Nine long, hard and trialling seasons without a trophy could be about to end. The moment is finally upon us and there is no way we can afford to lose this game in any sense. The FA Cup final against Hull at Wembley today probably presents Arsenal with their best chance to win a trophy in recent years.
We’ve already overcome the likes of Spurs, Liverpool and Everton to get this far, surely the hard bit has already been done hasn’t it? However, this is Arsenal, and you never know what you’re going to get with them until they walk out onto the pitch. One thing’s for sure though, this side will be trying to win at all costs. To see Wenger lift a trophy again and see a smile on his face would be a brilliant sight. It’s a sight we haven’t seen since Patrick Vieira’s last kick of a football at Arsenal saw us win the FA Cup in 2005.
Down the years the FA Cup has seen a whole host of minnows reach the final. Wigan even won it last year whilst Portsmouth, Cardiff and Millwall have all got to it in the last ten years. After last year’s display from Wigan, there is no reason why Hull can’t go out there and cause a shock. However if that does happen, no one will see me for a good few months!
Hull are without their two arguably best players in Shane Long and Jelavic who have been cup-tied throughout Hull’s cup run. But as we’ve seen, they’re more than capable of playing without them. We’ve beaten our opponents twice already this season. A 2-0 win in which Nicklas Bendtner scored and then a 3-0 victory last month. A repeat of one of those two score-lines certainly wouldn’t go a miss.
Nearly every first team member looks as though they will be fit for the final. Thomas Vermaelen and the Ox look to have passed late fitness tests as Walcott, Gnabry and Ryo are the only players to miss the final through injury. Arsene Wenger has a real selection dilemma and although I’d like to see both Cazorla and Podolski start, the injection of pace from Oxlade-Chamberlain could be crucial.
Who plays in goal is the biggest question that still remains to be answered. Fabianski has played throughout the whole of the cup run and started last week in the league against Norwich. However, Szczesny is our number one and for a cup final, you need your best team out. Saying that, because of the form of both keepers this season I don’t mind who plays to be honest.
This would be my line-up: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Cazorla, Ozil, Podolski, Giroud.
As said, it’s a chance to finally put our minds at rest in terms of the nine year hoodoo. We need to savour the moment, and whether you’re going to Wembley, watching the live-screening at the Emirates or watching it from the comfort of your own home, we really need to get behind the team. Come on the Arsenal!
By Matt Dawson