Aston Villa at Wembley in the FA Cup Final. It really couldn’t have gone much better for us this year in the FA Cup. Since we’ve beaten Manchester United, our league form has picked up and we then got a bit of luck against Reading (even though we hit the post three times!) and now Villa awaits at Wembley.
For us to win the FA Cup two years in a row would be a major achievement for Arsene Wenger. It would also mean that Arsenal have won more FA Cup’s than any other team in English football history, with 12, 1 better than Man Utd on 11.
Chelsea have had the luck of the Irish in recent weeks, with them picking up 6 points in two games having only had two shots on goal in their previous two games. I think it is fair to say they have probably won the league, but we can certainly scare them a bit with our next Premier League game if we can get a win at the Emirates. It’s time for Arsene Wenger to show he has crafted a team that is capable of beating Chelsea and put us in a good position for next season.
What a win that was. Arsenal have struggled to show their very best on visits to Old Trafford in recent years, but that all changed after a stunning 2-1 victory at Old Trafford on Monday night.
We put out a strong looking team, as did United, but on the day we were considerably better. Arsene Wenger elected to play Danny Welbeck ahead of Olivier Giroud, with the England international taking on his former club, what a masterstroke that was. Welbeck ended up scoring the winning goal as well, I love the way that he celebrated after that went in; he’s fast becoming a favourite player for me. Nacho Monreal scored the opening goal for us before Wayne Rooney pulled a goal back. I have to say that the refereeing performance was one of the best I have seen in recent seasons. Under pressure he made the right decision time and time again, bravo to that man.
So now we head into the FA Cup semi final draw and it’s going to be against either Bradford City or Reading. A very favourable draw indeed, considering Blackburn and Liverpool are still to play off, so Brendan Rodgers’ team could still make it through into the next round.
For us, it’s West Ham in the league next. That’ll be another big three points if we can win – especially as it is at home and we’re really starting to show our good form now. We’re on our way to Wembley. Let’s keep it up!
I had a funny feeling we would get something out of the Man City game, but I didn’t expect us to ever play quite that well. For me, Santi Cazorla was out of this world, but the real difference was made by Francis Coquelin. What a reversal of fortunes for him. One minute you’re out on loan at Charlton Athletic, the next you’re putting in a match winning performance against the champions of England. I really hope he keeps this form up. I can’t see him being dislodged from the first team until the end of the campaign now. I heard that Flamini and Diaby are free to leave the Emirates and I think the emergence of Coquelin ensures that.
Next up we have a trip to Brighton and Hove Albion in the FA Cup. I think this is a tricky game for us. It’s imperative that we keep up our good form in the cup competitions but I expect to see Walcott, Flamini, Ozil and Campbell all get some playing time. We should beat them even with a rotated squad.
Elsewhere, we’ve signed our first player of the January transfer window, that Bielik chap from Poland – I don’t know anything about him but I think it’s a typical Wenger addition. Young with bags of potential. Hopefully he can push for a first team place in the next couple of years.
Anyway, that’s all for now. Enjoy revelling in the victory!
Arsenal fans will breathe a sigh of relief after Wigan very nearly dumped us out of the FA Cup last night in the semi-final… my word how close it was.
The normally steady Per Mertesacker tripped down Callum McManaman in the Arsenal box after 57 minutes and then Spaniard Jordi Gomez stepped up to fire home. Surely not… Wigan on course to celebrate a second final two years running… it looked like it was going to happen.
Arsenal were fired up for it and knew that this would be the best chance of major silverware in 10 years and finally, Mertesacker redeemed himself in the 82nd minute as he headed up an Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strike.
With extra time beckoning, Arsene Wenger looked very concerned on the touchline. After 30 rough and tiring minutes, the Gunners then knew a penalty shoot out would be on the way. We normally and surprisingly have a decent run in shoot outs and that would continue as the massive Lukas Fabianski saved two spot kicks and Santi Cazorla fired home the winning penalty.
Now we must get our focus back onto the league to ensure that we can indeed retain the all important Champions League football that has governed Arsene Wenger’s tenure over the past ten odd years. We also now take a massive step closer to silverware for the first time in ten years. Onward and upward, here we go Gooners, we’re on our way to Wembley!
So the gossip is that Arsene Wenger, Bacary Sagna and Per Mertesacker are all in advanced contract discussions and that the club is set to announce an agreement with all three in the coming two weeks. This would be a wonderful statement of intent by the Gunners. Let’s hope it’s true and that this doesn’t drag out for too long. Sagna is the best right back in the country and Mertesacker adds a lot on the field and off it.
On the pitch, we picked up an important 2-1 win away at Aston Villa. The kind of performances that will win titles. I was very impressed with the fighting spirit of all of the players during that game, especially Jack Wilshere. It’s great to see him doing so well. He’s going to need to keep the form up ahead of the World Cup, there’s massive competition for places. For England, I think he should partner Ross Barkley in the middle – a great little duo.
Our next game is the home game against Coventry City in the FA Cup. What a great draw we got there, let’s hope we see it through. We need to play a strong team, so let’s hope we see some of our best players.