I don’t care what form we are in but should Wigan beat us at this FA Cup Semi-final it would be an upset. The media would report it as one of those great FA Cup runs and make reference to it when they want to stress the ‘awesomeness’ of the FA Cup just the way we are always reminded of Wigan’s win over Man City last year. The fact that it would be reported as such just means we are expected to win, however the vibes you get reading online conversations from Arsenal fans about the game is that a sizeable amount of fans don’t think that we have what it takes to overcome Wigan on the basis of our current form.
An opinion is what everyone is entitled to and I choose to have mine that differs. We might have not won since this whole #Wenger1000 business but I feel if you take a big broader look at this you would remember who we are. We are Arsenal Football Club, we play Wigan Athlectic from the Championship, if we go into a game against a side with resources financially, reputationally and most important skillfully are not as good as ours and we are not confident of going through to the finals then we are really no different than Spurs.
Recent results don’t inspire any amount of confidence but I feel as fans, a sin I am also guilty of, we over analyze the issues surrounding our club, over analyze the game, the players, their every comment and at a time like this when we are not wining it just makes us drown deeply in the many problems of the club that we have forgotten how to enjoy a football match, a football experience of going to Wembley, the joy of being in the semi-finals of the world’s oldest cup competition and being favourites to win it.
That is a problem I am sure the Wigan fans don’t have, being in the semis yet again after winning it last year is a huge achievement in itself and they might be good enough for the playoffs and return to the premier league. In an era where you have owners of clubs that are more interested in changing names of clubs to animals and age long colours of clubs to colours that are more in tune with their superstitious beliefs it’s hard not respect what Dave Whelan is doing with Wigan. Steady, committed, not in a hurry to make a rash decision and carefully picking players and Managers, maintaining and preserving true values of what the Football club stands for are attributes in modern football that are harder to find than gold at the foot of a rainbow.
However, Wigan visits an Arsenal side with a fan base willing to give up anything for a trophy. It would be nice to see how the players come out tomorrow for this game. Anything like the starts against Liverpool, Chelsea and Everton where we conceded early and played without any sense of desire would be hard to take and if it results in a loss could very well permanently rupture the already very thin line of love that the fans still have for the club.
The team itself to face Wigan tomorrow is one bedeviled with injury and Rosicky, The Ox and Gibbs would have to pass late fitness tests. This is not helped by the fact the Flamini is ineligible to play our next two games due to suspension. This leaves our midfield seriously hampered but the good news is that Ramsey returns with his willingness to tackle, chase everything and his new found eye for goal. How we have missed having him and Ozil in the middle, add Walcott on the wings and you would see how injuries have really hampered us this season.
I suspect the team that ended the game against Everton would start the one against Wigan bar Woijiech. Fabianski would return to the starting eleven as he is our cup keeper and has done excellently all the times he has played this season. Sanogo is likely to start upfront as he did against Liverpool and Everton and I am not at all convinced by him, I think Gnabry should get a run in this team especially now that we are down to the bones with injuries as every time he has been fielded he has shown some real raw hunger to get into the opposition,an attribute lacking in our forwards.
No one needs to remind the players of how important this game is, they are reminded of it every time they look at the years of trophies displayed at the Emirates and its ends in 2005. They are professionals and I feel this crop of players really do love the club and want to win something for themselves and the fans.
As for the fans, I hope they would be in the spirits to cheer the team to victory, we have been spectacular in this competition playing at home and it’s important that the fans there make the players feel like it’s a home game especially as we really don’t have a good record playing at Wembley.
|1999/2000||AIK Solna||Champions League|
|2008/09||Chelsea||FA Cup semi-final|
|2010/11||Birmingham City||League Cup final|
Last 5 games at Wembley courtesy http://thearsenalhistory.com/
Arsenal’s complete record at Wembley is as follows:
Can’t remember where I read that the FA Cup this year would lose from the fact that ManCity got beaten in quarters by Wigan and their presence would have brought more attention to the competition as it seems all layed down for Arsenal to win it now. To that I say a huge ‘fuck off’, if the FA Cup sells itself primarily as a competition where upsets are possible why would anyone moan the fact that we don’t have Man City in it now. Moreover, Arsenal played Liverpool, Everton and Spurs to get to this stage and if we don’t deserve to be here I don’t know who else is.
At CanonCrested.com we are already preparing for the finals and we would be watching it at a sports bar in Victoria Island, Lagos with a few selected regular readers of our blog. Invitations cards would be sent out to the lucky few and we hope to create a small Arsenal Final atmosphere here in Lagos. So should we go through which I think we would I guess a few people should be expecting some cool invites and we have space for one fan. So if you live in Lagos and read the blog, predict the score of this game and stand a chance to join us, first correct prediction on this post or on Twitter @canoncrested gets the last invite. If you live outside Lagos and would like to win some cool Arsenal merchandise I guess you can predict too and if you get it right you win some cool stuff from our friends @jerseynmore
It all lies on the players now to take full advantage of this short walk to Wembley to end our Long walk to a trophy….#COYG
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