What a weekend

How much fun was that? Nine years has been way too long. Arsenal are back!
We made hard work of it though, eh? Two massive turning points in the game were the clearance off the line by Gibbs when we were 0-2 down, and then Cazorla’s free kick getting us back into it so quickly. I think it was 0-2 for about 8 or 9 minutes, so the supporters in the ground were just so stunned at that time there was no outpouring of poison and abuse towards the team or manager, and when Santi curled it in the whole atmosphere changed to positive again. I must admit I was fairly confident we could turn it around from there ; there was so much time left on the clock.
I thought we may win it in normal time, and Gibbs probably should have, but it was a fitting end to our season that our player of the season scored the extra time winner. What a turnaround for Ramsey, from the butt of all the fans criticism to the matchwinner ; an amazing stat from the whole season is that we won every match that Ramsey scored in. Wow.
The celebrations afterwards were fantastic : I did wonder if they were going to be a bit low key, as people might be thinking ‘Pah, we should have won the league instead’, but the scenes on the pitch and in the crowd were amazing – and the numbers that turned out for the parade on Sunday were astonishing. Well done to everyone who helped organise that, having Gunnersaurus lead the buses in his own car was just brilliant.
The numbers attending the parade will hopefully bring it home to the powers that be at AFC about how much it all means to people ; all those Junior Gunners seeing their first bit of silverware and also all the grown ups who have suffered (comparatively speaking) for the last nine years.
Arsenal are back. And we want MORE.
You are my Arsenal,
My only Arsenal,
You make me happy
When skies are grey
You’ll never know just,
How much I love you
So please don’t take my Arsenal away

Stumbling into the final

I still feel a bit weird about Saturday ; it’s great to be in the cup final, but I do feel slightly embarrassed about how we got there. Part of me says that is does not matter, getting through to the final is all that matters, but the other part of me worries about how our display illustrated the problems we have on the pitch at the moment.
The fact that in normal time the best chances we had were by Sagna hitting the post and then Gibbs’s header, followed by the BFG’s equaliser ; that really shows the problems we have in attack at the moment. Podolski and Sanogo were completely useless on the day, Cazorla was average – The Ox was the best of the bunch, and then Gibbs contributes a lot once he came on.
When we were 1-0 down, the atmosphere in the stands was pure poison, there were supporters coming to blows in front of me, and all the usual confrontations. I’ve said it many times, it breaks my heart to see that. We all want to see Arsenal win, can’t we all just get along? The extra time and penalty shoot out were excruciatingly painful, but fair play to Fabianski and the players who stepped up, they all did their jobs and did them well. If we had lost on pens, I’m sure they would have been labelled ‘bottle jobs’, so credit where it is due.
So we limped over the line, and now face Hull City in a bid to win our first trophy since 2005, and after all the moaning and hand wringing, that is all that really matters. The scramble for tickets starts here!
Focus can now change from the cup back to the league, and we have 5 remaining league games and 15 points up for grabs. Everton are putting us under massive pressure so we have to meet that challenge head on. Huge game against West Ham tomorrow night.

Come on you Reds.