Hello and good morning readers. It’s been exactly a week since I last wrote and since then we’ve gone on to play two more games, both of which were significantly important to our season and could have been seen as ‘make or break’.
Arsenal 4 – 1 Everton
The first was an FA Cup Quarter Final (or the Sixth Round if you want to be a bellend about it) at home against a strong Everton side. They’ve been doing pretty well this season under new manager Roberto Martinez and I was one of the unfortunate ones to be at the 1-1 draw earlier on in the season, so they really couldn’t be underestimated.
We didn’t line up with our best side though, with the manager opting to rest a number of key players with the focus being on the mid-week tie with Bayern Munich. Several fringe players including Fabianski, Vermaelen and Sanogo were handed starts and therefore chances to show their ability.
The game itself started pretty quickly when after seven minutes Ozil was fed through and managed to score a sublime finish, even though he was surrounded by two defenders and the goalkeeper. After all his recent criticisms I think the goal was well taken and will have gone some way towards reigniting his confidence and belief.
After that there were spells from both sides before we conceded a bit of a messy goal scored by Romelu Lukaku. It did create some doubts in the side but we showed our strength and saw out the half and re-emerged after the break a different side. I struggle to think in that second half where they had a chance. I believe Barkley missed an opportunity either late in the first half or early in the second but other than that they didn’t have a sniff.
It did of course only take until the 69th minute before Oxlade was brought down to give us a penalty. Our designated kick taker Mikel Arteta stepped up and very cooly placed it to the keepers left. Big pressure after Ozil’s miss and a big goal considering the circumstances. The referee however felt to cancel to goal and book Giroud for entering the box too early, although replays showed he was more thrown into there by the Everton defenders opposed to walking in.
Didn’t look to affect Arteta though, because he stepped up and delivered a perfect penalty into the roof of the net. The keeper went the right way this time but there was no stopping that. Credit to Arteta as well, to step up the first time and score is one thing but the pressure the second time must have been magnified greatly, so for him to not only put it in the net but do so in the way he did shows how calm and collected he really is. Just a shame he was suspended for Bayern.
After that it was pretty much one way traffic in the game before Giroud was eventually subbed on for Sanogo. That tactical change really kicked our quality up a gear and it showed when the Frenchman managed to score our third goal on the 83rd minute. Just three minutes later however, he’d scored another and the game was pretty much done and dusted. 4-1 to the Arsenal, two goals for Giroud, a goal and an assist from Ozil and a ticket to the FA Cup Semi-Final at Wembley.
FA Cup Semi-Final Draw
Prior to the draw every Gooner was praying for Sheffield United or Hull because it was inevitable that City would beat Wigan considering their strength at home. Of course the draws never go in Arsenal’s favour, although you’d like to think that after getting Tottenham, Liverpool and Everton in the rounds prior that we’d get some luck in the next round, but of course we didn’t. We was drawn against the winner of Man City vs Wigan, which everybody of course thought would be City.
But of course, football doesn’t work that way. It works in ways that makes it magical and unpredictable and one of the shocks of the season was Wigan managing to go and knock out Man City by winning 2-1. If you was a
plastic armchair glory hunter City fan you’d have to pretty much hate Wigan now. Losing against them in the FA Cup Final last year was one thing but to go on and lose a second time within 12 months at home? Ouch.
Gotta say as well, fuck all the crappy English press that didn’t splash the headlines with the cliché titles and shite that they usually have whenever we lose those kind of games. The hatred towards Arsenal is a joke sometimes, so a big fuck you to all you useless, bloody-sucking, cretins that refer to yourselves a journalists. I just call you cunts. Big fucking cunts.
Anyhoo that means Arsenal now take on Wigan in the Semi-Final with a view of playing either Sheffield United or Hull in the final. You gotta feel that this is our best chance of a trophy this season and we must do everything we can to achieve it. We’ve gotta kill off that stupid nine year trophy drought and bring some silverware to the Emirates. We have to be considered strong favourites now and we’d better not underestimate our opponents in the slightest. Full concentration, full focus and we’ll win it I have no doubt.
Bayern 1 – 1 Arsenal
Won’t talk much on this game as there isn’t a great deal to say. I think we defended sublimely, the focus was there but we conceded one goal and it killed the game. We did score a few minutes later but it wasn’t enough. Had we’d scored our goal first I think we could have gone on to get a result but unfortunately it wasn’t to be and we ended up with the draw.
It didn’t help that Ozil was taken off during half-time with a hamstring injury. It’s rumoured to be grade 3 which is the worst of the worst, meaning he’ll probably be out now for around six weeks. Huge blow to our season but with Ramsey back and Oxlade delivering performances like yesterday, I still feel optimistic that it won’t end our hope of getting top four and that FA Cup trophy.
Would also just like to say Bayern looked shit. There’s a difference between playing attacking, passing football and just passing around your own half. Last year they were an exciting, dangerous and efficient German outfit who looked a match for anybody, last night they looked like a boring, timid bunch of diving wankers (Robben you useless prick) who didn’t want to win with pride. They were more scared of us then we were of them and I think that applied to both ties. It’s unfortunate that the tie was pretty much ended when the referee gave Szczesny that red card but we shouldn’t bemoan the outcome of the two games. We’re out now, we played with pride yesterday and the draw was a fair result in reflection. We need to move on and focus our efforts elsewhere and that starts with the league.
We didn’t qualify for the next round of the Champions League but so what? Nobody expected us to beat Bayern yet alone win it and that’s fine with me. At the start of the season I said we’d finish second and could maybe have a go at the FA Cup and so far we’re on course for that. The opportunity for top three and a trophy is very much in our own hands right now, so let’s take the positives and make sure we deliver. Our next game is a huge one and takes place Sunday at the worst part of London – Tottenham. We’ve got a North London derby to play, three points to go for and a league title still in the distance, let’s not dwell on a competition we probably won’t have won but focus on one that we may still just win.