AND we’re in the final…

January 26, 2011 32 Comments by Sian

In a final at last. At Wembley. The place we’re obviously also going to be winning two of our other three trophies in the coming months. Right?

Well, it was a nervy first half, with the knowledge that Ipswich didn’t need to score and that we really, really did. They kept having a go though, particularly with the first kick of the match, in which they went straight for goal from kick-off with a massive boot that flew the ball over Szczesny’s net. Then it was made nervier in the 18th minute when poor old Bacary Sagna got Szczesnyed with a nasty clash of heads which left the Frenchman with a concussion, and his halo on decidedly wonky. He went to hospital, but hopefully it was nothing too sore.

With Eboue on for Sagna we had plenty more attempts but, as is the nature of this red and white beast, missed most of them. The first half was exceptionally frustrating, but the one thing you could pin your hopes on was Ipswich getting knackered out shortly. We all knew there was a goal coming anyway, didn’t we?

In the 61st, Nicklas Bendtner made it game ON with a beautiful strike from a Wilshere pass. He was very Nasri in his approach, with one thing on his mind: “I am going to score you, bitch.” Cries of a substitution for Nick turned into chants of “Super Nicklas Bendtner” which made me all smiley. See, I knew it. I knew. I KNEW, I KNEW IT.

But we still had work to do, Nick’s goal only giving us the opportunity to go to extra-time which was JUST what we needed with an empty tumbleweedy schedule like ours. Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait long for our second goal as it came in the 64th minute in the shape of a bullet-like header from Laurent Koscielny. Oh, and FROM A CORNER! What what? Yes indeedio, a corner. A corner by Andrei Arshavin, no less.

He celebrated by gesturing to his tummy, leading us to believe he was either telling us he was still full up from Rob the Chef’s cooking, or that the lady in his life was expecting a baby. Apparently, it’s the latter so congrats to them both and the bubba.

I mentioned Arshavin a minute ago – I really wanted him to score yesterday and if he had, it would truly have been a match of redemption for the broken swans. Both Nick and Laurent have had their doubters this season, Laurent’s probably perhaps unfairly given he’s only been here six months, but no one is more abused on the terraces (can we still call them that there in our squidgy seats?) than Arshavin. He didn’t manage to score himself, but he did provide two assists so I’d say job well done really.

Our third came from El Capitan to seal the deal. It was a great little pass from Arshavin for Cesc to bang home and effectively get our engines started for Wembley. Of course, until then, if Ipswich had scored it could have been a different story. I think away goals counted after extra time (right?) so at 2-1 we would have been headed for that (right?)

Well, anyway, we’re on our way. Jack was absolutely superb yesterday, but you kind of expect him to be these days. Johan Djourou was excellent as well, I thought. Ipswich put in a bloody good performance but in the end, once we finally levelled things out on aggregate, it was a one-way street. I love those type of streets, when you’re in the car bombing along with no traffic in your way.

The crowd was OK last night, but the Ipswich fans were better. Mind you, much as the Carling Cup crowd can be a pain with their constant whinging (and LEAVING EARLY AGAIN), there were some excellent fans there too. For instance, the little boy (probably six years old maximum) who was sitting next to us and watching the game as if his life depended on it. When the names were read out at the start and the crowd was shouting them back, he was trying so hard to pronounce them all properly.

“Laurent…” “Kosshhhhernerrr”, etc. Bless him.

Was an enjoyable evening, even though my Mum and I got chips thrown at us by some Ipswich mug. Hope HE fell over in a pile of police horse manure on the way out. My friend Natasha , a fellow blogger who writes her stuff here, also needs to be thanked for predicting that we’d win 3-0. Nice one Tash!

So anyway, that’s our place in the final booked, with the possibility of a London derby if West Ham win tonight or a not-London-derby if Birmingham do. I’m hoping for West Ham, purely because I like them more, but we’ll see.

I know it’s Only The Carling Cup (to give it its full name), but I’m so proud of the boys for getting there. We’re now just 90 minutes from our first bit of silverware in more than five years. It might not be the Premiership, but I’ve always believed that if we can win one trophy, we can win a heck of a lot more of them. Plus, have you seen the league lately? We’re in with more than a shadow of a chance at that too.

Good time to be following the Gunners.

32 Comments

  1. Treez
    2399 days ago

    I love your blog, Sian. I look forward to it almost as much as being at the match. Last night the crowd was much better than usual. Could it be that some of the miserable old moaners were replaced by really enthusiastic youngsters? Anyway, it made a difference. I also think Cesc’s encouragement to the crowd also helped. Ipswich fans did their club proud, although the ‘Your support is f****** s***’ was a little uncalled for!

    Roll on Wembley!

    Reply

    • Sian
      2399 days ago

      Yeah, as were the chips!

      Reply

    • Divino
      1917 days ago

      Did anyone else nitcoe how weird the dragon in this video was. It moved very strangely and it had no ropes must of been the touring production. Right? Am I right? Please don’t ignore me. Please?

      Reply

  2. hmm
    2399 days ago

    dude, u shud post a few more pics of yourself. You look to good to hide it !

