Arsenal’s Best 11 Players for FA Cup Final

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The good news is that Oz Gunner will produce a match preview later this week, but I thought it would be good to discuss our best starting eleven today. Just for a bit of fun.

Injuries have possibly held us back from winning the title this season, or at least from getting very close to doing so, but luckily we can pick from a strong squad for Saturday’s FA Cup final against Hull City.

I have been thinking about our strongest eleven for the Cup final, whilst also taking into account things like potential departures of players and playing history in this competition.

I reckon our best eleven players for the final are:

Goal Keeper

Fabianski: yes, it would be a good and necessary experience for Szczesny, but I reckon we owe it to the older Pole to play in the final. He has got us there with some fine performances; but most importantly, Fabianski is a safer pair of hands when it comes to keeping his concentration for 90 (or more) minutes. I expect us to dominate the game for large parts and for Hull to focus on set pieces, and Szczesny has a knack of going in kamikaze in these sort of games…. boredom is not good for him. So Fab for me.

Left Back

Gibbs for me. I know some fellow BKers have their doubts about Kieran but for me he is one of the most exciting prospects in the whole Arsenal squad. A total athlete who offers everything you need in a full back, and he is very close to breaking through. The older he gets to stronger he will become and he needs to play in this final to win his first medal.

Centre Backs

Mertesacker – Koscielny. Both have their qualities and limitations but, like a perfect marriage, they get the best out of each other when played together.

Right Back

Jenkinson could do with the experience, but Sagna should start: one of my favourite Gunners and an absolute rock for us this season. It looks like he is leaving which would feel like a step back again; but we need his experience and hunger on Saturday, and he also deserves to depart with an FA cup medal in his suitcase.

Double DM-pivot

Flamini – Ramsey. I could live with Arteta instead of Flamini, but if Huddlestone is playing for Hull I want us to have a strong physical presence that will keep the former Spud quiet, and I reckon Matthieu is the man for this. I also believe Ramsey will be able to support the attack more if we play the Frenchman rather than the Spaniard next to him. The only risk is Flamini getting hot-headed and send off, but surely Wenger will coach him on this.

Ramsey is a given: he is our engine and our connector, who makes our team not two parts of defence and attack but one machine.

Central Attacking Midfielder – ‘Man in the hole’

Ozil of course, although…. Four things are important for the hole position: stamina, creativity, running with and without the ball and ability to give shape to our team. Long term, for me, the best person for this is SJW. Jack is best at giving shape and structure to the team, even better than Ozil – his performances in January were simply awesome. But Jack will not be fit enough to start, I reckon, and he will need a lot of games to get back to his very best again. So Ozil it is.

‘Holding’ Central Forward

Ollie, Ollie, Ollie, Ollie. Giroud is the obvious choice as nobody is better in our team at being the pivot in our attack: allowing the midfielders and fellow attackers to come forward and join the attack, creating opportunities for others and keeping defenders busy. Would I want OG to be a better finisher? Of course, but we need a lot more from Giroud in Wenger’s current system, and boy does he deliver this for us (again…. after a blip a few months ago).

Left ‘Wing’ – Right ‘Wing’

Aahhhh, it is a bit more difficult to choose for these positions. Without Theo and Ox (game comes to early, I reckon), we do not have a lot of choice for the wing. The two positions will have to be filled out of Cazorla, The Pod, and Rosicky. With Ramsey’s – and to a lesser extent Flamini – pressing and running from the centre, Ozil willingness to create space and do ‘wingplay’, Giroud’s readiness to spread himself about andthe support of the full backs, I believe we can get by without proper wingers in the team.

I am not a big fan of playing Pod and Cazorla together but reckon Wenger will go for these two on Saturday. I would prefer to start Rosicky, as he always personifies what playing for Arsenal is all about in the cup games. He has the drive and experience to motor the team on and he adds that little bit of speed and penetration the other two lack to some extent.

Pod has been in fine finishing form lately, and I would just about give him the nod over Cazorla for Saturday.

So my ideal team for the Cup final is:

FA cup final Arsenal line up

What do you think, FFG’s?

Written by: TotalArsenal.

Be Kind to Yourself 🙂

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93 Responses to Arsenal’s Best 11 Players for FA Cup Final

  1. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Cheers TA. Hope your wife and family are coming to terms with the terrible loss. its not right when someone dies so young. Remain strong my Dutch friend.

    Cant agree with your team TA. I would play Chesney, though its unfair on Fabinaski, for me Chesney is the better keeper.

    The back four we agree, but the midfield no.

    Carzola for Rosiscky. Santi is playing well and will enjoy the space.

    You surprise me by leaving Arteta out TA. I have no fear of Hundredstone. Fat men are notorious for getting extremely nervous before big occasions. This anxiety usually manifests itself in a glutinous food binge of jam doughnuts so I fully expect Hundredstone to run around for 5 minutes and then collapse with cramp. Probably end up demanding the physio feed him a cream bun to aid recovery.

    The game will be tough, but we will edge it. Probably 5-0

  2. Hello TA

    Looks like a fine squad but when fit, Arsene simply cannot resist himself from starting Zollo so reckon a pivot of him and Rambo..wouldn’t be too upset as these two work together well

    Having been given a day off, i would expect Santi to slot right back in the squad and occupy the LW and I would definitely go for Rozza on the right meaning our front 3 would constitute of 3 number 10’s…still not a bad thing as Rozza can play anywhere across the midfield thanks to his ‘young footballing years’ and how he just seems to up the tempo with his lovely bursts

    The hardest part is the goalkeeper..does Arsene go with Fab, the man who has played all so well throughout our cup run and saw us through to the finals thanks to some brilliant saves in the shoot-outs but looks set to leave in the summer OR does he pick the number 1 goalkeeper at the club who minus the few slaughterings away from home against big teams has had a very good season between the posts and also give him a chance to redeem himself for the heartbreaking miscommunication against Birmingham in 2011 that saw us loose the CC??..tough choice..I’ll leave it there

    good to be back on BK!

  3. TotalArsenal says:

    Aaah Terry, Flamini over Arteta more or less always for me. Yes Hundredstone (hahaha) likes a doughnut or two, but I do rate him a lot.

    Agreed Szczesny is the all round better keeper but not when there is not much to do. I wants to draw attention to him – feed the ego – and I reckon Flamini is the better option.

    Thanks for the fine words btw, much appreciated. 🙂

  4. TotalArsenal says:

    Hi KG,

    It has been a long time, buddy. Really good to see you back on here! 🙂

    How’s life been treating you?

  5. TotalArsenal says:

    KG, I quite like the idea of Ozil, Rosa and Cazorla behind Giroud. The only problem is they do not score regularly for us this season, whereas Pod only needs a sniff of leather…

  6. I’m doing quite fine TA..thanks for asking 🙂

    how have you been?

  7. harunthuo says:

    Agree that playing with 3 number 10’s behind Ollie might starve us of goals but I’m finding it difficult to leave out Rozza while Santi looks like a guaranteed stater…I’m sacrificing Poldi on this one!

