Wembley Domination

Having just woken up at 8am having arrived home at 1:30 am this is going to be a quickie. Getting the train home last night with intoxicated Norwich fans singing “we’re shit and we’re going down” certainly adds some perspective to a day out at Wembley where yes we didn’t play well but also resulted in a return trip and another day out for those lucky enough to be there.

I have seen some criticism of the fans “celebrating like we won the cup” it’s hard to be in Wembley and not feel like that, and with the allocation of tickets for the final likely to be a third of what we had yesterday it is unlikely those who were there yesterday will have a chance of being back for the final itself.

We filled the Green Man pub at 1pm and we filled the ground more than two thirds. Waning support? Not in evidence here. The atmosphere at kick off was full of passion and hope.

Unfortunately as we failed to make the most of early possession the songs turned to frustration and worse very quickly, I’d say the split was 50:50 in terms of those preferring to man than support.

At half time we went in 0-0 with little of note being created for either side.

The second half continued in a similar vein until Monreal got pushed off the ball, Vermaelen didn’t want to commit to a last gasp tackle and BFG stuck out a long leg to bring down the Wigan forward. This actually stirred the crowd into action and we sang in defiance up until the penalty went in and Gibbs replaced Monreal.

That was actually the turning point to our performance Gibbs was prepared to get past Podolski where Monreal hadn’t bothered either because he knew he didn’t have the legs to get back to recover ground that Podolski wouldn’t.

A while later after Rosler went to three centre backs Arsene changed it again, unleashing Giroud and removing the disappointing Podolski and switching to 4-4-2.

That was probably the decisive change we played the percentages more and after a few more close shaves we finally breached the Wigan defence, Oxhitting the ball into the ground and finding BFG at the far post who headed home. I was waiting for the flag to go up thankfully it didn’t.

BFG celebrates

We couldn’t breach it again in the remaining minutes or in extra time and we went to penalties.

Fabianski the hero

Fabianski channelling the spirit of Arsenal keepers of the past stopped the first two Wigan penalties. Whilst Arteta and Kallstrom dispatched with ease. The next two Wigan penalties, were scored which meant after Giroud had scored with the nanananaaaaas ringing in his ears it was left to Santi to send Arsenal back to Wembley and the fans into ecstasy.

Written by Gooner in Exile

120 Responses to Wembley Domination

  1. Big Raddy says:

    Wish I had been in Wembley with you. It was hugely stressful in the “attic” with no-one to share the tension. And singing on my own just isn’t the same

  2. RA says:

    Well done, Exile, a very good Post and certainly hit the main points.

    Monreal and Podolski just do not work well together, as they showed against Everton, and yesterday we were lucky that Rossler did not put McManaman onto our left side, as he was quite a handful, and things could have been much worse.

  3. Thanks for your view Exile, as I said here last night they stopped letting non ticket holders into the Green Man around 2ish.

    Agreed the dissenters/matchday moaners are getting to be equal in numbers to the genuine supporters and a lot of anti Wenger comments are heard when things aren’t going well.

    in case any of you people were lucky enough to avoid my first shameless plug for my match report on the tail end of yesterday’s posts comments here it is again:

  4. Hants Gooner says:

    McManaman was on our left either that or their right sided midfield player was wearing his shirt

  5. Big Dandy, I almost knackered my voice singing in Mannions before the game and I’m not really a singer at the best of times. It’s what 3 pints of Kronenbourg does to you !

  6. stevepalmer1 says:

    Good report from a man that had a long day.
    I would like to add that Fabianski had very little to do until the shoot out, A mad moment when he raced out of his box but he did realise his mistake and ran back fast. There was also Sanogo’s downward headed effort that in all honesty should have settled in the back of Wigans goal The Giroud shot that had their keeper scrambling and the Ox’s fiercly hit shot that came off of the corner upright, Gibbs’s Header that was cleared off the line apart from that a good insight inside Wembley..

  7. Talking of Arsenal keepers of the past. The legend Bob Wilson is to undergo treatment for Prostate Cancer !. Love this guy…..come on Bob !.

  8. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. Having Gibbs pace on the left made a difference.. Until his arrival we looked poor attacking on the left – though we weren’t much better from the right.

    Chary always enjoy your posts on 7am.

  9. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Well done Exile, under trying circumstances. 😀

    Watching on TV was frustrating as the team were nervous in both defence and attack, only the Ox seemed unaffected by the occasion.

    Sagna was constantly having to pass back to Merts as nobody in front of him was showing for his pass.