    Reply

    • Sian
      2399 days ago

      Thank you, though that’s unlikely. :)

      Reply

  3. 1NilToTheArsenal
    2399 days ago

    Hi Sian,

    Another nice aspect of your blog is the a flavor it provides of the match atmosphere both @ The Em and away. For those of us across the pond, it’s a great read to experience just a little of what it’s like to actually be there. Please continue this along with your other entertaining comments, analysis and insight.

    I think we showed last night that we are maturing as a side and that is contributing to our credibility as contenders in all 4 competitions. Rather than losing our patience and composure after failing to breakthrough in the first 45 minutes, we persevered and finally started getting behind the wall of tractors parked in front of net.
    You’re dead rights about Wilshire and Djourou. The young Welshman was MOTM for me, and as a fellow supporter of B52 I hold my head up high today. He just needs the time on the pitch to get in sync. Great goal from him. What to make of Arshavin? He showed a flash of brilliance with the dazzling run to set up El Capitan, but to me he looks forlorn and lost much of the time. I’m concerned for Sagna and anxiously waiting to hear his condition is OK. Concussions can be a serious business. Fingers crossed and all that.

    Another great day to be a Gooner, though! In fact it’s been several great days in a row to be a Gooner, and it is shaping up to be an excellent season. Keep it going boys!

    Cheers from the Great White North,
    1NTTA

    Reply

    • Sian
      2399 days ago

      I think Sagna is OK. Or at least OK enough to have set up a Twitter account today! I agree on Arshavin too, really wanted him to get a goal as I feel that might open the flood gates a bit. Still a good performance from him yesterday though. Thanks for continuing to read the posts, one of these days I’ll manage to get a few pictures of the matches up too!

      Reply

  4. Red Arse
    2399 days ago

    Excellent and enthusiastic write up. Very evocative of the game and the Emirates experience.

    At the risk of sounding patronising and sexist, can I say you are one of the most gifted Post writers I have come across and you prove that women are every bit as committed and passionate about the game, and in particular Arsenal, as any male I know.

    Keep up the good work! :-)

    Reply

    • Sian
      2399 days ago

      That’s really nice of you to say and I’m glad you enjoy the posts. There aren’t many female Arsenal bloggers about but there ARE plenty of other girls who love the Gunners so I say come on girls, where are you?!

      Reply

  5. uncle K
    2399 days ago

    Very enjoyable match report,Siany.Was offered a FREE ticket,but guess which section it was in!! Declined the kind gesture and watched on the box.Despite having (accurately)how the game would turn out,it was an excruciating first half to sit through,innit x

    Reply

    • Sian
      2399 days ago

      Proper excruciating innit. Would have been worse had you taken the ticket though, those fans were LOUD!

      Reply

  6. uncle K
    2399 days ago

    Sorry,the word ‘predicted’ should have appeared after brackets k

    Reply

  7. Kipp9
    2399 days ago

    Hi, I’m the cynic, Let’s get cynical!

    You KNEW it about Bendtner because he skinned a right winner at right back and scored a very lovely goal?

    The importance of it as the first goal cannot be diminished but scoring against a Championship side at home does not vindicate 10 odd games of mediocrity. If this is the kicking on point and he finishes with say… 10 goals by seasons end then please rub this in my face but for me. This is the great waxed chest’s second false dawn.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2399 days ago

      Right winner?

      I knew he’d shut everyone up. And he did. He scores big goals in big games, he needed one to get him going again and now I’m sure there’ll be more.

      Reply

      • Kipp9
        2399 days ago

        F***in Typo’s. Right winGer – Carlos Edwards.

        I’ve my opinion you have yours only one can be right – It’s like Highlander.

        Oh, odd comment but you are going to be winning 2 of your 3 trophies at Wembley. The Champions League final is at Wembley as is, usually, the FA Cup. So, are you saying you’re going out of one or t’other which isn’t like you.

        Reply

        • Sian
          2399 days ago

          Wrong. “Two of our other three trophies”. I am fully aware of where the Champions League final is this year and, oddly enough, was also aware of where the FA Cup is usually finished. So we win this. Then we win ‘two of our other three trophies’ there. A team cannot win the League there as the League is not played at Wembley. Learn to read things properly.

          Reply

          • Kipp9
            2399 days ago

            No Keys-ian, sorry but. Just sorry. Yeah. Got that wrong.

  8. Nick
    2399 days ago

    Great Blog Siany!
    I too appreciate you described what it’s like inside the Emirates, as I am here in Washington DC, USA.
    Nick

    Reply

  9. Theo van Nasrigas
    2399 days ago

    Excellent post again. Looking forward to finally putting another in the trophy cabinet, be it West Ham or Birmingham. Very happy to see Bendtner score a great goal right after his last game in which he also played well. @1NTTA: I agree that with more time on the pitch B52 is slowly getting his mojo back.
    For those looking for another female perspective, try http://www.goonerettesonline.co.uk/. They have nice blog as well.
    Also echo 1NTTA and Nick about the Emirates. If you are at final in Webley, do tell: how does it compare to The Emirates, what is the atmosphere like from a Gooner perspective, etc.
    All the best,
    Theodora

    Reply

  10. Alan
    2399 days ago

    Doesn’t much matter who you’re up against when you control the ball like NB52 did for his goal – four pretty exquisite touches. Must be the sort of thing AW sees on the training ground. Good up-for-it performance all round and well done to Ipswich for making it far tougher than anyone expected (well, me anyway). Nice flavour of the game, Siany.