  8. TotalArsenal says:

    Not too good, KG. Lost my brother in law suddenly and my wife and parents in law are feeling very low right now.

    Good to hear you are doing fine. Hope everything is going well in your country.

  9. TotalArsenal says:

    Feed the Pod, he will score, KG…. but I know what you mean…

  10. That’s really sad buddy..really sorry for your loss.. my condolences to you and your family.

  11. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers KG. We are trying to get back to normal but it will take time.

  12. JM says:

    Saw the training photos, green bibs vs white bibs:

    Green Bibs (The Ox, Sanogo, Ozil, Wilshere, Cazorla, Flamini, Podolski, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Koscielny)
    White Bibs (Ramsey, Bendtner, Monreal, Mertesacker, Sagna, Rosicky, Diaby, Arteta, Giroud)

    It should be somewhere along these setups (with 1 or 2 changes).

  13. Hahaha TMHC..great comment..specially Hundredstone’s bun cravings 🙂 🙂 🙂

  14. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers JM that is interesting! 🙂

    What are your top three summer transfer predictions for Arsenal?

  15. James Bond says:

    Since JM isn’t here – allow me to do the honours @ Skipper

    RM

    DM

    STRIKER

    and a pacey winger.

    I know you asked for 3, but not my fault if we are getting 4, ha

    will comment in a bit properly.

  16. James Bond says:

    first thing first – from previous post

    Admir – Vincent Aboubakar ? ? ? ? ? who on god’s green earth is he ? ? ? ? but you are right, sound like someone AW would sign in his dreams, ha ha

    Sanogo isn’t bad for someone we managed to get on a free or there about’s , I reckon – he will come good next season and can be that 2nd or 3rd striker to score us 5 to 10 important goals per season, in other words do what Hernandez and so on have been doing for man utd….give him a proper pre-season and who knows ? he has all the ingredients to succeed and also, has pace – that is why I am very excited at the prospect of a fit Theo, OX and Yaya training and practicing together – the signs are good and promising.

    JGC-DAMUS – yes, it is cheating but it’s the survival of the fittest (richest), a lot of clubs have done what man city have done over the years, but do they look after their supporters as well as man city ?

    they will get the punishment for the FFP and then they will have to sell stars and reduce wage bill – like you said, interesting times ahead – who knows, Skippers favourite Jovetic might still end up at Arsenal 😯

    how can you say that re- Bale ? oh nooooooooo Professorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

    watch this and tell me, if he still hasn’t paid off the world record fee…

  17. James Bond says:

    nice one @ Skipper and great to see you returning to the norm – slowly yet surely.

    right then, not much to disagree about other than maybe playing OX on the right instead of Rosicky ? and Arteta instead of Flamini.

    OX – because we need that burst of pace against a 3-5-2 that Hull deploy – pace could be the difference unlocking a crowded midfield but I can see your team selection of us playing more to a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 .

    Ox and Arteta for me ahead of Rosicky and Flamini.

    then in the last 20 minutes, when we are 3-0 ahead, we bring on Rosicky, Jack Wilshere and Flamini or Diaby.

    Sorted !

  18. Frozen Gunner says:

    “Be kind to yourself”

    Love it TA, great to see you back in action. You are a breath of fresh air in an otherwise polluted blogosphere (:)).

    Hard to argue with your line-up. I like the idea of Santi coming in as an impact sub– which, in my opinion, should be his main role next season after we acquire another SQ attacker.
    No doubt in my mind that Fab should be given the start.
    Sagna v Jenkinson is another interesting one but at the end of the day Bac is just lightyears ahead of Jenkinson. Not sure what the boss sees in the young Englishman (other than his track and field exploits) but then again i had similar feelings about Ramsey?

    Lets get that trophy…

  19. Frozen Gunner says:

    Cripes.. gotta figure out these smileys (:roll:)

  20. Frozen Gunner says:

    🙄

  21. Highbury Harmony says:

    Cheers for the article TA and I agree with all of your picks.

    However, as we both well know, Arsene will opt for Santi and Poldi on the flanks. JM’s post about the bibs is interesting, but I’ve used that theory before and been proven wrong! I would love to see Ox as he offers us legitimate pace that we often lack in our side when Theo is not playing. Rosa should start as he is one of the few players that is direct and allows us to play the classical Arsenal way – could also be one of his last chances to win a trophy so it all depends on how Arsene views the game.

    My guess for subs would be Ox for Rosicky for sure regardless of the score. If we are winning by a goal, then Nacho on for Pod. If we are even, then Jack will come on for Flamini. Those are my 3 likely sub scenarios unless we are winning by a lot, in which case Sanogo could come on for Giroud.

  22. Highbury Harmony says:

    http://metro.co.uk/2014/05/14/arsenal-agree-3million-transfer-to-re-sign-carlos-vela-4727725/

    If true, this is excellent news and he can be integrated into the team nice and early. This would also allow us to focus our efforts on signing a DM. I truly believe that Sagna is leaving this summer and will be replaced by the fantastic Serge Aurier.

  23. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers JB, now give us the names for your positions please! 🙂

  24. Admir says:

    @007 – Aboubakar is a striker of FC Lorient. He knows where the goal is and has some pace but then again, Giroud was a top-scorer in Ligue 1. We have close connections with Lorient, Aboubakar is a striker that wouldn’t cost that much and would tick most of Wenger’s boxes.

  25. TotalArsenal says:

    JB, would love to play Oxie, but will he be fit enough on Saturday though?

  26. TotalArsenal says:

    Thanks Frozen, and good to see you back here as well. 🙂

    Fully agreed on Santi. Not sure what will happen we ‘oh I need a pooh’ Jenkinson next season, but he has potential.

  27. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, agreed on the subs. A Vela return would be very welcome. Where would he play….left wing?!

  28. Thanks my Dutch Fiend and evening fine fist fcukers !. 😆

    These are the ones ( if fit ) who will definitely play……… Sagna, Mertesacker, Koz, Gibbs, Ramsey, Ozil and Giroud !…………..that just leaves 4, Szczesny is the better keeper, but I want Fabianski to play as he has played all the cup games, however, he may play Szczesny for two resons….1) he`s the better keeper !…..2) it will give him a medal, as I`m sure he hasn`t played in the cup so far !.
    I`m sure he will play Arteta, but imo he`s too slow, it`s a big pitch and I actually think his legs have gone…..so much so, that a mate of mine told me Arteta`s having a Stannah Stairlift fitted !………although he didn`t say whether it was to his house or replacement of his testicles !. So, even though I think Arteta will play, I would have Wilshere as the DM, with either Flamini or Arteta replacing him later on . The other two imo should be Ox/Rosicky ( Ox if fit ) and Santi .

    …………………………………Szczesny/Fabianski……………………………………
    Sagna………Mertesacker………..Koz………………Gibbs
    …………..Ramsey……………….Wilshere…………………
    ……………………..Ozil………………………….
    Ox/Rosicky…………Giroud…………………..Santi

    Did I not say the other day, that Vela`s buy back clause is only £3M !. He`s probably valued at £20M, so it`s a no brainer to bring him back for £3M and then sell the bastard for £20M or give AM £15M and Vela for Costa !. hahaha
    See bastards !…….If I was manager, we would have won trophies and bought SQ players as I have a logical mind……fair enough, it`s a bit warped as well !. hahaha
    Wenger Out !…..Cockie In !.