    Our strikers were woefull, Sanogo’s inexperience offers him some excuse, for Podolski there’s none, at least Giroud scored his penalty.

    I never thought I would say this but, Fabianski was terrific,one aberation aside, his two saves in the penalty shoot-out may just have saved, not only our season, but also our manager’s job.

    However, we have got the FA Cup Final to look forward to, win that and the trophy drought is over and a place in The Europa League secured. 😀

    Now I shall have to find somewhere to watch the final, on my 71st birthday, I shall be in Kota Kinabalu searching for a bar showing the game.

  10. Norfolk Gooner says:

    I’d like to offer my best wishes to Bob Wilson, an Arsenal Great. Hope all goes well Bob.

  11. arnie says:

    Great stuff, GiE. It was a nervous experience watching on tele, at lest in the ground I guess you had momentum from the other fans.

    They say you can only be better than who you face on the day. We faced a determined and organised Wigan side, with quite a bit of talent as well. Actually good enough to sent Shitty to the gutter two consecutive years.

    We played better than Wigan, substantially, and earned the ticket to Wembley again. No complaints.

    Yes, it could have been better, but that is always the case, no matter how well you play. On another day we might have played our best game, and not managed to win. Very happy, no complaints. 🙂

    Let us now take the positive vibes into the EPL games. I do not crave for beautiful football, 1-0 to the Arsenal for all the games will be fine by me. 🙂

  12. Rasp says:

    Good report GiE, despite the reaction from the commentators during the game and the pundits after, we dominated in terms of possession, shots, corners etc etc. It wasn’t a great performance – but we won and I was very pleased for the players.

    They all looked physically spent so I don’t know what kind of team we can put together for Tuesday. I expect us to draw against wham. Of all the teams to meet after the exertions of yesterday, a fat Sam side who are big and physical with an outlet for the long ball in the form of Andy Caroll would be the last choice.

  13. Charybdis1966 says:

    Thanks Big Daddy. In case anyone wonders why I don’t do match reports here it’s because I signed up on a long term deal with 7am kickoff before AA started, although that is not the first place I wrote my debut Arsenal blog. It was actually me grove where I was the first person to do a guest post.

  14. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Rasp, fatigue could be a problem, but we can have either of the Poles in goal, Sagna and Merts looked OK at the end, Koscielny could be back, Gibbs played less than half a game, Is Flamini available? The Ox and Ramsey are young and should recover, I would like to see a bit more of Kalstrom, he looked calm and self-assured, he took his penalty with aplomb. It will have to be Giroud up front, as to the rest, that’s what squads are for.

  15. Norfolk Gooner says:

    Chary, Le Grove? LE GROVE? Never mind we all have a skeleton or two in our cupboard. I once spent a season in the fifties watching QPR, I could get to the ground for one penny on the bus and always managed to get through the fence into the boy’s enclosure. I couldn’t afford either the fares or the entry fee at Highbury until I got a paper round.

  16. Gööner In Exile says:

    Thanks for comments I find it very hard to write a report from the stands, no replays and no chance to get the chronology down, I remember our chances but not the order. I am too focussed on singing and sorting out the moaners.

    The guy next to me had it in for Santi from kick off obviously not his favourite player…..and so badly was he affected by this that he had a very muted celebration to Santi’s winning spot kick….go figure?

  17. RA says:

    You are right, Rasp, and in a way all the second guessing by the pundits and others is irrelevant,

    We did have a lot of possession but that did not impress me, as the continual passing sideways and backwards, particularly across midfield and at the back was unproductive and was frankly driving me cuckoo.

    Sagna has still not committed his future one way or the other but frankly it would not worry me if he went, his legs have gone and he hardly made a run down the wing.

    Unpopular view? I don’t care – it’s my opinion that it is what is for the best, both for the club and his pension – elsewhere.

  18. Charybdis1966 says:

    There were very few Arsenal blogs back in them days Norfolk.

  19. Big Raddy says:

    NG. We (DD, Chary, LB, Sharkey, Rocky, Kelsey, Micky, Rasp & Peaches + + anyone I have forgotten, please don’t be insulted – it is an age thing!) met on LG, then moved onto what became Highbury House but decided to sail our own ship.

    I have fond memories of Le Grove until the lunatics took over the asylum!

    It has been a work of love to keep them away from AA but unlike LG we hope the site remains a sane place for open discussion.

  20. Norfolk Gooner says:

    BR, I’ve only really been reading Arsenal blogs for a few years, I found Le Grove and couldn’t stand the awfulness of the site, moved onto Arsenal Insider, Highbury House and eventually found like minded souls on AA, here shall remain. 😀

  21. RA says:


    Didn’t you go to Avenell Road first, and then AA?

