Time to end the drought! Arsenal vs Hull City FA Cup Final Pre-Match & Line- Up



Big big game this one. Both teams know what’s at stake. Every Arsenal supporter will be on the verge of ecstasy…or complete rage depending on how this one ends up. I’m a nervous wreck, and I have been ever since we knocked Wigan out in the Semi. I’m certainly not getting ahead of myself, especially after our last cup final heartbreak (not to mention the Chelsea 06/07 League Cup and the 05/06 Champions League final). We have won our last 3 FA Cup finals so fingers crossed. I really hope we don’t take Hull too lightly and we are ready for battle. Podolski’s comment of “Who is he?” when asked about a Hull City player doesn’t comfort me. Then again he’s as frank as they come.

Let’s get in to it, shall we:

Missing in Action:

Diaby sick bay

Arsenal: Vermaelen (knee) and Oxlade-Chamberlain (Groin) both face fitness tests. Both are likely to make the bench. Walcott (knee) and Gnabry (knee) will miss this one.

Hull City: Pretty much have a full squad to choose from. Strikers Long and Jelavic are cup tied leaving them a touch short up front (pardon the pun). I’m glad Long isn’t playing, he’s a bit of a menace, plus he just has one of those faces that makes you want to punch him. People probably say the same about me but I don’t deliver cheap shots on the pitch like he does. Plus he makes a lot of money so he couldn’t give a shit. Long, if you’re reading this and want to sort me out, my name is Prince and I live in Sydney. I can be found at any local entertainment store purchasing a TV (sent a remote through my last 12) or at any worksite with my Hampton nailed to the floor. Chester will miss with a Hamstring injury.

Predicted Line-up:

starting line-up HULL

Some pretty big question marks over who starts, perhaps none bigger than which pole starts in goal? Fabianski deserves it because he got us to the final. However, it is more beneficial for the team if Szczesny starts. My reasoning is: Szczesny will be with us next season…Fabianski will not (unfortunately). The experience Szczesny would gain from such a big match would be very beneficial in the future. I also think Szczesny is a better keeper over all. Szczesny was rested against Norwich, so does that mean he’s finished off the season early? Or does Arsene want him fresh as a daisy for the final? Was Fabianski starting the final fixture his chance to dust off the cobwebs? I have no bloody clue, Martinez could start and I wouldn’t be that surprised given Arsene’s record in big matches (Sanogo – Bayern. Coquelin, Szczesney and Song – United). Vermaelen and the Ox face fitness tests, but I don’t think either will start. Santi or Rosicky is another. Both deserve to start but Santi will most likely get the gig. My preference would be Rosicky. Arteta, Ozil and the Welsh Jesus will man the midfield.

Previous Encounters:

Hull City v Arsenal 0-3

The Ramsey-Podolski show! A double by German gun Podolski and a tidy finish from Ramsey was enough to dismantle Hull. Ramsey showed just how much we had missed him as he played a part in all 3 goals. The home crowd moaned after the second goal but Jelavic clearly flopped on the ground looking for contact. It amazes me that so many supporters whinge about players diving on the pitch, yet when one of their own isn’t rewarded it’s the biggest injustice in the history of time.

You can see the highlights below:


Arsenal  v Hull City 2-0

Goals from ‘The Greatest Player to Have EVER lived’ and Ozil were enough to keep Arsenal on top of the table. That cross from Corporal Jenks was delicious. You can see the highlights below:

Form Guide:               Arsenal:  : WWWWW        Hull: LLLDL

We’ve finished the season well after a bumpy run. The team was in danger of losing 4th place to a determined Everton outfit. Fortunately for us Arsenal has faced these pressures before and the team rallied. Arsenal should be in a confident mood for this one, but the players and Arsene will be under immense pressure.  The pole in goal and Koscielny will remember what transpired last time. It’s time to get this monkey off our back.

Road to the final:

Arsenal vs Wigan 1-1 (4-2 on penalties)

Arsenal vs Everton 4-1

Arsenal vs Liverpool 2-1

Arsenal vs Coventry 4-0

Arsenal vs Tottenham…Not sure. Can you help us out Theo?


Thanks Theo. See you soon mate.

Can’t say we didn’t earn our spot in the final. A very tough lot of fixtures.

Not the sort of form Hull would have liked going in to a final but form is largely irrelevant in this one. Anything can happen in a final…something we know well.