    Oh, and Bondage Baby !……my point yesterday regarding Isco and anyone else was that we don’t go the extra mile and now we have the money it`s possible we still wont !.

    PS
    Cant wait for Ozzies Pre-Match !…..although the Fangaroo Kucker needs to get his Cucking Fock out of Skippies mouth and do more PM`s…..Cazy Lunt !.

    Listen my less than average down under buddies…….Is it true Tree Ferns ( Dicksonia Antartica ) grow like weeds over in Kangashagland ?……..well, ship me over a few and I will sell them for extortionate money !. 😀

  29. TotalArsenal says:

    Hahaha CoD, you are mucking fad! 🙂

  30. James Bond says:

    I will share the names once I have had a couple of conversations, if that’s ok Skipper ? it’s a long summer – so don’t force me for names just yet , ha

    but if you insist and since I like you – I can give you my personal preferences and not predictions…

    Richards – RB.

    schneiderlin – DM

    BONY – Striker

    Reus – Pacey LW , if not then Draxler will suffice.

    stop dreaming of the double and start dreaming of the treble with them signings !

    🙂

    very pertinent question and if he is not fit then Santiago it will be, am afraid ahead of Rosicky is my gut feeling

    Santiago will start because he was rested for the last game of the season.

    Admir,

    thanks for that – I thought he was a Right back but yeah, what you say makes sense but I said this a very long time ago when the Vela buyback clause wasn’t as well known as it is now that for 4.5 million euros we can have our man back – so instead of getting Aboubaker – we can have one of our back.

    Glicster,

    yep – we have the money now, agreed but we didn’t have it when the Hazard and Mata deals were taking place – now we can compete , yes and go that extra mile and we should – if we don’t then it will raise some serious questions.

    mind you, I thought that the main reason why AW didn’t spend anything in January was because he had already decided not to renew his contract and wanted to leave all the funds available to whoever comes in and takes charge of the team in the summer.

    you never know.

  31. Undeniably Totes !………however, Fozzie is mucking fadder !. 😯

  32. Cant see Wenger going anywhere, Oh Oh Sevennnn !.
    He loves Arsenal…..He loves football……Has the best job in the world and gets paid £7M to check on Arsenal`s youth players in the showers …..he bust`s his puffa jacket every time he goes in there !. hahaha

  33. James Bond says:

    A must read this , especially for you at Skipper – you might enjoy it a tad more ; )

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/brian-reade-column-so-how-3541562?

  34. James Bond says:

    actually it’s going to be £8 million from next season 😀

  35. TotalArsenal says:

    Some nice names, JB, but other than Reus, should we aim higher? Take your time though.:)

  36. TotalArsenal says:

    Nah Cockie, you are the faddest mucker

  37. TotalArsenal says:

    Nice article about the Crappy One, JB! 🙂

  38. James Bond says:

    I am realistic with my expectations or a tad realistic.

    I know we have funds but we still have a budget of £100 million which includes player wages.

    Richards – 5 to 7 million

    Bony – 20 million

    Schneider – 15 to 18 million

    Reus 30 million.

    should be ok , as we will also be losing a few players and easing our wages.

    3 out of the 4 have PL experience , Richards is injury prone but will be worth taking the risk in my opinion.

    it’s my preferred signings , one that will work well , especially the Bony one alongside Giroud.

    who would your 3 signings or predictions be ? am guessing you have some names ? let’s hear them.

  39. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Evening all

    Is any one else going to the game? I have been very lucky, getting a ticket from a client who has two Wembley season tickets. Unfortunately, hes coming with me, but you cant have it all.

    Yes, TA, Cornwall is the faddest mucker. His obsession with Spock from Star Trek has phaserd his logic and warped his cock. Shame really, because he had planned to warp speed to were no mans cock has been before.

    Much better to model yourself on Kirk. That geezer shagged everything. Green women, birds with horns etc.

    Mind you, every seven years Spock goes nuts and must mate. Last time this happened he was stuck on a planet with Sulu. Thats why Sulu always looks startled when hearing a noise or spotting a geezer with big lug holes.

  40. TotalArsenal says:

    Need to think about it, JB. Might do a post about it soon.

  41. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, as I have eluded to in one of your previous posts, I would play Vela at CF. I would shift Arsenal into a 4-1-2-3 with a fluid front 3 up front similar to Barca, with Santi and Ozil as the 2. Vela more or less acts as our Messi and has shown the ability to thrive in such a role.

    However, I’m not sure what this means for Ramsey as I’m not certain he’s capable enough of playing as a lone CDM yet. The 4-2-1-3 suits our current players better right now, however Santi could also always play on the wing in the 4-1-2-3 to allow Ramsey to start (he’s an essential piece right now).

  42. TotalArsenal says:

    HH, I expect 17HT to come on any minute now you have said that Vela could be our Messi hahaha 🙂

    I can see where you are coming from and it could well work, but I reckon Arsene will stick with the OG holding striker role…. but maybe find a better version (as per our previous discussions…. Mandzukic…)

  43. Highbury Harmony says:

    TA, haha I’m not lying mate, Vela is definitely a poor man’s Messi in terms of vision, pace, trickery and positioning. Obviously he’s not as good as Messi in any of those categories, but he’s scoring at a good rate and making everyone else around him better too.

    I have no idea where AW is going with formations and players, but he’s far too rigid right now and needs to experiment. A more fluid 4-1-2-3 a la Barca or a 4-3-3 with a false 9 a la Ajax would suit us well with Vela and Theo. The 4-2-1-3 is far too predictable right now and I reckon it’s only good for a plan B against more physical teams. I’ve really noticed that Arsene is lacking tactically and hopefully we only force this specific formation every single match because of the limited options at his disposal. OG can only play one role as a central striker and he is really the only option we have up front right now.

  44. geoffchase says:

    HH, JB et al

    Well, I don’t think he’s too rigid, I think he lacks the players to be dominant and smooth/stylish, or not be weak. IMO, the pursuit of Schneiderlin, if true, would indicate he is looking for the B2B powerhouse and tougher guy (eg Yaya- or Vieira- esque) player to allow us to have more such options. The commitment to a double pivot leaves us tactically or formation limited.

    With such a player, as I’ve banged on about before, we could do more different things with Pod and a trickier front man like Vela, .. We would be more tactically fluid on game day too..

    IMO, that’s more a key than others.. Or at least the first key

    Ps: JB, yeah yeah, I agree but hey money ain’t everything when you’re still in debt.. IMO, on RM standards he’s not paid it off… Tho a win in the CL… Ah well

    Cheers — jgc

  45. JM says:

    @TotalArsenal
    May 14, 2014 at 15:41
    [Cheers JM that is interesting! 🙂

    What are your top three summer transfer predictions for Arsenal?]