    Rico set up Highbury House on her own after she left AR and it is now very popular.

    And of course, Total Arsenal, a great AA blogger set up Bergkampesque, and that too is a more international blog and very successful.

    Blogs breed blogs — and all the better for the fans.

  22. Rasp says:

    You are correct RA, Highbury House was started after AA – as far as I know, none of us blogged on HH.

  23. Big Raddy says:

    Rasp RA, you are right but I couldn’t remember the name of Avenell Rd, so subbed in HH!

    I agree. but it is hard to blog on more than one forum particularly as wordpress insist upon giving only one gravatar per email address (could even be IP add)

    I would like to blog onto other sites but do not want to do so as BR as he has “history”.

  24. Rasp/Norfolk
    I would think Jenkinson will be an (almost) certain starter vs West Ham; Sagna definitely needs a rest.

    And maybe Kallstrom will start, with Ramsey rested (on the bench).
    Why didn’t Gibbs start the Semi? Because he will be needed for WHU, and the remainder of games. Likewise Giroud; he’s had a Semi-Final breather, so I expect him to start, with Sanogo on the bench.

    Unless Rosicky will be fit, the rest of the team will be the same as yesterday, I suppose. We simply can’t risk playing youngsters against The Hammers – now Everton have our 4th spot, Tuesday is an absolutely must-win game.

    Right, time to cook/eat and feed the cat before this evening’s games.
    C’mon Liverpool!

  25. Adrian says:

    Im with RA, I have no queries if Sagna does leave the end of this season. I always liked him as a player but frankly his best years are past him. Last week’s game showed what a solid player Coleman is, would definitely love him as a replacement for Sagna.

  26. Rasp says:

    Sagna’s body language is not good. He often receives the ball and has no outlet available and so ends up passing backwards, but he complains a lot when on the pitch these days and that is never a good thing.

    Arteta constantly passed the ball sideways and backwards yesterday for the same reason. The problem is that when he does a 180 to find a different option he is now too slow and risks losing possession or he delivers a hospital pass.

  27. fatgingergooner says:

    Sagna was excellent earlier in the season and even seemed to have sorted his terrible crossing out, however, I’m starting to think it was no coincidence that he was still looking for a 3 year contract at that point!

    I’m guessing his future has now been sorted, probably away from the Emirates, and therefore his form has now dropped.

    I am very cynical though, so maybe he’s just tired and has agreed to stay! 🙂

  28. Big Raddy says:

    Arteta’s pass accuracy was 89% and he made 6 clean tackles. I thought he did well in his role as sitting DM. He is not ancient – younger than Rosicky – and I thought he lasted well. Plus his penalty was immaculate.

    And he has never had pace, he doesn’t need it.

    Lay off our Scott Tracy

  29. RA says:


    We often remark upon the ‘slowness’ of our play nowadays, but is it a coincidence that Sagna has slowed down and passes sideways and backwards, and so does Arteta, and although not as guilty, but none the less slow, we have Per.

    So almost 1/3rd of the outfield are reasonably classified as ‘slow’ can we claim to be ‘surprised’? Really?

    That is not to disrespect any of these guys, but time moves on for us all.

  30. RA says:


    Your someone I respect for many things including your footie knowledge, but we rarely agree.

    Arteta was never a DM until he came to Arsenal and the boss ‘converted’ him. He was very effective at first, but much though fans like him, there are relatively few who have not noticed the deterioration in his game.

    As for pass accuracy even you or I could look good if we only passed 5 yards back to the player who gave us the ball, usually the CBs or the GK.

    Anyway, we just see the same things differently, and I have no problem with that. 🙂

  31. Rasp says:

    Haha, I knew someone would come up with Arteta’s stats. As usual, the stats tell a different story from the impression gained when watching the game.

    Our chronic lack of pace and urgency all over the pitch (manifesting in sideways and backwards passing) is a direct result of the loss of the likes of Theo and Ozil. The shining light was the Ox who always tried to drive play forward – not play safe and pass sideways/backwards.

  32. kelsey says:

    Thanks for stepping in GIE

    I had hoped beforehand that our awful recent run and the prospects of a trophy via the FA Cup would really lift the team and for the first eight minutes we were on the front foot,but that first goal just didn’t come and though hardly a threat Wigan grew in confidence.

    Wigan aren’t Bayern,Chelsea,City,United or even Stoke but their manager who was at Brentford a year ago did a similar tactical job to thwart our attack.