Road to the final:

Hull vs Sheffield United 5-3

Hull vs Sunderland 3-0

Hull vs Brighton 2-1 (replay after 1-1 draw)

Southend vs Hull 0-2

Middlesbrough vs Hull 0-2

Arsenal Archive (1)

This week I’ve dipped into the Arsenal Archive and pulled out this video clip. It’s the 1970-71 FA Cup final against Liverpool. The colours could be something of a good omen. Enjoy


Key-Match up:

Ramsey and Ozil vs the Fat ex-spud Huddlestone

welsh jesus

On the outer at Spurs, Huddlestone moved over to Hull in search of more minutes. A move that has certainly payed off for both Hull and Huddlestone. Not only has he been a rock in their midfield this season, but he’s also offered them plenty going forward. He has a good range of passing, an eye for a goal and he’s not too bad with a dead ball. Expect him to play out of his skin in this one as I’m sure he’d love nothing more than to give his spud friends something to cheer about on Saturday. There is another spud out their too…he goes by the name of Livermore. Like rats the spuds appear to pop up everywhere.

Ramsey and Ozil…oh what could have been eh? Ramsey was on his way to winning player of the year until his injury. While the rest of us can sit here thinking “could we have won the title if he stayed fit?” Unfortunately we will never know. I’m just very happy for the kid. What a turn around. Many labelled him as deadwood. Now he’s the second coming. I know I can sit here smugly and say “yep. I had the faith and never bagged him once”. For shame the rest of you! If he and Ozil gel together…this one is in the bag!

Pre-Match Finger:

kid finger


This week’s finger goes to every bloody media outlet and opposition supporter. Yes, we haven’t won a trophy in a while. Yes, we know you like to rub it in our faces every bloody day. Hopefully a win in this one will result in you finding some new material…not likely but a man can dream. Up yours!

Pre-Match pat on the back:

pat on the back

This week’s pat on the back is going to Arsene Wenger and all the players that have been involved in this campaign. It has been another long season with many ups and downs. We’ve seen glimpses of what we have threatened to deliver for quite some time. On the other hand we’ve also witnessed some truly shocking moments (the Liverpool first half will haunt me for years to come). I guess upon reflection it’s been a typical Arsenal season.  We were decimated by injury. We had good victories. We had bad losses. We even sat on top of the table for quite some time. However, it’s all in the past and now we have a chance to end the season on a high. Well done to the players for getting us this far.

Ask the opposition (7)

‘Ask the opposition’ returns again this week. It is designed to get some friendly banter from our opposition fans and get their insight for the match ahead.  This week the answers were kindly provided by SM. A top notch Hull supporter from Oz. Let’s see what he’s written for us this week:

1)What got Hull this far in the FA Cup?

What got us this far was sheer determination. A couple of times now we’ve looked down and out and the players have dragged us across the line. And not just the regular starting players, but fringe players like Yannick Sagbo and Matty Fryatt.

2) What would winning the Cup do for Hull?

Winning the Cup would literally be the biggest moment in this club’s history. It would eclipse the first ever promotion to the Premier League, and the achievement of staying in the Premier League. Winning the Cup would etch forever this Hull City team into the city’s consciousness. It’s hard to explain in Aussie sporting terms, because there is no comparable situation. The closest is the 05 Swans team, and even that club had won a flag 72 years prior.

3) What player/position is your weakest?

The left side is definitely our weakest, with Figueroa horribly out of form and Brady injured. Rosenior is decent cover, but we’re still not strong in that position.

4) What tactics is Hull likely to employ against Arsenal

I would hope to see us play quite cagey early on, and try and keep the score 0-0 until about the half hour mark. If we can do so I think Arsenal supporters will get on the players’ backs, and it will work to our advantage, and we’ll then look to make pacey attacks on the counter.

5) Which Arsenal player would you like and why?

I think my most valuable Arsenal player would have to be Cazorla. Ozil has a great range of passing, but we have that with Huddlestone. Cazorla is that dynamic attacking threat from midfield that we don’t quite have; that links your strikers with your midfielders.

6) Which player/ position do you feel is Arsenal’s weakness?

I think your weakest position is your strikers, and if we can exploit that by giving our defence license to roam, then we may be able to exploit you on the counter.

7) What is your prediction for the match?

Honestly I keep to-ing and fro-ing about the match. I’ll have to say a gutsy 3-1 loss for us if I go with my head, because Arsenal will be too determined, but it would be the match of my lifetime if we were to get up.