    My personal targets (not predictions) for club:

    (1) Marco Reus/ Max Kruse
    Pretty similar type of players (except for the price tag and international recognition) and both played/play for Borussia Monchengladbach.

    (2) Sami Khedira/ Morgan Schneiderlin

    Khedira – is German-Tunisian, more likely to make moves between clubs; 1 year left in contract; National team-mate of Ozil, Podolski, Mertesacker; won league titles in La Liga (Real Madrid) & Bundesliga (VfB Stuttgart); the “Fly Emirates” link between Arsenal & Real Madrid; Florentino Perez wants to buy at least a “Galactico” every new season – i.e. they will sell and buy; Real Madrid has a packed centre midfield – X.Alonso, Modric, Casemiro, Illarramendi – ; they would be keeping an eye to get Ivan Rakitic from Sevilla, Rakitic is Modric’s national team-mate.

    Schneiderlin – hails from same region as Arsene: Alsace, France; our club has been scouting him since his playing days with RC Strasbourg; he opted to join Southampton instead of other big clubs in PL for more playing time and development;

    (3) No names. Any other quality players which could fit in our 1st team squad and are on the move away from (a) Real Madrid, AC Milan, PSG ; (b) Dortmund, Newcastle, Leicester, Stuttgart, Sporting Lisbon, Cardiff ; (c) Wolfsburg (courtesy of recommendations by Andries Jonker)

    Sad to say IMO: Aurier (family members) and Vela (Gestifute) are plainly agent/agency talks. And we never ever will get anyone from Olympique Lyonnais directly as long as (a) Jean-Michel Aulas is their chairman, (b) Arsene Wenger is our manager. No Grenier, Gourcuff, Lacazette, Gomis, Gonalons, Umtiti etc – all media rubbish or agent/agency talks.

  46. VCC says:

    Terry 21:35 ……..I sympathise with your plight. I fear you will be far too bored and fidgety to sit next to your client at the FA Cup final this Saturday.

    My alternative suggestion would be to visit a local Inn that sells fine ales at approx 16:00 and acquire a nice warm comfortable chair. This would allow you to consume copious amounts of the amber nectar and have a convenient rest room readily available to relieve your bladder at a moments notice. Also with the added advantage of being served by a buxom wench who might take a fancy to Balding Greek gigolo, such as yourself. Fine advice I must say…….Go for it Stretch.

    Oh, I nearly forgot, I have a taker for the inevitable vacant ticket your client will have. The recipient will gladly take it under duress as he hates to see empty seats at a stadium.

    Yours Vickers.

  47. geoffchase says:

    VCC … 😀

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hahaha, well, I hope Terry (and maybe VCC) can work out the Wembley ticket situation…

    I’ve been laying low on the comment stuff since the league season concluded (we need to do some recapping/summing up, etc, IMO…) and I would tend to agree with JM about “done deals” being agent planted stories or just bloggers and their (our?) wish-lists. If there’s a buy-back clause in the Carlitos Vela case it would seem a no-brainer to get him in and then either keep him (my preference) or sell him back to Spain at the deadline. Just because it’s an obvious financial gain–and we know how much AW “loves” those– doesn’t mean it’s actually happening…

    But we have a match to play so the great swirl of (mis) information can wait… Regarding Total’s line-up (and it’s very good to see you back at the blogging)…I can only ask…Why no love for the Spaniards?

    IMO, it’s quite clear that both Arteta and Santi will start on Saturday (as will Szczesny in goal) and I even think Nacho has a chance if Gibbs has a late fitness issue. Moreover, I find it surprising that so many don’t like these ideas. Flamini may well represent grit and determination (and menace as well as a potential sending off…) at the rear of our midfield, but he brings nowhere near the ball moving and possession keeping abilities of Arteta (our most underrated player?). Santi, if defenses are focused on runners like Ozil and Ramsey, has the range of passes and creative eye to carve open our opponent. I like the energy (running and pressing) of Rosicky as much as anyone and think he’s a real boon–if we’ve got an opponent who will be trying to outplay our own possession game. Hull, I don’t believe, fit that description. As such, I think Santi must start and will be one for the full 120 minutes, much as he was in the semi-final…

    So, this will be the line-up:
    Szcz,
    Sagna, BFG, Kos, Gibbs
    Arteta, Ramsey
    Santi, Ozil, Poldolski
    Giroud

    The only possible change I can see is Wilshere getting a start–and us going for “total possession football”–with Poldolski (who I believe we will lose in the summer…) as a “super-sub” if we need goals late on. Of course, as always, WTF do I know. (I did get 11 out of 11 in my most recent match preview, however… 🙂 )

    Anyhow, even though it’s a “no-win” situation (the sky–literally–will fall if we lose…) I’m looking forward to Saturday (and Oz’s preview and all the other assorted hoopla)…

  49. I reckon the truth why Seventeenho has been lying low is more to do with him being stuck in a Tahoe mountain cave and being gang banged by his local furry friends with their rather large Butternut Sasquashes !.

    Just to give you an idea why he probably has tears in his eyes !. Imagine a furry one of these !.

  50. Even laying low !……which he`s been lying about !. 😆

  51. 17highburyterrace says:

    Oops, I killed it again… Sorry…

    What I meant was we should start a full youth team, after all, it’s just a domestic cup and the league starts up in 3 short months…Wrap ’em all up in Brazilian wool, or something…

    Actually, they can all play and hurt themselves and go out in flames as we’re gonna buy a whole new squad. 😀 After the RM-BM semi-final I heard we were in for all the players who didn’t start (and some that did)…Khedira and Schweinie as our double pivot, Mueller and Benzema up front. Di Maria on one wing (and although nobody mentions him, the guy I really like, the Suarez in need of a syrup…) Robben on the other. We get Carlitos back on the money maker, maybe keep hold of guys like Ozil and Rambo (and a few of our defenders, who really don’t get the juices flowing when it comes to the transfer talk…) and we’re right in there, assuming we can pick up one of the Spanish keepers (Valdes or Casillas)…

    Sarcasm, of course, but “voice of reason” gets no play… 😦

    Is it me or is it just Thursday?… Maybe we need to talk about the bus photos… 🙄

  52. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hahaha…I should’ve know Cockie would be in with some smut… Indeed, too much butternut squash and you too will be “leeky”… 😯

  53. James Bond says:

    JGC-Damus

    I am all up for the S signing and he’ll be an improvement to this current squad and perhaps a direct replacement and upgrade on Arteta .

    I hear what you are saying but they are in the final of the CL, he’s already won them one cup and all that when he’s been injured for a large part of the season.

    agreed with the rest though !

    Great comment by JM as per usual, I was wondering if , Skipper could turn that into a mini post by adding or taking a few bits off – will be very informative for all the readers and will create quite the discussion.

    good to see the voice of reason back as well – fully agreed with his starting 11 and we are likely to see AW do the same !