    Because of injuries,fatigue and a poor couple of months,confidence was low and options were limited.

    I can’t agree about Sagna.He was everywhere and his energy along with The Ox and glimpses from Ramsey of old ,stood out for me.

    I fear wholesale changes next season are needed. Naturally Ozil,Walcott and Wilshere will hopefully be back but Arteta’s days are numbered,he slows the game down and maybe Sanogo will turn out to be quality but it’s asking a lot of the kid to make a few debuts in such huge games.

    We are overloaded in attacking midfield options but need a second keeper, a DM, a striker, one or two full backs to cover for Jenkinson (if Sagna leaves) Gibbs (as Monreal is no better than Santos) and maybe cover to replace Vermaelen, and I would get rid of Podolski,Giroud and Monreal apart from Fabianski,Djourou,Bedtne,Kallstrom and the invisible Park leaving.

  33. RA says:


    If you would like to comment elsewhere occasionally, you do not need to go through WordPress Gravatar system.

    Just get a spare email address, and give yourself a new name.

    The first time you log in to the other blog, you will go through the filter system, and from then on the new site will remember you when you go back to comment.

    The same email avatar name can be used in other blogs too, and away you go. Of course when I see someone saying Arteta is not slow on ACLF or BK I will know it is you!!!! 🙂

  34. Rasp says:

    Kelsey @ 1:20 “I fear wholesale changes next season are needed” … Arsene has already said that his main concern is keeping the squad he has together – so wholesale changes would appear to be extremely unlikely.

    I don’t know about 9 years without a trophy … it could easily be phrased “9 years and we are still only 2 – 3 players short of a title winning side” 😆

  35. Gööner In Exile says:

    I agree Rasp….I think tying down the young core to long term deals, add Santi into that the arrival of Ozil, plus the solid back two and keeper (and yes I realise we need cover for those last two positions) is a good basis on which to build a squad.

    Like others I wouldn’t want to see Fab1 leave as I think he is probably the best No2 in the PL, and to think two years ago he would have been frightened to take the pitch and may well have been asked to, and actually signed a new deal.

    Vermaelen is a curious case too good to be on the bench? Quite possibly but good enough to be in our first team? Probably not. Could he have been rotated in more regularly to keep him happy? Probably but as Club Captain that’s hard to ask unless you’re a club captain in the twighlight of your career.

    As for the rest? Well TR7, Arteta, Flamini are very good options to rotate in when needed, as is Giroud.

  36. wally says:

    A win is a win and i’ll take it. And i agree with wanker keane about celebrating v. a championship side.

    Watching citeh/pool i’m reminded so much of what we lack. Both teams, but pool in particular have a nice balance of providers and scorers (and their scorers can also provide) which we don’t. Watch how ‘pool run the channels and pull the defenders apart and open up the defence. Apart from ramsey, who had a very good game all things considered, we don’t have anyone who runs the channels (although Giroud looked much more effective as part of a 4-4-2). I really like the way pool are playing. They now look like favourites to win it this year which is really a sad commentary on the state of our team. Their dynamism is so very attractive isn’t it.

    A nervy few weeks to go and then looking forward to the necessary changes in the off season.

  37. Rasp says:

    Thanks GiE @ 2:21, I don’t believe we have sufficient depth in quality in some positions and are too identikit in midfield. I’m happy with the youngsters we’ve tied down with new contracts, but there are elements missing elsewhere that are essential to compete at the top in the EPL. Don’t make me list them again … but two of them start with ‘P’ 😆

  38. RA says:


    As it stands you are right when you say;

    — “As for the rest? Well TR7, Arteta, Flamini are very good options to rotate in when needed, as is Giroud.”

    Given our current squad that is a fair comment.

    My own view is that we could do much better in the transfer market.

    The first 3 are feeling their ages and were never top players anyway, and in addition, whether or not his extra curricular activities have affected his play, or not, Giro seems to have fallen foul of Arsene Wenger and by all reports his days are numbered.

    We cannot afford to replace them all at one go, but I watch a lot of continental football and there are far better players out there — and if it is for the benefit of the team, I am all for it.

  39. RA says:

    Are you taking the ‘p’s, Rasper? 🙂

  40. Rasp says:

    2 all now pool v city. We want City to be in the driving seat for the title so they are motivated against Everton.

  41. Rasp says:

    Yes Redders … the ‘p’s are …… pulchritude and philanthropy obviously 🙂

  42. Gööner In Exile says:

    Kompany proving once again that however good the player, however much you pay him in wages, and however much he cost to buy, they still do idiotic things on occasion.