It will be a nervous start. How could it not be after the Birmingham final etched in the players’ minds? After some early jitters we will settle in to our groove and prove too strong for a determined Hull outfit. I don’t think they have enough fire power up front to worry us. I predict a FA Cup 3-0victory to the good guys.If we lose…we’ll I can’t bear the thought of it. The world may implode!

What is your prediction?

Szczesny or Fabianski? (BJ…you don’t have to answer this one mate 🙂 )

What team line-up would you go with?

Who will be our best player on the day?

Will victory be enough to propel the team to a new era?

Enjoy the game Arsenal fans. Wherever you are around the world be sure to savour every moment of it.

2005 FA Cup win

Written by: Oz Gunner

331 thoughts on “Time to end the drought! Arsenal vs Hull City FA Cup Final Pre-Match & Line- Up

  • Cheers Ozzer 🙂

    BK’s 500th blog today and it could not be a more suitable one. You and your fine previews have been missed, and good to see you back for the last and no doubt biggest game of the season.

    I reckon you are quite close with your line up. Is it our strongest….. I dont think so but it is what Wenger seems to prefer right now. Flam for Arteta and Rosicky for Cazorla for me, but I can live with both Spaniards starting.

    The only worry I have is a lack of concentration at set pieces and counter attacks, especially by Szczesny and….. yes 17HT…. Arteta. Flamini is by far our best defending midfielder and he allows Ramsey to go forward, whereas Arteta drags his fellow midfielder back (or we risk being exposed too easily). So Flam for Arteta today for me.

    Cazorla is a fine player, and nice to read the Hull supporter recognising this, but he does not offer thrust and I reckon he has been found out by opposition teams now. His goals have dried up as well, and Rosicky simply offers more. Cazorla is a great player to have on the bench.

    I also wonder whether Arsene could start with Wilshere, which would change things round again. It could be: Arteta-Ramsey-Jack-Ozil-Santi-Giroud… We will see. At least we have options again and like you I hope we dont take this lightly…. Focus, tempo, aggression, finishing.

    Come On Arsenal! Come On Arsenal! Come on Arsenal! 🙂

  • wow – the king of previews is back with a bang !

    absolute pleasure to read that and fully concurred minus the starting 11.

    Fabianski ahead of Sczny is the only one, I disagree with

    also, this is a big big game but one that we will win without any dramas as such and will be a comfortable 3-0 walk in the park sort of thing.

    a fully refreshed and recharged Santiago, along side Ozil , Ramsey and Poldi firing all cylinders will be a tad too much for a team who could easily have been relegated in another season ? maybe.

    oh – also, Giroud almost only scores in London – so the omens are looking good.

    we are the FA cup champions – and the Community shield holders in a few months times (2 trophies in quick succession !!!

    the bottles of bubblee on ice and what not – waiting to be unleashed after half 6

    Glicster – will you be watching from behind the sofa ? 🙂

  • skipper could be right – Poldi could find himself on the bench…as one of JW or Rosicky get the nod (harsh in my opinion, if it happens).

    PS: I know you didn’t want me to answer the first one but it’s a free world ahahahahahahahah @ Ozzie

    The best player will be Ozil with 2 assists or goals or a goal or 2 Assists.


  • You are sounding bullishly upbeat, JB. Hope you are right, and I also reckon we should be too strong, but the Brum experience haunts me as much as it does Ozzer.

  • Oz, you have done it again with a brilliant pre-match report. Let’s hope this match us one to remember. 🙂

    Not sure whether to go with Szez or Fab. I would lean to Fab, maybe AW will give them 45 mins each. 😀

    I would go for your line up. As Gerry pointed out earlier a lot of players will want to get on the pitch. Verm will get on pitch and maybe Diaby so he can get a medal? Jenks and Flamini will get a medal as they have played in the early rounds of the cup? Same with Rosicky and Wilshere and Monreal?

    I think Ozil will put in a world class performance today. He has a lot to prove to the critics and some fans and seems determined to win us the FA Cup. His class with show today as will the class as our other players.


  • I’m not too fussed about the brummie experience, that was in the past when a lot of players were still settling in at Arsenal – now the boys are men and we have already had our bitch twitchy game out of the way vs Wigan .

