FA Cup final, Alexis, Cesc and the summer that was

August 26, 2014 9 Comments by Sian


I’ve been meaning to write a blog since we bloody lost to Bayern Munich and everything went crap. Then it all became happy and trophy-drenched and then after that we just couldn’t stop buying players. Life was hunky dory, Chilean and chunky of thigh.

Suddenly it’s the end of August, raining, deadline day is but a week away and we’re well into the swing of the league (if you consider last minute victories and last minute salvagings of points swinging). How’ve you been?

It’s quite frightening to think it’s been over three months since the FA Cup final and possibly the best day of the last 10 years (2005 wasn’t a patch on 17th May 2014). Since then Arsene Wenger has signed a new deal (good), Bacary Sagna has spent a lot of time sitting down (bad), Thomas Vermaelen’s five year pursuit of a sun tan has begun, our relationship in my head now over (weird, terrible), and Fabianski has moved to Wales. Didn’t it feel like we’d be together forever the day of that parade? It was so bizarre not having anything else to worry about. I swore more in that game than I’ve ever sworn in my life, Aaron Ramsey’s goal wasn’t in the SLIGHTEST bit enjoyable because we still had so long to go until the final whistle and then when Fabianski went turbo Almunia, well, that’ll be the traumatic trigger event doctors ask us about 15 years from now when we’re all diagnosed with something dreadful. But we’ll always have those Wembley memories and frankly that makes it worth it.

We went to the Tolly after, where pretty much everyone was out of their tree, wearing their wobbly boots and standing at an obtuse angle. And it was so great! There was no second leg fear and no goal difference worry. The only question was ‘So what time we getting here for the parade tomorrow?’ A wonderful weekend.

The good days continued with the day of the kit launch and the signing of Alexis Sanchez. Arsene Wenger appearing in the mist of the Thames. It’s like Puma invaded my dreams and took notes.   

The World Cup was crap, obviously, for England. Of course it was, we’re English. Beige, beige, Jack slating England. I wanted Colombia to win, and that was before Ospina joined the ranks, but it was not to be and we were left with just the three World Champions in our team. I was so happy for Mesut because when Real Madrid went and bloody well won the Champions League I was all ‘Oh but now the FA Cup won’t mean as much’ but now he’s won the World Cup and nothing will ever mean as much so he might as well just try to win everything in a relaxed, languid fashion.

Imagine how it’ll be when we win the Champions League? Actually let’s not kid about that as we’re back to business now and were really quite crap in the first leg of the qualifier against Besiktas (see what I mean about second leg fear?). Add in the injuries to Mikel Arteta and Olivier Giroud, and the suspension to Aaron Ramsey and you have quite the Udinese 2011 on your hands. Trying not to think about it too much at the moment because I slightly fear our luck might have run out this year and I really, really don’t want to be watching us play Rictus Groin 1764 or whoever the hell we’d get. You just have to hope the power of the Emirates will send us through.

Obviously Cesc broke my heart in June; that was a low point. The most hurtful thing of all was knowing he wanted to come back but that we didn’t want him. In Cesc you’ve a player who probably would have stayed forever had he not had that one itch to scratch. So off he went, trying to scratch that itch for three years before realised that actually, he had no nails. Some would say there was a whiff of tail between legs syndrome but given we were pants when he left and he was great, I still don’t blame him for going and I still very much do blame us for not taking him back.

The news didn’t hit quite so hard this time, partly because most of us knew it was coming. I was about to start a phone interview when I got a text saying ‘It’s official’ (literally as the goddamn phone was dialling) and let me tell you now, thank God for Dictaphones because who knows what the heck that person and I discussed in that 20 minute conversation. I have a feeling it was go-karting, but I can’t be sure. I largely felt sick. I will feel sicker when he wins them the league.

And on that jolly note, let’s look forward to the match tomorrow. It’s going to be rotten like old apples, but I have a small amount of faith we’ll have enough to overcome them. It’ll be difficult if the referee is as bad as he was last week, and it’ll be worse if they score at any point whatsoever in the game… although god if they don’t it might go to penalties and I was about to delete this part now but well it’s out there now and I’ve jinxed it and I’m sorry.

Please Yaya. Please. Benfica…  Benfikta… Benfiktas… Besiktas… see there is no difference, just do as you did then!


  1. Omar
    1148 days ago

    Loved the last line!

    I share your views on Cesc and that pass to set up Schurrle on the opening weekend, it was delightfully painful to watch!

    Fingers crossed for tomorrow :)


  2. Leon
    1148 days ago

    Is it comforting that we are playing poorly but grinding out results?

    We look so disjointed all over the place – defence looks wobbly and severely lacking pace.

    No one seems to have a best place in midfield except Rambo and players are being played in positions they are not familiar with like Ozil on the left which is most obvious.

    And then there is the striker issue.

    With Giroud out for three months we have to rely on the unreliable Yaya and Campbell who has seven minutes experience of playing in the Premiership.

    And we have a week of the transfer window left.

    Am I worried ?

    YES !!!!!!!


