cup and the Lip :-D
But today is a day to rejoice; a day when we can enjoy the pre-match excitement until the kick-off and a day to hail the efforts of our great team to bring us to Wembley. After kick-off is another matter entirely. For BR it will be an afternoon of prayer and working out which of my family can be sacrificed to ensure victory. Needs must.
Let’s be honest, if this was a league game at The Emirates against a depleted Hull, we would be confident – make that very confident – it is just that the game is at New Wembley (where we have yet to win in 90 mins) and is hugely important to the fans and the team. And most importantly we have screwed up these games before. Lack of bottle? Poor tactics? An inherent weakness in recent Wenger teams? Who knows – all I know is I still feel the pain of our last Wembley disaster.
He wore, he wore …
Another chap who probably squirms at the word Wembley is young Szczesny, which brings us nicely onto the first of our selection considerations. TPIG 1 or TPIG 2? Does Mr Wenger reward Fabainski’s work over the years he has been at the club or does he give his first choice keeper the shirt knowing he will be here next season? Both will do the job, both are excellent keepers. To me this is a head or heart question. Head = Chesney, heart = Fab. Given how pragmatic Wenger is it would not surpass me to see Fabianski on the bench, but I really hope he gets picked because without his heroics in the semi-final penalty shoot out, we wouldn’t be there (though TPIG 1 is an excellent penalty stopper).
Given this is likely to be a midfield battle should Flamini play? Huddlestone is a big unit and probability Hull’s best player. Can our lightweight MF’s cope?
Sanogo? He has started games in the cup matches and even in the Champions League. I know – no chance!!
If we win and Vermaelen is not on the pitch, should he go up to pick up the Cup? Terry did. Or will it be Arteta?
In reality the team picks itself. Had JW made an early recovery from injury he may have had a shout as a starter but he didn’t.
I would love there to be space for Rosicky, JW, Ox and TV but sadly they will be riding the pine. This team is our best eleven at the moment and has easily enough skill, power and above all imagination to beat Hull.
I suppose I should write a little about Hull. Trouble is I wrote about them just a couple of weeks ago and although I am sure you have forgotten all of my post it is just repetition.
What is for certain is that the Hull team will be bursting lungs, arteries, muscles and blood vessels to beat Arsenal today. Imagine saying to your children “this is my FA Cup Winners medal” – how fantastic must that be? Certainly better than “We got to play at Wembley but got beaten and this is my Loser’s medal”.
Squishy Nose Bruce will be saying the undeniable “It is just eleven vs eleven and if you want it enough you will win”. He is right except our heroes also are better players. Hull’s best chance is to battle and harry, to “get in our faces”. They have the players to do so.
How do you think the game will develop? I am hoping to be three up at half-time, Didit will be looking for a last minute of extra time winner (he is a young man with a strong heart). Whatever happens I want us to win – I would love us to do so with brio and Wengerball but I would take a scrappy own goal and a poor display – as long as we win.
Prediction: Podolski or Cazorla will score a screamer from the edge of the area and if Ramsey plays well we will win – there I’ve said it and put a bok on the lads. They are likely to play terribly :-(
Like the vast majority I will be watching this at home, bereft and sad that I am not with my heroes. I wasn’t there in Paris for the CL Final, I wasn’t there for the Birmingham caper, I wasn’t there for the FAC Final losses to West Ham or Ipswich. My point being that my non-appearance at a final can be costly, in other words …. does anyone have a spare? I can fly over as long as I have a few hours notice!
That said I wasn’t there for the ’71 double win against Liverpool and I was in Paris for the “Nayim” loss – so they aren’t all bad portents for this afternoon.
To those lucky blighters who have tickets, Big Raddy and the entire Arsenal world wish you a fantastic day.
Today is 6 weeks since our good friend and great Gunner DanDan died. Wouldn’t be a fitting end to his final season if Arsenal won the Cup? Let it be So ……
written by Big Raddy