  54. As far as I`m concerned….I`m the voice of reason ( and logic ) on here !……others are impostors and I don’t care if they do have a Professorship !. So thanks JB for agreeing with my starting XI !. hahaha

    Oi !……how dare you insinuate my writings are smuttish !……..it`s what us cockneys excel at !. I could actually earn a living as a Professor of Smutology !. hahaha

  55. James Bond says:

    oh yes, you forgot the T with that one Glics

    Voice of Treason you are, indeed ahahhahahahahahahahahhahahah

    it’s rather spooky how I type my comment and find a comment left be me amigo 3 minutes prior to that with the mention of voice of reason, ha

    since Real Madrid are Arsenal’s Feeder club these days, with most wanting Sami.K, Benzema , Casillas e.t.c e.t.c not sure why the voice of Treason isn’t being more vocal about ISCO 😀

  56. Apart from the lucky bastard Bounds Green Bent Accountant …………….actually, him and his missus make the perfect domestic accountancy team, he takes his clients to the cleaners whilst she cleans out their accounts !……….. anyone else going to the final ?.

  57. Oh Oh Sevennnnnn !.

    Other than Ozil ( which, hopefully is the sign of the times in buying SQ ! ), my grief ( one of many ! ) with Arsenal/Arsene or the rumour mill !…….is that, I see all the rumours of us interested in certain players at certain clubs, the problem is…to me !…..that they are the right clubs but wrong players !……….Malaga….. I wanted Isco….we buy Monreal !. Juventus…. I want Pogba…..they say we are interested in G….something…co !. Southampton….I want Shaw…..we`re interested in Schneidersomething ! and so on and on………..understand where I`m coming from ?……..I don’t want the left overs, I want the best !. With that attitude, we will always come up short !…….and I`m afraid that’s down to Wenger and as I`ve said in the recent past, this is his last chance to change a habit of a life time and spend it like it`s NOT his own money, be like a women and just spend it !.

  58. AFC says:

    Hi all. 🙂

    My team for the FA Cup final would be Fabianski, Sagna, Mert, Kos, Gibbs, Arteta/Flamini (not really bothered which), Santi, Ozil, Podolski and Giroud. Really looking forward to the match on Saturday.

  59. AFC says:

    Cockie, fully agreed. Wenger’s final chance for me too.

    When it comes to transfers I think we should get Vela in nice and early. It’s a no brainer really. Di Maria would be my preference but I can’t see him coming. He has a place in the team either in one of the positions in the ‘3’ behind the striker or deeper in midfield. He will stay. We have more chance of getting Khedira or Benzema.

    For DM only the likes of Khedira, Bender, Song, Pogba etc, will suffice. Pogba of course will not happen but that’s the quality we need to aim for. Right now I would settle for Bender and wait to get on a free next summer. That’s if Bender wants to come.

    For ST/CF Benzema or Balotelli would do nicely.

  60. AFC says:

    When it comes to GK someone like a Cesar would be a good signing, not a keeper from a Championship team on a free.

    For RB Aurier sounds like he would he a good signing from what I have heard. He supposed to be Sagna mark II. Richards is another good option. For CB Kouyate will do nicely.

    And I forgot, NO GARETH BARRY, IF WE SIGN AN AGEING CITY REJECT I WILL LOSE IT. COCKIE WILL AS WELL.

  61. geoffchase says:

    007

    Probably haven’t put it properly. Let’s say that Bale has been a success there, but that nothing matches RMs Galactico sized expectations if it isn’t as good as CR basically, or very slightly less and Spanish speaking.. Ie. They buy a Galactico a year and are never quite satisfied where anyone else is going to be more than enthused.

    Hence, even Ozil didn’t stick, perhaps Europes greatest playmaker behind several of it’s better to best finishers…

    I guess failure is in the eye of the beholder!! 🙂

    Just my 2p — jgc

  62. James Bond says:

    I hear you loud and clear @ Glics but Shaw isn’t that all – he will be exposed when at Man utd.

    indeed, but even the great CR get’s boo’ed at RM , they have high expectations and demands them lot in spain (spoiled brats) but like you hinted the other day, they money game and debts will find a way to dent both of Barca and Real slowly yet surely – anyhow , I can see why Ozil was sold by RM and it shouldn’t really come as a surprise – he was a small fish in a big pond and at Arsenal he is getting the love and attention.

    let’s be honest, whenever in the past 2-3 years we talked about Real madrid, it was hardly about Ozil and more about Ronaldo/ Benzema / Higuain / Ramos/ Casillas e.t.c e.t.c Ozil rarely got the appreciation and attention that he warranted and went unnoticed outside Madrid or Spain, no ?

    it was only when you looked our Messy’s numbers that one gets the shock and goes “wow”.

    they buy who their fans and people want – maybe we should have politics and a club president at Arsenal as well ? I nominate Glics for that role.

    🙂

  63. James Bond says:

    *when and not whenever

    Hi AFC

    what do you hold against Gareth Barry 😀

  64. 17highburyterrace says:

    AFC, Cockie…I gotta say, I think you guys are DEAD WRONG if you intend to lay all blame at the feet of Wenger…Just my opinion of course… 🙂

    This is the popular narrative–that we have the money and that our manager is simply unwilling to spend it. It’s simply not true and if you check our wage bill it just goes up and up and up. I don’t want to be pedantic or repeat myself or suggest you guys aren’t aware of these issues but you act as if the shareholders at the club are willing to spend their own money to get us to the same fee & wage levels as the more, er, generous clubs. Stingy Stan and Ugly Uzzy simply are not plopping down. Instead they’re content to pass it all onto the ticket buyers while watching their portfolio entry under “Arsenal” grow and grow as the brand grows internationally.

    That’s not to say that AW hasn’t always done the best he could with the money he’s chosen to spend (see Arshavin, Poldolski–our 2nd highest wage earner, I believe, not to mention punts expensive punts on guys like Bendtner and Denilson or cheaper ones on Santos and Park…) but you gotta get real. Some of Cockie’s “tattoo” guys (Isco, Goetze) and other up and comers (Hazard, why not Ibra, Bale and Ronaldo?) he slates AW for not buying are super talented but they also would be using Arsenal as a development club before moving onto higher wages elsewhere (See Ronaldo at United, Bale at Spurs…Hazard can probably get the big contract even as Mourinho “blames” him for their loss to Atletico and their trophy free season)… The list AFC puts out is pure fantasy stuff. What are the wages required for those players not to mention the extra psychology services? If you do ever start considering the wages also please note the tax rate in England, which, I believe is higher in those top brackets than on the continent. Remember, our manager is trying to put together a team, not an assemblage of 20 players who are all the very best (in their minds)… What’s wrong with an older journeyman player (except that he’s not an exciting name…) People need to give a little respect to some of the guys who keep themselves fit and know how to add to a team even if they will never be the top of anybody’s fantasy picks. Keeping our best players is the tough part and we’re already gonna be losing one of them (Sagna)… I would like us to “push the boat out” for Bac (a true professional) but the ripple effect in wages must be examined and surely offsets the savings on any fee. We should be thankful (my opinion) that he (and Poldolski, on much higher money and maybe Vermaelen) are likely the only first teamers. At least it’s not 2 or 3 or more per year–with better years ahead of them–as it was…

    So, give the money to the next guy?…We lose on Saturday, give it to the next guy–he’ll do better… If we don’t buy enough big names over the summer, give it to the next guy–he’ll do better. David Moyes is available and so is Tim Sherwood… Hell, Pep G might want to come, but look at the horrors the Bavarians have had to endure with *that* match…

    My point (and I’ll shut up soon…) is that it’s too easy to assign blame and buy into these press driven ideas. Just because they’re repeated ad nauseum (hits are what sells the ads down the sides…) you guys talk about them as if they’re true.