    Thought City were going to go on and win it and definitely think City would be clear out on top if they’d had him fit for large parts of the season.

    One thing that’ll continue to amaze me is how Suarez stayed on the pitch. Already on a yellow and threw himself down on three occasions after it the most blatant the first and City were rightly aggrieved that he didn’t receive a second yellow.

    And as Aguero took the pitch I thought about the two players and decided if I had a choice I’d take Aguero over Suarez and if I could only have Suarez I’m glad we haven’t got him.

  43. chas says:

    Cheers for the report, GIE.

    You and Matt are in this sea of red.

  44. White Bear says:

    Bloody hell Exile – I thought you’d want to write a book about it! What a game to chose you lucky boy!

    Yep, Fab Fabianski the main man for me. I wish it was Szcz that was going. Perhaps the Germans wouldn’t notice the difference – one tall Polak looks just like another tall Polak

    Skertl won Pool that game – a goal, a handball and a few fouls, he did well today

  45. chas says:

    Celebrations at the end behind the goal

  46. Rasp says:

    You can add Gerrard’s name to the players who refs allow to foul/cheat persistently without punishment. GiE 😕

  47. Adrian says:

    Liverpool’s football and style of play has improved immensely this season, and I put it down to their front four (suarez, sturridge, sterling and coutinho). Their understanding and ability to pick each other out for a pass especially during swift counter attacks really is the key to their success this season. I also think that Suarez is part of the reason Sturridge is the player he is this season. Full credits to Rodgers, Liverpool’s football has been breathtaking to watch as of late.

    Then again, this Liverpool resurgence after so many years presents an extra rival in the top four bracket..

  48. White Bear says:

    oh come on Rasp, Shitty were fouling Suarez right left and centre, knowing that no ref will believe the cannibal. Liverpool were very good today

  49. jnyc says:

    Nice to read the history of the blogs. I often wonder about that stuff. All these blogs have a feel, or atmosphere like a home, because of those running them and the people frequenting. . AA is by far the best for my taste. HH, TA’s Bergkampesque and Goonerholic nice people also. Le Grove is unfortunately a sign of society and a large segment that isn’t too promising. Not really symptoms of Gooners, but malcontents in the real world on the Internet hiding behind keyboards.

    As for Arsenal, I am very concerned about our team if we don’t make Champions League. Hard to retain and recruit good players. Not to mention the financial consequences.

    And I owe an apology to someone here, about 5-6 weeks ago, someone wrote that they were worried about Everton. I responded saying to calm down, don’t worry. I never imagined the collapse we have seen. FA cup and no Champions League would be a bad trade. But now, we can’t afford to mess up the FA cup. That would be dismal.

  50. Bayonne Jean says:

    No one’s brought this up, but…wasn’t it surprising that Jordi Gomez, Wigan’s PK taker in regulation, was not first in line to take one in the shootout? I know there’s a view that you keep your main guy to the last slot for a clincher, but if your side is shooting first, doesn’t it make sense to have him shoot first, to put the pressure on? And who would have been fifth in queue for Arsenal?

    Ah well, on to FatSam the Hutt!

  51. Rasp says:

    Hi White Bear … are you confusing me with someone else? your comment @ 3:57 bears no relevance to anything I’ve said 😕

  52. Rasp says:

    jnyc, I was the one who highlighted Everton as real contenders for 4th …. particularly in light of the irresponsible way we played in the heavy defeats. We never shut up shop (damage limitation) and so their goal difference is now significantly better than ours. It would be shocking to miss out on 4th due to GD – a wholly avoidable situation.

  53. chas says:

    Spot the muppet

  54. White Bear says:

    I thought you were having a dig at pool, so I defended them.

  55. chas says:

    We were standing on a big slope, honest.

  56. Rasp says:

    No, just pointing out that Gerrard gets away with persistent fouling. Pool are playing the best football and so will deserve it if they win the title.

  57. White Bear says:

    is GiE holding 2 pints, typical

  58. chas says:

    Yep and his arm is 4 feet long; always useful when you’re a keeper. 🙂

  59. This is the view I had when I tried to get into the Green Man:

    No entry

  60. Oops, sorry, too big a picture.

  61. chas says:

    Did you just use html img src to put that photo up, chary?

  62. Well said Chas. 😉 (your 5.04pm)

  63. I used the copy the image url option, if that makes any sense.

    I’ll leave posting pictures to the experts like you I think. 😦

  64. chas says:

    I’ve just done that and a link appears.

  65. Hmm, let me try another one.

  66. Big Raddy says:

    Shame, SU behind now.

