It’s a bit surreal to think that our entire season hinges on a single game. Win – successful season, Arsene turns great again, that drought ends. Lose- let’s not even contemplate it. It’s the last preview of the season, one I write with trepidation and excitement in equal measure, hopefully I am insane and ecstatic when I write the report. No, I am not even going to mention about that 2011 game.
The positives first- we have a relatively healthy squad, we are on a good run, Ramsey and Ozil are back, we have defeated Hull twice and their star player Huddlestone is a Spur.
Now onto the negatives- we historically are great bottlers,that league cup final, pressure, our record at the new Wembley and they have Spurs players on loan who will kick us from pillar to post.
Onto the team selection, Arsene Wenger has quite some decisions to make. Who should start at goal, whether Podolski or Santi on the left, Arteta or Flamini, I strongly believe he would go for Arteta. It may well be Bacary Sagna’s last game for Arsenal and he deserves to bow out with a medal. If we win the cup, what a massive relief that would be, the boost it would give to the players and it may also set on us a trophy run once again. The whole club would be lifted, Arsene would be vindicated and most importantly, we need not hear any happy one or mad one talking about the manager or the club.
But what would the defeat do us, Arsenal will get extinct.
They are the underdogs , they won’t be under any pressure, this is their first FA cup final and as their manager says the neutrals would be rooting for them. Their strikers Jelavic and Long are ineligible, so that robs them of their two key men. Having said that Hull had an excellent first half of the season without those two. So nothing should be taken for granted by Arsenal. Hull are an organised, well drilled unit and they have also some good players Livermore, Huddlestone, I mean good at getting into our players face, kicking and elbowing. I believe Bruce will have his team pumped up for this, a fast start, not allowing us into settle into any sort of rhythm, taking advantage of set piece deliveries and long balls and crosses, he would be the ideal Manunited manager.
And no more defensive mix ups, freak goals, goal that bounces off Steve Bruce’s belly, hits Huddlestone before ricocheting off Sagbo and flying past Szczesny.