    Like I say, it’s just my opinion, so carry on and blame away, knowing that “the next guy” will surely do better. IMO, you’d do yourself a big favor by having MUCH lower expectations for the him unless there’s a change in the guys who truly control the money (the owners)…

    Rant over, apologies, etc., etc., Big match Saturday, go on you Gunners, etc.

  65. James Bond says:

    Paolo Di Canio is also available – just saying 😀

  66. 17highburyterrace says:

    007, my rant is over but, since you follow the Spanish stuff a bit, I wanted to add…

    …WTF is up with those teams?…They’re backing into the title as badly as the English clubs!
    Barca need just a draw this weekend (vs Atleti) and their “crisis” season will come with the title? Of course, the other two play for the CL title but can’t beat the little teams with nothing to play for…

  67. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, yeah, Di Canio…He’d put those lads in order…(and maybe bring Mannone with him…)

  68. James Bond says:

    it’s amazing , isn’t it ? so many twists and turns in the La Liga – almost very EPL’sque

    I can’t believe how Real Madrid have bottled it and how easy it has become for Barca to win the Title.

    you are right – Barca can end up as champions of spain even though they have had one of the most poor seasons in the recent past – hell, the majority including their own fans wrote them off this season

    it was unbelievable how none of the 3 teams in the title race failed to win :l:

    I do smell foul play though…could it be corruption or match fixing running wild in spain ? who knows

    but it is insanity, for sure…like you say “what the Fok”.

  69. James Bond says:

    Di Canio is headed for london but East london and will be the new boss of West ham utd.

    can’t wait for saturday – hope to the full house as we are missing Alcide, AB, the Aussies , Milo, Dylan and Henrychannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn where art thou ?

    we know Gerry has been occupied with the racing blogs and dog issues – but let’s hope he doesn’t forget to wear the lucky scarf

    am gone now

    as usual, been a pleasure !

  70. 17highburyterrace says:

    Yeah, the little I know about Spanish football does make it seem like you’d better not mess with the Barca-RM duopoly. They really are much “deeper” than Atletico who have so many players who’ve played above their true level. The focus to win the easy matches is a precious commodity (which Arsenal, for the most part had this past season)… Some observers put that on the managers (Simeone, Wenger, etc.?)… Now that they’ve lost that, I fear for them (Atletico) on the weekend…

    OK, gotta run… Again, apologies for the rant above…Please ignore/carry on with all writing Arsenal…and if Wenger out is the theme, then so be it…

  71. Wrong there Seventeenho……..Atletico only need a draw !….Barca need the win !.
    Let`s just say we are starting from scratch this summer TW………with (as I believe I`m being told ) FFP in full sing, so he can bid as high as any other team in the EPL. Just today they were saying on talkSPORT that Cardiff going down will earn over £60M, which is more than Manshafter earned from winning the title last year !.
    Ourselves have earned over £90M this season from the EPL, SKY etc…..not counting the PUMA £30M !…..the new Emirates deal !, what ever that is !…….the £40M left over from last season and next seasons Gazidis boast of £70M and the £160M in cash reserves under Wengers mattress !…………That’s a lot of money in anyone`s book !. Bottom line Seventeenho…….if we are to be taken serious and be a proper competitor for the EPL and CL……we need to spend a lot of that dust gathering money !………just an opinion though……….but one which is gaining momentum amongst a growing number of Gooners !……possibly one which may have you and the AKB`s soon in the minority !.
    You might be right, in that I`m DEAD WRONG !, but the money in the game now means we can compete financially ( quote Gazidis again ! ) with the EPL “Big 3” ! . It needs someone of strength to spend it !……ask yourself this, whether you want it or not….is Arsene that man ?. Like I say, with all this money and Saturdays result doesn`t effect it……this TW will be Arsene`s last chance to prove he can change with the times !. He cant moan about Chav`s and City now, he has the money !
    I`m neither AKB or In Arsene We Rust !………….more a ….In Cockie We Trust !. hahaha

    Night from the Mr Logic . 😆

  72. AFC says:

    Cockie, you mirror my thoughts and thanks for me saving me the time of writing a response. I will only debate about the TW when it is over. Why? It is just easier that way. Nite Cockie. 🙂

  73. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cockie and AFC (for whom he speaks)…Not a word about wages or our current roster?…You don’t actually win the league by having the best transfer window…(Or do you? As such, AVB was the best manager in England last season, no?..)

    The interesting bit isn’t Wenger in or out (i.e., laying blame for disappointment against the one “testable” hypothetical) but having a debate about what we can actually observe. Tell me why all these players are so great and why they’re worth strengthening our rivals (if we want to be as good as Real Madrid then we need to know why giving them another 50 million Euros is a good idea, for example…) and then paying the salaries which we will have to match…

    FFP is on in 2014. That’s a good thing, but note that Manchester City is “sponsored” by Etihad airlines to a tune of…Well I don’t know how much, I only know that it’s a ridiculous sum and the airline is an arm of his Emirate (Abu Dhaby) so it’s all his (or his family’s money) and therefore income he’s choosing to spend. Why doesn’t Wal-Mart (Kroenke’s family money) sponsor us for half a billion? Why doesn’t Gazprom (Uzzy’s billions)?….No, the two guys who own 99% of Arsenal shares are simply watching their investment grow…(Increased tickets continue to sell as do cable and satellite TV packages…)

    So, blame Wenger all you like (including guiding the club towards this ownership situation) but look at the wages too and realize that even with FFP Arsenal owners are choosing NOT to compete. As such, again, consider lowering expectations for whatever manager holds the post…

    Just my opinion, again, as always…

    Big match Saturday, (maybe? Cockie says it doesn’t matter… so I must go for the :Squatchie eye roll: smiley…Damn, it doesn’t work… 😀

  74. 17highburyterrace says:

    OK, overnight for most and I guess I went and attempted to back up my earlier bit…

    FA Cup Final in 1.5 days… Some (Frank McClintock, for example…) say Arsene Wenger will step down (not sign a new contract) if we lose. What say the BK? 1) Step down, no matter what the result 2) Step down if Arsenal lose. 3) Stay on no matter what the result. Or 4) Stay on only if we win…

    Of course, my hope is that only #1 and 4 are in play after the match, but I’m curious what others think. It seems wrong, or at least “poor planning,” to base these decisions on a single result, but my guess is that others feel differently… Also, I’d like to think that we go into the Cup Final with something to win and that–even if we’re supposed to win it–doing so can be seen as an accomplishment. Certainly, the deed isn’t done as of yet, so, in essence, there *is* something to win. Do others agree with this? Maybe some of the answers which people might give (above) suggest, instead, that all is already lost… (And maybe some supporters would go for #2, an Arsenal loss in the Final if it guaranteed a new manager…)

    I dunno, I ought to quit worrying about this stuff and just enjoy Arsenal in my own way (or quietly, on my own)…but I also feel like part of being a supporter is wanting to be part of something bigger than myself…

    Too philosophical?… Win the goddamn cup and buy some goddamn players, goddammit! Better?…

  75. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    I have just got in from my late night prowl and seen the comments.