  67. You need to be in the edit mode to do that though Chas.

    I’ve got no control over the size of the pic

  68. Big Raddy says:

    Love those pics

  69. chas says:

    Fairy snuff – i always think I might find a way round it.

  70. Randy, I know you mean Chas’s pics but i’ll post one more of mine anyway ha ha.

  71. chas says:

  72. chas says:

    Looking a bit light in the loafers……

  73. neamman says:

    Kota Kintabalu You going to climb the mountain?
    Reminds me of the time I waited until midnight to watch a game in Cameron Highlands, mainland Malaysia, only to find they had replaced our game with Leicester Cityt or some other rubbish!!

  74. neamman says:

    One season outside the CL is no big deal. If it lasts more than that it will become an issue maybe.
    Not for me, of course, as I have said here before..apart from the money angle I am totally indifferent to the CL.

  75. 20/20Vision says:

    The ministry of truth aka BBC ‘s verdict, like much of the Arsenal baiting media, went …”what a dull damp squib of a game–but Wigan were excellent, closing down Arsenal”
    Now how does that work? Then there’s that sperz creep on radio 5live who came out with…”Wembley! where dreams are made–and nightmares like Arsene Wenger nearly found out yesterday!”do they get paid good money for talking balls? funny old world innit?

  76. Gööner In Exile says:

    Using the iPhone panorama function

  77. stevepalmer1 says:

    Very interesting reading the Liverpool praising comments, and although i agree with a lot of them, Imagine Pool with 7 players missing, City as well. Take out Gerard and the like and what do you get, less speed and less distribution. Pace is what most supporters see as our let down, and of course they are right, But don’t think Theo will change much when he comes back as if we get half a dozen forward runs, it will be as much as we have had from him.

    Sagna has been criticised for his pace of late, but imagine Walcott sprinting down the wing and then having to race back to take up a position at the back, Theo has his uses and he does score goals but although i like him he hasn’t the stamina of Sags

    How many times has sags had a MOTM award hardly ever, i am not a stats man but he must cover some ground. First to attack and same at the back often on his own, no wonder he moans.

  78. Gööner In Exile says:

    Steve I think Sagna is one year past his prime for the kind of role that is expected of him now.

    When I watched him for the first time in the flesh I was constantly surprised how he managed to turn a nothing ball into a something ball by using his pace to get there.

    Nowadays that pace has gone and the stamina is starting to go too. Without the pace his biggest asset is gone. The same happened to Neville for ManUre.

    If either had something else to their game besides pace (ie a trick to beat a man) they could still be effective in later years, the same will happen to Gibbs although I do think he is a better ball player than Bacary, so has that little more composure and rather than hugging the touch line can make more diagonal goal threatening runs.

  79. stevepalmer1 says:

    Must admit that you are right, but its like an old jumper you wear you miss it when it goes.

  80. […] ArsenalArsenal’s analysis of the game argues that the Mertesacker penalty was the turning point of the game. On the end of the match: “Fabianski channelling the spirit of Arsenal keepers of the past stopped the first two Wigan penalties. Whilst Arteta and Kallstrom dispatched with ease. The next two Wigan penalties, were scored which meant after Giroud had scored with the nanananaaaaas ringing in his ears it was left to Santi to send Arsenal back to Wembley and the fans into ecstasy.” […]

  81. Gööner In Exile says:

    Can’t disagree Steve we should applaud Bacary for the service he has given over some tough years and deserves a winners medal to leave with to provide him with something to show for the loyalty he has shown the club.

    Recognising when a player is about to go over a hill is something Arsene has shown an aptitude for in the past.

  82. fatgingergooner says:

    I would like to see Piscszek replace Sagna, but I think Micah Richards could an interesting one.

    Looks like he’s leaving City and has the potential to be a quality defender. Just a big question mark about his fitness. He can play CB too so would be ideal if Wenger still insists on having only 3 senior CB’s. Think I read that he’s a Gooner too.

  83. neamman says:

    Would like to see Sagna retained as the third CB if Vermaelen goes

  84. Gööner In Exile says:

    It would be Coleman for me every day of the week.

  85. RockyLives says:

    Nice write up GiE
    I’m glad you enjoyed the day.

    It was certainly tense watching on TV, but I don’t think we performed as badly as a lot of people are saying.

    The Wiggies were well drilled and worked their socks off to deny us time and space.

    The heads could have gone down after we went behind but fair play to the lads for getting back in it.

    Sanogo had a good game I thought. Lots of energy and lots of potential. He was unlucky a couple of times and on another couple of occasions he didn’t seem prepared to take a gamble when the opportunity arose.