  3. jon fox
    1148 days ago

    Here we are again, as every summer with a week to go til the window closes and still no DCM, replacement for TV5, or badly needed specialist striker x 2.. Either, which I believe, Wenger is playing his usual dither game or the club don’t have the money we we told. So , 2 Prem games gone in which we have looked poor and now our only real striker out for who knows how long. Where is the planning that we are entitled to expect? Once again it will be a last minute(literally) game of Russian roulette whether or not we strengthen properly. I for one, am fed up with this amateur way of running our great club. Wenger is like a rabbit frozen in the headlights incapable of decisive action. We have for years now needed a hungrier, more dynamic man at the helm. He is getting 8 million a year for this shambles while we poor mugs who pay our huge ticket prices get this arrogant treatment every damn year. I saw through this so called Wenger “aura” years ago and have been calling for his head since 2008 since the Gallas sulk at B’ham and the needless throwing away of the league. Nothing will improve til he goes and the sooner the better.


  4. Shane Thomas
    1148 days ago

    A while back, Alan Davies and Ian Stone came up with humourous fake names for teams that you’d end up playing in the Europa League; FSK Jippo and AC Dogfight.

    However, I think Rictus Groin 1764 wins the game, hands down!


  5. Alan
    1148 days ago

    When it’s all a bit jittery around the Arsenal, we need a laugh – Siany to the rescue – again.


  6. jakobs
    1148 days ago

    nice to have you back.
    Wellington NZ


  7. elkieno
    1145 days ago

    @Jon fox, man you know it all, you are telling it like it is and keeping it real, you should manage our great club instead!
    So many ridiculous things you typed…
    Have you forgotten we just won the fa cup then beat man city in community shield as well? Maybe City didn’t care but then that shows their mercenary attitudes (Nasri) and our big confidence right now. I bet you been yelling from the roof tops that we won’t win another trophy with the great man at the helm, did you celebrate the victory? Were you even at the parade? Do you even go to our games? I bet you are season ticket holder for 33.55 years too right? You know Maureen is starting 3rd year with no trophies, UTD in trouble after trying to replace sir Fungus?
    No jinx Sian we beat besiktas and we’re thru to play BvB (again), Anderlecht and Gala (revenge!!). We have a most excellent first team, some excellent subs and being a very smart run club, we managed to build a belter of a stadium too. Look at how long it’s taking Sp*rs and Liverpool to try it out! Liverpool won the lottery when selling Bitey McRacist and yet the only strikers they could get are Laaaambert (the sheepish lion) and Baloteli, Falcao is only on offer for €20 for a season LOAN, ridiculous money only ‘those’ clubs can afford. Costa cost a lot and wages are ridiculous, I’d rather Sanchez any day… He is off the mark btw with an expensive goal.
    And name me a specialist striker on offer for money/salaries we can afford I can’t that’s for sure. Walcott, Podolski, Sanchez, Sanogo (watch this space, don’t laugh!) Giroud.. If the alternative strikers/cf can get us thru to new year, then Giroud will come back and be the final push to get us as close to the title as we can. We don’t have bottomless pits of money, all that ‘deadwood’ we had finally got rid of, you want us to potentially buy more? Cos an excellent specialist striker just is not that easy to find unless we take a punt on someone that is an unknown commodity, like Sanogo. Also, we were top for so long and lamented theo injury and Rambos too, Sanchez, Debuchy and Chambers are all great signings that have improved out first team heaps, I for one am not complaining. We will get a new defender too, I know it.
    Finally, I am sooo glad AW signed on for more years to take us to the new era and set up where we can compete much more evenly, esp with FFP!!!
    Just got to keep the faith Jon Fox, but it seems you have made up your mind and I feel sad cos how will you celebrate our next trophy?


  8. Alex
    1142 days ago

    Great summary of the past few months, the ‘footballing summer’ if you would :)

    Looking forward to the next post!


    • Bernie
      1131 days ago

      What annoyed me was that he was ready to hit form aignast Norwich and continue what he did aignast West Ham. The major problem for him was that he was let down by the wingers, who didn’t play intelligently with or without the ball. What was he supposed to do? There are only so many places a CF can go without leaving a gaping hole in the most important offensive position, and when the wingers don’t do anything to make space, it’s pretty easy for defenders to mark him. To make matters worse, the players who really messed up on Saturday kept their places, while he was dropped to the bench. He did everything he could aignast Norwich, you could make a case for all of them being dropped, but of the 3 Giroud should have been the last one out and Gervinho should definitely have been relegated in his stead.I do understand why Wenger likes Gervinho up front (on average he’s been FAR better in that position than he has on the wing), and he’s put in some excellent performances this season already, but ffs when he plays badly like that, drop him!Also I have to say I’m not greatly impressed with Vermaelen. Koscielny was easily our best defender last season, and Mert has been very good so far this year. The trouble wiht making Tommy the captain is that it makes him undroppable, and he’s the worst of the 3 defenders imo. No doubt TV has his part to play, but he’s not consistent enough to start every game imo and I think the captaincy should have gone to Arteta. I don’t think he’s had a bad game since he joined.


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