    Vics my dear fellow. My client is a disgusting oaf who prefers nothing better than to dine on roast hog, 18th century wine, and young Eygyptian boys. For want of a better phrase, the man is a terrible homosexual, who, once aroused is a danger to society.

    in other words, if the fat bastard trys anything you can come and take my place.hahaha

    17, I agree with your analyis but have some sympathy for the Cornwall/AFC view.

    In simple terms Arsenal spend what they make, cash reserves are not hidden under the mattress. They are amounts received in advance (season tickets etc) which are used to cover players wages and club running costs.

    So the question is, can we compete, and more specificaly with the likes of City and Chelsea?

    Again, I will keep this simple, not to patronise any one, just in order to make my point as understandable to non accountants as possible

    Say Arsenal and City both make £250 M per year. At this point City have an advantage because with losses of say £70 M and costs outside FFP of say £30 M, it is like they have a (250 + 70 + 30) turnover of £350 M giving them £100 M more a year than us.

    A big advantage no? But now for the squeeze. Say through new sponserships and TV deals Arsenal now make an extra £50 M, total now (250 + 50) = £300? We are now only £50 million behind City?

    But what about City and FFP? Citys strategy will be to use increased income from TV and sponsership etc to plug there defecits. For simplicity, lets say City acheive there aim, there income will remain at £350 M, so the final result is that we have narrowed the gap from £100 M to £50.

    Okay, were still behind but theres more. Having more money than your competitor is one thing, but been able to use it without handicap is another. City will have to juggle there money in order to comply with Uefa FFP and domestic FFP. This “handicap” will have ripples on there playing squad and transfer strategy.

    Arsenal do not have this problem. We are relativly free from finacial restrictions and can move forward nicely

    In future other things will happen. The likes of City and Chelsea will look to expand stadium and we will see the heavy investment in youth players (all outside FFP restrictions) bear fruit, and we have all seen how good Chelsea and Citys youth players are.

    The conclusion is that, based on things panning out as we expect, and nothing is certain in life, the gap will narrow, but we will not be able to acheive “parity” in the near future, but yes, we will be able to compete, going from an also ran to a very dangerous underdog.

    The next couple of years will give us all a clearer picture.

  76. 17highburyterrace says:

    Thanks Terry…

    I still believe my point about sponsorship remains…If Kroenke (or Usmanov) was willing to “lose” personal money on Arsenal for the glory of the club, he could “invest” by paying excessive (non-market) amounts for sponsorship–let’s say a cool 500 million pounds for Wal-Mart ads on the hoardings or on the shirt or to rename a terrace…If need be, he could do it in his wife’s name, of course…(“I’m up in the Wal-Mart boxes, where are you sitting?”…) That money would be income, so, if it were spent on fees and wages Arsenal could still be “in the black.” Isn’t this exactly what is happening at ManCity with the Etihad sponsorship, or are there limits? In other words, the assumption that Arsenal and City both “make” the same amount is completely dependent on the largesse (or lack thereof…) of the owners…(even as we go deeper and deeper into the pockets of our ticket buying supporters)…

    I don’t mean to be overbearing, but I feel like maybe I’m getting a bit of the sweet talk for which you’re so (rightly) famous… 😉 and maybe as if you’re trying to arrange a love-in amongst ALL the furry fellas…

    But (obviously) I agree with THAT…that we should all be behind the team (and the manager…) ahead of this FA Cup Final on Saturday. On that note, have fun with your client…

  77. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, I dont do sweet talk when it comes to Arsenal 17. By the way, my views chime with yours more than any other on this site. Your “voice of reason” and fair defence of Wenger is something I admire. Dont worry, not sweet talking you, just stating a reality.

    I dont completely agree with the sponsership argument. The fair vaule of such related party transanctions is a very subjective exercise and despite over hyped press reports, man citys etihad deal is not to far away from been at the expected rate. if not, FFP will temper all that anyway.

    So everything is ok right? No, becuase there is a sting in the tail, and its a big one.

    “Man City have more 3rd party sponsers (3rd party for the uninitiated means non related, i.e. by company or a dodgy second cousin) than Real Madrid or Man Utd combined.

    Think about that for a moment…incredible isnt it? City, a bunch of relative nobodys get more sponsers than Utd or Madrid. How is this possible?

    The answer is political. City are owned by a “Kingdom” who have business dealing with Countries and large Corporations all over the world. They use there muscle and influnce to seal deals on oil and then throw in “by the way, if we reduce the price of the deal or if you would like to keep our favour, would you sponser our little football club” ?

    Suger daddy clubs can maintain there advantage by exercising there political and financial power and still remain within FFP rules. The danger going forward is not some dodgy deal with the likes of etihad or the one PSG got into, its the ability of these rich owners to use excess funds to pump there brand by “legitamate” deals with 3rd parties, invest in infrastructure, invest in youth etc,

    Every transfer window people should take heed of this disturbing reality. Arsenal, at present anyway, do what they can, no less no more. The competion is fierce, and though the financial gap is narrowing in our favour, we are still likely to lose out when it comes to most top quality transfer targets.

  78. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Anyway, off to the office, those two massive alimonys dont pay for themselves. Some of us have to work to feel the depressive pleasure of giving all our money away. hahaha

    Catch you later 17.

  79. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    Ok, now in the office, but before I commence work lets look at the city etihad deal in a bit more detail.

    Very simply, it commenced in 2011 and runs to 2021 at a value of £400 million. Thats £40 million a year. Not exactly earth shattering is it. Yes, its front loaded, giving City massive money which has helped to go on there splurge, but that particular “well” has dried up.

    As for been in the black 17, the answer is no. Citys £400 deal, though front loaded in terms of cash received, has to be accounted for by using generally accepted methods of accounting, i.e. £40 per year only. Dont forget, Citys accounts show losses, that why they are in trouble with FFP.

    Sugar daddy clubs strategy is to inject incredible amounts of money at the “beginning” of there ownership with the aim to position themselves as a top club that can then generate income from there new found fame and success. Plenty of other business across many sectors do that to.

    Arsenals position relative to its competitors is not a bed of roses, but its not all doom and gloom either. Coming out of the Ashburton Grove move shadow, and assisted in part by rules that require financial restraints, we have a good chance.

  80. VCC says:

    Reading all this stuff about FFP…….it’s all doom and gloom, we’re never going to win any silver ware….EVER…..I’m off to slit my wrists.