    Personally I would start with him ahead of Ollie against W Ham.

  86. RockyLives says:

    For right backs, I quite like the Newcastle guy Debuchy (but I think he’s getting on a bit – 28 or 29).

  87. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Morning Exile

    Thanks for stepping up. I’m sure I’m not alone in thinking how nice it is to read a report from a match goer.

    I know how much you were looking forward to the day, and tragically I detect in your post and comments a somewhat despondent air.

    “I’d say the split was 50:50 in terms of those preferring to moan than support”

    Then at 11:42 “I am too focussed on singing and sorting out the moaners”.

    Very sad.

  88. Arsenal is one of the best teams in soccer they have been dominating the sport for many years. We all know that all of the teams are striving hard to be the best in this sport but only few really made it through like the Arsenals.

  89. MickyDidIt89 says:

    Chas, Chary, Exile

    Thanks for the pics.

  90. Gööner In Exile says:

    Micky I thoroughly enjoyed the day I tend to laugh at most of the moaners, although I did rant when a few got on Sanogo’s case for missing the one on one, I asked them what they were expecting Thierry Henry? And then explained his a 19/20 year old kid who may do better if cheered and applauded for effort. And then later when he failed to make a cross I asked if they thought Giroud was quicker and would have got on the end ofit?

    I did have one thought whilst in the ground that made me feel dirty.

    Maybe Dein was right we filled that ground on Saturday over two thirds and the noise was incredible and it was only half hour from Liverpool St, less from Kings Cross. The seats are red etc etc.

    But it was a big game would so many have turned up for Wigan at home in the League?

  91. chas says:

    You always notice the moaners more in the seats if you get stuck by one, cos there’s no escape.
    Ant had a little chat with some behind us. One said, ‘I’m only moaning because I’m so passionate about the club’. Hmmm.

    Why wouldn’t more want to see a semi at Wembley? It’s only natural.

    Besides, last time we played Wigan in the league it was a sell out and Wigan brought about 300 fans, so there were nearly as many Arse fans at the Emirates as at Wembley.

    We beat the dippers 2-0 in the league. At least get your facts right!

  92. Gööner In Exile says:

    Fair point about Wigan at home in the League Chas, so if that was a League match could we have sold 89,700 tickets for a home PL match?

    One thing that did bug the hell out of me with Wembley was the scoreboard and the seemingly constant advert for EE instead of showing the stopwatch…..really annoying.

  93. Gööner In Exile says:

    “Had a little chat” 😀 I’m sure it was that polite…..

  94. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. I went to all our Wembley CL games and at first was excited by the prospect that Wembley could become our home, but it is a soulless place. The area is awful, the transport difficult from N. London, parking exorbitant etc

    I much prefer The Emirates but the best solution would without question have been a re-fit for Highbury. Unfortunately Nimby-ism is a pre-requisite in that part of Islington.

  95. White Bear says:

    so we are playing Hull twice in the last days of the season? ?Not good, really not good. I never liked them and this season they are stronger than ever.

    Wembely could never be really ‘ours’. Emirates are. I would hate anybody saying that they paid for our stadium

  96. Gööner In Exile says:

    Raddy the stations are considerably improved around Wembley, no better than Finsbury Park, Arsenal or H&I post match in terms of getting people away.

    But I can see how 30,000 extra seats at Emirates would have caused bigger problems, with only Finsbury Park being possible to redevelop. Which is probably what limited the capacity at our new home.

    I’d say Upper Tier at Emirates gives a better view than upper tier at Wembley as they are a long way back from the action. The lower tier at Wembley slightly more ramped than the lower tier at the a Emirates.

  97. Gööner In Exile says:

    Evonne whatever strikers play against us in the League are not available in the cup, but as you rightly say they are not to be taken lightly lest we forget they demolished the all conquering Liverpool at home.

  98. Big Raddy says:

    GIE. You are right and extra 30k at (did you mean) Highbury would have caused problems.

    WB. And you are right that Wembley could never have been our home if we had to share it with Cup Finals and Internationals

  99. Big Raddy says:

    GIE.8.48 So did we 😀

  100. White Bear says:

    why are those strikers not available in the cup?
    3:1 is hardly a demolition as we know it?