    The Final am afraid won’t be a nail bitter (thank Dennis for that)

    it’s History in the making today lads, be sure to witness it live – it’s a start of a new Era – the Era where Arsenal begin their dominance for the next 5 years.

    also , I read something about us not being in a position to offer big wages ? well, I got news for you – thanks to Puma – we can do a Man utd, as long as it’s a 5 star player that helps our sponsors and so on

    in theory, Man utd only pay Wayne rooney a basic 150 k per week (just like Arsenal pay Ozil £150 k per week) and the remainder of his £300 k per week is made up by the sponsors of man utd .

    also did you know that it was Arsenal who were maybe the first club to pay break the £200 k per week barrier 10 years ago ? yep, King Henry was that player on a £200 or £225 K per week, when he was offloaded to Barca.

    my point being ? we can once again not only attract big players but also pay the wages.

    This FA cup victory will be the first of many.

  • Line up is just the same as yours Oz. 😉
    I think Rambo will be our man of the match and will indeed drive us into a new era, as I have been saying for weeks.

  • oh don’t worry about that, I bet Glics is typing up a comment as we speak 😉

    your comment has made me think a little about the starting 11 and maybe just maybe this is what AW is thinking ? 4-5-1


    the usual 4




    you make a fine case for Flamini’s inclusion but I don’t think that AW trusts Flamini any more in big matches – he has plenty of brain farts sadly and we need the calm presence of captain Arteta, I reckon.

  • yeah the welsh Jesus one is a good one as was the Theo one.

    one question though – would everyone be getting a gold medal, provided they have been involved in the competition at some point ? I mean, will Theo be getting a medal as well ? I think I read somewhere that not only do all the starting 11 + subs get a medal but everyone has has been involved in previous rounds is entitled to one ? I might be wrong.

  • I think you are right, JB. Flamini has burnt a bridge it seems. But he can defend and is faster than Arteta. On the other hand, Arteta knows how to take a penalty!

  • A quote from my first ever post for BK. This was written some time ago so the collective wages of teams might have changed but it illustrates the point that our collective wage bill is not that far off from our main competitors.

    ‘Arsenal’s collective wage bill every year is around £143 million which is the fourth highest collective wage bill in the Premier League; with Manchester United’s collective wage bill every year being around £160 million; Chelsea’s collective wage bill ever year being £171 million; and Manchester City’s collective wage bill every year being the highest in the Premier League at around £201 million.’

    So we can pay big wages. The problem WAS the way wages were distributed throughout the squad, as we had a narrow gap between our our highest earners and our lowest earners which meant guys like Squillaci were being paid around £52 000 a week whereas our highest earners like Walcott and Podolski were being paid around £90 000 a week.

    Now that is changing though, we are getting rid of the deadwood such as Bendtner and Squillaci (who take and have taken up a huge chunk of the collective wage bill) and are now and have used that money to reward players like Kos and Ramsey. Arsenal could pay Sagna £100 000 a week as I think it would not affect our collective wage bill and the distribution of our collective wage bill that much but the board just do not want to.

    Also I am pretty certain it will cost us much more to replace Sagna than to increase his wages to what he wants them to be.

    As JB said our sponsors have put us in an even getter position as they can pay some of the wages of players and even pay some of the transfer fee like it was reported Puma would do for Balotelli.

  • don’t forget “Fly Emirates” @ AFC

    PSG – Real Madrid – AC MILAN – Hamburger e.t.c e.t.c

  • Cheers gents. As always the pleasure is all mine.

    I’m quite optimistic today. But as we know it only takes one 50/50 ball and our keeper could be sent off changing the whole complexion of the match. If I have jinxed us remember my name is prince and I live in Sydney 🙂

    @ TA

    I have no doubt Dennis sent ramsey. Somewhere along the line Dennis got drunk in a welsh pub and the rest was history. A welsh demigod was born by the name of Ramsius (or better known as Ramsey)

  • Great piece Oz,
    My nerves are going already. We have got a 2 hour build up on ITV1 that is a long time
    I have gone for a few bets today on my prediction
    Podolski to score first , we win 3-0 odds 33/1
    Kosielny to score first, we win 3-0 odds 175/1
    “”” ” , we win 3-1 odds 175/1

    So hopefully Podolski or KOS score first , Kos always scores imporant goals for us and on the last game of the season ,i nope he can do it again 🙂

  • If i was the manager or team skipper the thing i would ask the players to make sure they dont do today is, do’t get sent off!
    The amount of big matches we have played and had a player sent off seems to be a lot. All the big games that we have had a player sent of that i can remember , we have lost. So disapline is important today i think. No rash tackles or bringing down a player if they get though on goal, just keep 11 men on the pitch and we should win.