    Reply

  11. irishgray
    2399 days ago

    Excellent post as always Sian :) !NTTA is dead right in regards to your description of the atmosphere at the Ems as it really helps us poor lost souls across the pond(sniff sniff). As for Bendy you and I were both proven right as I had him scoring in this one too!! Just a quick aside Sian, has any other team ever won 3 trophies at Wembley in 1 season? Can’t think of any myself but “myself” and “thinking” are pretty much strangers to each other so I could be wrong :)

    As I am writing this I see we are playing Birmingham, so that is 1 trophy in the bag!!

    On another note, Liverpool were denied a clear goal with a bad off-side call on Torres. What did they start chanting? “There’s only one Sian Massey, only one Sian Massey!!” You Go Girls!! Loving it :)

    Reply

  12. Vikram Singh Negi
    2398 days ago

    This is in reply to your first line.
    3 cups in Wembley and we will win the league at WHL (as the Spurs away game is now on May 10th).
    Right? :) :)

    Reply

  13. abbasali
    2398 days ago

    fanatstic blog…mwaah

    Reply

  14. El Greco
    2398 days ago

    Great result, great blog Siany!
    Unfortunately Arsenal fans will have to content with Arsenal playing a bunch of neanderthals in the final:-(
    Now the onus is on Arsenal to win not just for the supporters but for tihose who love the beautiful!

    Reply

  15. Tim
    2398 days ago

    Great blogg look forward to it after every match, was it tongue in cheek about 2 -1 turning double after extra time, just to clarify in case of a draw after extra time then away goals count for double. Keep it up!

    Reply

  16. Girl Gunner
    2398 days ago

    Nice blog siany! Didn watch the match but i’m glad we got a goal off a corner! I like Andrey A,but i hope he improves rather than play 1 game good and the other terribly! Again,love ur blog! Cant wait for silverware! Cheerz!

    Reply

  17. Gunner Neilson
    2398 days ago

    Nice one again, Sian.
    Love Tim’s comment about the away goals…’tongue in cheek’. Pardon me for thinking it was more ‘sledge hammer in face’!!
    My muscles have only just relaxed enough to be able to type. That first half was not good for the nerves.
    Just when I feel my comments re Arshavin and the B52 are justified, up they pop… Bendtner’s goal was Henry-esque. I’ve got nothing but admiration for your faith in them.
    You’re dead right aabout the confidence that winning the CC will give everyone. If we do that, it could just be a tremendous season.

    Reply

  18. John Mears
    2398 days ago

    Good blog Sian!
    We are slowly improving!
    Come the day of the final Birmingham
    will be 100% up for it.
    They will be getting in our faces for the
    whole 90 mins (or 120 as WHU).
    We have to match them or we may
    come unstuck!
    Would trade in both domestic cups
    for the Premiershp though.
    Thats what the Arse are built for !

    Reply

    • Sian
      2398 days ago

      Is this THE John Mears of Highbury Grove fame? If so both dad and I say hi! I agree, the league would be better than anything else (even CL really) but baby steps will get us there eventually :)

      Reply

      • John Mears
        2397 days ago

        Yes its me.

        Hi to the rest of the clan!

        Probably would settle for the CL as it’s the one thing
        missing from the CV.
        Anyway, I do have confidence in Arsene’s masterplan.
        A league cup win could set us up for more trophies in the next few
        years.
        Just would like the defence to be a bit more assured.
        Can’t fault the midfield or attack at present -
        (apart from Arshavin – he seems right out of sorts?)
        We just need to put away some more of the chances we create.

        Looking forward to your blog after Sunday’s 10-0 scoreline!!!

        Reply

  19. White Ox
    2397 days ago

    Always seem to get in late on these things, the tyranny of time or distance or something or other.

    Couldn’t believe the moaning in my twitter timeline. I had a couple of “if we lose this there’s only one man to blame” when Nick produced what, as you quite correctly say, was another hugely important goal as is his habit. A really good habit that, much better than biting fingernails which I hadn’t got to yet so yay for Nick and for Kosccchhhhherrr our unsung heroes (Is Kos improving much or what? Big future for him).

    The moaners were right, the result was entirely one man’s fault. Well done again Arsene, the true hero of Arsenal FC. Wem-ber-lee. Bring it. Let’s make it one down, two to go. Oh to be…

    Reply

  20. Natasha Henry
    2397 days ago

    Just to let you all know, I will be taking Sian for pizza and a bottle of wine with my winnings. Where we will discuss further plans for our world domination. You have all been warned! ;-)

    We’re going to Wembley babe. Whooo x

    Reply

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