  81. TERRY MANCINI HAIR TRANSPLANT says:

    hahaha, dont do that Vics. I need you on standby in case that fat git puts his hand on my knee.

  82. VCC says:

    Terry, I’m right behind you.

    I have a plan Terry. I’ll be waiting at the turn style, and as you both walk up, you trip him up and I’ll pick his pocket and skidaddle off through the entry gate and meet you in the bar 😉

    Drinks will be on me 🙂

  83. Evening Sweet FA Cup Finallers and Arsene`s Arse Worshippers !. 😆

    In reply to my Tahoe Transquatchite . 😆
    I absolutely think having the best TW wins you the league or something shiny !……or is it a figment of my imagination that Mansour City and Chavski have won trophies since spending all the money and didn`t win fcuk all before they had it ?.
    Oh and before I forget….not sure what vibes I`m giving off, if you have to wonder whether I think the FAC is important !…..and as for the question on our Sith Lord……..this may surprise you…..I want him to stay whatever the result tomorrow !…………however, what happens in the TW may change my mind……that sort of circles back to my 1st reply…..having the best TW will give us a more competitive edge !.
    Onto our ownership !. ………Wal-Mart and Gazprom !….yes it would be lovely, but aint going to happen unless we have one sole owner, so that`s not worth talking about as both City and Chavs are one owner clubs !. Neither of them would be splashing the cash if they were in Arsenal`s predicament !. It pains me that we are in such a situation, if Uzzy had been the one owner, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Emirates Stadium would be now adorning some shiny stuff in the trophy room……which must be fcuking empty apart from the best groundsman and pitch awards !.
    Transplanticus talked stuff which was as clear as my pants will be at 5pm tomorrow, but he did hit on a point which,…… I….the logical one……have been saying for years !……..even if FFP works and I hope it does, City and Chavs have their plan B in place……their academies !. I said long ago ( and to no response ) that their youth teams are way ahead of ours and most others, as Stretch pointed out….there is no limit under FFP to what they can spend on infrastructure/stadium/ youth…..so now we are supposedly on a level with them in other terms, they can still spend as much as they like on acquiring all the best talent in the world to build for the future !.
    Having one owner like Uzzy could mean we can compete with them on the youth level as well, it`s the future !. National teams like Spain , Germany, France all sorted their academies out years ago and all benefitted and City and Chavs are leading the way with their youth for the future !.

    This makes ours look like the Hackney Marshes in comparison !
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-2202858/Manchester-City-training-centre-Plans-revealed-100m-complex.html

  84. Oops sorry, I should have added that as usual, it is all just an opinion !……………..and as usual, a fcuking good one !. hahaha

  85. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cockie, no hard feelings and I was being a little extreme in my rhetoric yesterday. I think you and I are a lot closer than the polemics might suggest. Still, I think we need to look at the wage situation to truly see where we stand among the silly money clubs. (Ozil, our high earner is on approx 150k week, compared with the likes of Rooney and Yaya Toure at about double that, with a ripple effect throughout those clubs. Players like RvP and Nasri make over 200k/week so you can see why someone like Sagna is likely headed in that direction…) Also, you make a fine point about the youth academy investments, which I believe are unlimited and somehow credited in the FFP accounting…

    As such, I still stand by the idea that (unlike those other clubs) we need to use our money wisely and I appreciate that the current manager seems to agree with that notion. Others may feel differently, of course. Also, while a big transfer season is exciting, we’ve got some quality guys who, if they stay fit and up their games just a bit, could make real impacts of their own…

    Mostly, however, on this day before the cup final, I would like to make peace with ALL my fellow Gooners and suggest we ALL get behind the boys and do our best to will them forward to the victory tomorrow…

  86. Gerry says:

    TA – An excellent way of leading into the game, and for once, I cannot disagree with your reasoning or selections.

    I have no problem with Fab, although if subs permit, I can see Sir Chez getting a few minutes.

    It is more important to getting the balance right though, rather than fulfil desires of individuals. The list is very long for those wanting to be out there, for however long:
    Wilshere, Ox, Arteta, Cazorla, Jenks, Vermaelin, Monreal, Podolski … even Diaby because we can never be sure he will ever have another chance. Just dividing that number by 3 is headache, let alone other fringe players like Gnabry and Sanogo?

    How the game is played is another matter. I think they will, and should, stick to the format that has been successful recently. That is not to try and win it in the first 15 minutes. Get the nerves out of the way with some solid passing and moving, and make the most of any chances. With Ramsey picking up where he left off we have a bit more sharpness and movement upfront to achieve this.

    Hull will get a big lift if they score early, so as in the league game, deny them them any opportunity and their confidence will dip. Not that they will stop playing, so we will have to be on our guard for the whole 90 minutes. that way we will not have to worry the extra 30 minutes.

    Keep it calm, keep it simple, keep possession.

    The scarf will be worn before the warm ups, so no last minute dramas.

    I don’t think it will be a pretty game, or one that will be remembered by the neutrals. But for us it will be remembered for all the reasons that we have suffered for so long.

    I failed in vain to find the ref – Thanks BBC Sport! – Not a mention anywhere???

    Right I have a few things to do between now and kick off, so I’ll leave you to chat amongst yourselves for a while.

    Enjoy ..

  87. VCC says:

    Here we go Gooners. The day has finally arrived. Nice to see Gerry back with a post, been sorely missed, don’t leave it so long next time maestro.

    Eagerly awaiting the pre match article from Oz.

    As Gerry says, Keep it tight for the first 20 mins, NO drama’s and get some fluid passing going, then up the ante and start pressing them.

    The one problem we might have is our nerves. Will we tighten up ala semi’s against Wigan or will we play with fluidity? That the 22mil dollar question.

    Wenger and his staff need to impress upon the boys before KO this will be no walkover, so roll your sleeves up and go out there and perform, and win the damn thing.

  88. James Bond says:

    Good Morning Fellow FA cup winners and the next community shield holders – 2 trophies in a space of 3 months ? not bad for a club who hadn’t won any trophy in the last 9 years ehhhh

    actually, this will be a walk in the park as we win 3-0 comfortably – nothing to worry about, we had our wake the Fcuk game against Hull in the Semis , sadly the final won’t be a bitch twitchy or nervey – my way of saying , keep the bottle of bubblee on ice already !!!

  89. Dylan says:

    Finally done with all my major exams! But I will likely miss he cup final live as my cousin is graduating college and I am to be dragged along. So I will to dark from the Internet until I’ve watched the final. But for now here’s the cup run:

  90. allezkev says:

    Nice team Totalesque…

    Good post…

    If our team play anything up to their potential, then they should win, regardless of the personnel involved…
    Let’s we’ve all got good reason to celebrate later on this evening, especially you…
    COYRRG

  91. James Bond says:

    that’s a 5 star video @ D

    much better than the one on the Arsenal website – the background music was nice as well

    it’s criminal for you not to watch your first cup final live but no worries – we are still winning 3-0, ha

  92. TotalArsenal says:

    Cheers for all the comments guys, especially JM with a fine response.

    I am about to upload OzG’s match preview, so bare with me. 🙂

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