  • Good afternoon Hungry and Horny Hull Hampton Hounds!! 😆
    Fozlock Holmes and MarleyKaze Watson reporting for duty from the back end of Thailand!! Some SQ Trannys for Cockies Tranny annex all signed and ready to go!
    Friggin hard to pick up a signal out here! Phone or Internet!
    I will have an umbrella strapped to my Hampton and MarleyKaze has even gone
    to the trouble of strapping a cocktail umbrella to his Hampton as well!! 😆
    I’m actually surprised he still has a Hampton as he has been hitting
    the gogo bars like nobody’s business the horny bastard!! 🙂
    Still I gave him special Adam’s apple training to help him avoid any nasty surprises!!
    Nice review Ozzie baby and may the Ramsey of Nazereth have a pearler today!!
    I think your line up is right and hopefully Jack on for Arteta later, Rocky for Poldi on later….
    COYRRGs !!! Today is our day!! 🙂

  • Oz,
    Great bloody work.
    Here at the Celtic club here in Melbourne with fellow arsenal Australia fans.
    Great atmosphere.

  • JB,
    Good luck to him, i hope he stays. Wenger said he would be rewarded for his patience , for being a great number 2 and he sure has rewarded him today.

  • he earned it @ PG

    he deserves it

    and he is the main reason why we are in the finals.

    but yes, well done to AW for picking him on MERIT.


    how you doing ?

    oh nice one @ Alex – how many fellow gooners do you have there roughly :O:

  • another mighty fine GOONER AKA Tim sherwood in the ITV studios ahahahahahahahahahahahahahah

  • Its a great looking team
    Oz got it spot on except the keeper. It is defo our stongest team, Only Flemini could argue other wise. But for me you should not be using 2 DM against Hull. So for me its spot on.

  • JB,
    I am good thanks mate, i will be happier and more relaxed when we get a lead today ha ha ha ha.
    It is such an important game, the lads deserve some silver, even more so Wenger.
    Please let today go the right way football Gods. 🙂
    Ozil to have a MOTM performance.
    How you doing?

    Your prediction mate? Gooners?

  • glad to hear that and I’m not too bad, ta

    3-0 to the mighty gooners and unfortunately it won’t be a nail bitter or anything like that 😀 nice and easy controlled win…

    Hull might be down to 10 men today.

  • innit – look at him smiling and brimming with pride and confidence when he says ” I can’t see anything other than an Arsenal win today, they will be too strong for Hull”


    We should get Tim over as our youth team manager, and am Serious !

  • @JB
    There’s about 500 people here. A lot more who can’t get in.

  • I think it will be 3-0, i cant see Hull scoring. Our lads don’t need to foul or take any unessersary professional fouls , if we keep 11 men on and play our football it should go about that.
    Who do you think will be the first goal scorer ?

  • blimey – must be a fascinating atmosphere @ Alex !!!

    where is PRINCE ? ? ?

    where is me amigo aka 17HT ?

    Santiago will score first @ PG.

  • ‘Morning fellas….Great job, Oz and SOOOO good to have you back… Also, very clever to use your alter ego “Prince,.. Easy to find, with Hampton nailed to the floor in Sydney… 😉 I hope to see the man himself on here at some point today… One which promises to be a great one for Gooners the world around…

    And you’ve put up the exact line-up I would expect. TA doesn’t favor the Spaniards (Arteta and Cazorla) and it’s true they lack that bit of acceleration or “thrust” to make the key tackle. However, they also bring a range of passing and two-footed ball control which their replacements (Flamini and Rosicky) do not. For me, it’s a question of our ability to control the match through possession. If we cannot, the Spaniards are a liability (and the hounders might be the better bet)… If we can, however, they bring a chance to carve open our opponents which is (far) greater than if they’re excluded from the line-up. They might not be on the end of our moves, (OG, Pod, Ozil and the Welsh Jesus–an image I love–are far more likely to score…) but they will (likely) be in there somewhere, linking up the play…

    But that’s too technical…The big thing today is managing the occasion, holding our nerve and overcoming the (immense) pressure. No matter who starts, we have the better players. Of course, that goes out the window and we need to play as the better TEAM. As observers we can hardly take it, so I welcome 007’s optimism, but (I fear) a Cup Final will ALWAYS be “bitch-twitchy,” (at least for awhile). Hull will get some of the ball and make demands on our defenders and our keeper who MUST be up to the challenge.