    I love that pic of you holding 2 pints, as usual

  101. Alfygun says:

    I am one of Mr Wengers biggest critics and get very frustrated at some of our recent bad performances, but I could not believe the negativity, constant moaning and lack of vocal support around me at Wembley on Saturday. Maybe I was unlucky where our seats were but was embarrassed and ashamed by most of the so called fans around me, seemed like they wanted us to lose to justify their constant whinging.
    I’ve been a season ticket holder for a long, long time now and like I said, I can have a good moan in my frustration, but I always try and do my best to support the players while they’re on the pitch.
    It was so bad in Block K upper tier on Saturday I could not stay in my seat and there were 2 or 3 others who watched with me on the steps at the entrance. The treatment and criticism that Sanogo got was pathetic he was thrown in and he worked his socks off, lacked that bit extra to make a difference but anyone with any football knowledge would have known that.
    When you get stared at and shouted at for standing up and singing for your team there is something seriously wrong, it was a SEMI FINAL !, granted the performance wasn’t great but f..k me ! We won. I’ve never been so angry at a match in all my life and I’ve never heard so much shit and unfair hate thrown at our own players, and that is coming from a person who is not by any means the most positive or forgiving guy on earth,but if I have ever sounded anything like that bunch of idiots around me then i apologise to anyone that had the misfortune to be near me.
    The one guy near me who did decide join us in signing changed the song from “Come on Arsenal , come on Arsenal” to “we’re shit and we know we are, we’re shit and we know we are” what a c..t!
    A good day in terms of the outcome but what a totally miserable and upsetting experience this day at Wembley turned out to be.

  102. White Bear says:

    Raddy – yes, but it would have been considerably cheaper than building the Ems. Still, we have something to be soooooooo very proud of.

    Shalom Passover to all our chosen AAers!! x

  103. Gööner In Exile says:

    Alfy you seem to have been very unlucky, thankfully as I say in my post it was about 50:50 round my seat, although more like 30:40:30, the two 30’s being the opposite ends on how to behave at a game and the 40 being the fence sitters whose emotions changed depending on how the team were performing.

    I don’t get how anyone can’t see how much better the team play when the fans are singing, you see players shoulders lift and chests puff out when they are supported.

  104. Big Raddy says:

    WB. They have already played in the FAC for other clubs

  105. Alfygun says:

    I just think they jump on the media and social media band wagon and think its cool to have a go a la Piers Morgan rather than try and do you bit to help.
    At the risk of repeating my self, I can moan with the best of them, after the game or quietly during the game, I feel a bit like Ebenezer Scrooge, I’ve been made to see the error of my ways.

  106. Big Raddy says:

    Alfy. Brilliant rant 😀

    Do you think other clubs have these type of supporters?

  107. Alfygun says:

    Big Raddy

    I F….ing hope not for their sakes.

  108. Gööner In Exile says:

    Alfygun says:
    April 14, 2014 at 9:14 am (Edit)
    Big Raddy

    I F….ing hope not for their sakes.

    ROLF 😀

    Evonne 2 pints? I seriously am only holding one, unless Chas or Ants nickname is 2 pints.

  109. Big Raddy says:

    Alfy. I haven’t been a regular at The Emirates but have certainly noticed a change from the Highbury days. It could be quiet there as well – not for nothing was it known as the Highbury Library – but I cannot recall all this moaning and not once in the hundreds of games I watched did I hear the team booed off – not once.

    How do these goons think it helps the team?

  110. Good morning everyone

    We have a New Post ………………

  111. White Bear says:

    GiE – evidence at chas @4:33

  112. kelsey says:


    for all what seemed my negativity by some, I have never booed when I attended games. if you think logically, what can it achieve except if heard it might get to some players and others not.I have silently shook my head in disbelief as I am sure most of us have.
    Well Arteta and Monreal are out and Kos is 50-50 for tomorrow.

    I think the problem with Sanogo is that he has literally been thrown into the fire and many fans think IMO quite rightly that we should have a more experienced striker at this moment of time.
    I wager Podolski and probably Giroud will be sold in the Summer.

  113. Vinay says:

    Pool winning the title reflects 2 things- one we could have won it as well if we had just won the so called smaller games, 2. it shows football is truly amazing that a team whose real aim was to finish 4th now may end up winning the ultimate price.

    Wigan played like wigan and Arsenal were also trying to play like them, i think fabianski had more forward passes than most in the first half, pun intended.

    We won, we play in the final and i think we will win that to, but the point is does that mean things are better or where it was or have we gone back even more this season?. Answers are harsh but reality is, it seems we are stuck to the point of no return,

  114. Alfygun says:

    However bad the performance, Booing your own team is ridiculous.
    Would like to see some of the idiots if they were having a bad day at work and we were constantly behind them booing and heckling. See how much that would improve their performance.

  115. Excellent post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more
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