Something to be proud of … at last

Something to be proud of … at last

Hello, Arsenal Football Club it’s nice to see you again. Now I remember what made me fall in love with this grand old giant of English football. This is up there with some of the great matches that I have seen as a fan. With our backs against the wall and written off by everyone, including myself, The Arsenal pulled off an incredible victory over new champions Chelsea. What’s even more impressive was the fashion in which this was done. Far from being a ‘back’s against the wall’ job this was Arsenal at their most fluent and deadly. From the first minute, there was a zip and fiery determination about the team. 

From the first minute, there was a zip and fiery determination about the team. The pace of Welbeck, Chamberlain and the irrepressible Sanchez, caused great problems for Chelsea’s usually porous back five. In truth, the game should have been out of site by halftime, but for the block of Cahill and an Aaron Ramsey miss, the scoreline would have been a lot more comprehensive. Chelsea began the second half well and started to get into the game.

After Moses’s brilliant impression of Tom Daley resulting in a rightful sending off the champions levelled through Costa. The shot itself wasn’t particularly powerful and Ospina should have done better at the near post. But 60 seconds later … It’s RAMSEY THE CUP HERO AGAIN !! I found this particularly amusing because this has become a common trait of many Arsenal teams over the years. Coming back into a big game and conceding straight away – this is what we do not the other way round. My dad couldn’t handle the tension and went for a walk – something he has often done when Arsenal are on the verge of a big victory.

I was equally tense but continued to watch things unfold. My fears were misplaced as we weren’t in any danger of conceding again and are now the outright record holders of FA Cup victories with 13. Not bad for a season which has at times looked like spiralling into disaster.

I am a huge critic of Wenger and his methods but you gotta admire this man’s ‘cajones’. He gets flack from fans, the media and ex-players. But in the backdrop of all the noise of his future, he has managed to deliver a trophy against a team who were expected to comfortably win.  Even if like me you think he is a dinosaur you have to respect his determination to carry on when most managers would have either been sacked or resigned under such pressure. I still think he should bow out with dignity. I thought the 2014 cup success was the right time for him to leave and didn’t expect he would get a second opportunity to leave with his head held high. He now has this chance and if he were to leave it would be only with good graces.

I fear that this will not happen. All indications point to him signing a two-year contract in the next few days and this is a mistake. The relationship with many fans is beyond repair. Many people feel that he simply cannot take the club to the next level of competing for championships and getting far in the champions league. A few cup successes cannot gloss over the fact that as a club we have regressed as a force.

*Image credit, Julian Finney Sky Sports

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