    Whoa, line-ups are out and Fabianski starts! I fully expected the taller (and younger of the two Poles, the one who will still be under contract at the end of the day) to be between the sticks… Maybe Fabs will be signing a new one? (I I have less hope for Sagna but either me or my boy will be wearing the kit that bears his name.) Regardless, our keeper will be a key today. He needs a couple of early “safe hand” moments to show his leadership…IMO we win this today by first being solid at the back and then showing what we can do going forward…

    My hope is that ALL the guys on the pitch can play their best, take this great opportunity and grab that which is within their reach. The Gunners playing as a unit today (and Gooners–worldwide–getting fully behind them, too…) need to do whatever is needed to lift this trophy, giving us a taste for others…

    Go on…

  • Off to the pub to watch game. Don’t like the line up, but there you go. If Hull park the bus who is providing thrust on the flanks? Might be chessball.

    Here is hoping for a great glorious win. UTA! 🙂

  • think of the devil (voice of reason) and the devil is here, ha

    loving Tim sherwood’s view’s on Arsenal ahahahahahahahhahahahahahahaha he’s doing a better job of defending Arsenal than most of our ex players put together ahahahahahahhahahahahahahahahahahah

    who else is enjoying Tim Sherwood’s views ? 😀

  • if Hull are parking a bus or 2 then we simply score from a corner, where KOC comes in like a warrior bicycle ones in or the BFG scores with a diving header – sorted

    or if not that then a free kick, where Poldi absolutely hammers one to the right corner.

    sorted @ Skipper

    enjoy the game

  • We don’t have Sherwood here in the States… Instead it’s Warren Barton, Stuart Holden and Vinnie Jones?…

    Have fun at the Pub, TA…That scene Alex is talking about sounds wild…

    For me, if defenses have to watch Ozil and Rambo, Santi (and Lulu) is all thrust… 🙂

  • No Diaby on the bench.

    On a side note City have been fined £49 million for breaching FFP rules.

    JB, agent Sherwood was sent in by AW to infiltrate and ruin Spurs so we would only have Everton to fight with for 4th place. 😀

  • For me (as I tried to say above…) Sicky is good if the other team has the ball and we want to press… I’m with 007 that Flamini scares me with the loose tackle… I think we’re gonna be OK today…

  • I’m sure someone will put Tim’s views later on to have fun at Spud fans misery – or trust Glics to find such clips and share with everyone later on – he’s a true Gooner alright

    we have Dixon, Tim sherwood and Roy keane (yuck).

  • Hey AFC (and 007)…This discussion I’ve been pushing about wages is something we can take up after we lift this trophy… I think the Superspy makes some good points about the Puma sponsorship… Also, I saw that fine for City (and a similar 49 million pound limit on their net spend)…Too bad they get Sagna in on a free (or so it sounds…) Where are the limits on the salaries?…

  • I just became a bigger fan of Tim JB, i like his honesty
    I am a little worried Hull will play an aggressive closing player down stratagy or park the bus but they normally have a go and they don’t have the players to play a really good counter attacking game so i think if they do that they will lose, i think they will have a go,

  • 007, we’ve got two Americans (ugh) doing the match itself…and the former player (Eric Wynalda) thinks Fabianski is the better Arsenal keeper–and that it’s a great decision from Wenger…

  • Rosicky can do anything, 17, and is Santi’ superior bar fitness… but he is fit and should play… but maybe Santi surprises me. Lets hope so.

    Really gone now. DB10 2003-04 shirt on, good luck everyone!

  • it’s only 16 million @ AFC and not 49 million

    the remaining has been suspended

    but they will be reduced to 21 for CL next season and must have a wage cap

    also they can only spend 48 million on buying new players (NET)

    which means, they can sell 2 quality players and in theory have close to 100 million to spend on players again but they don’t have to sell either as they can get 1 SQ or 2 very good players for 50 million, don’t you agree ?


  • Hey PG, I agree…Hull can’t keep (this) Arsenal (line-up) out for a full 120 minutes. Their best bet is trying to score early, I think…

  • Back again – I don’t know, you wait days for a new post, and even one late preview …

    So today we get two, and top quaiity ones too!

    Well done to both of you.

    I will have to be quick as I am missing a lot of the build up because of short walks with an ailing dog.

    Pitch looks great, I know the team, but not the referee? I keep coming back to that because Hull have every intention of letting us know ‘we are in a game’ – i.e. rotational fouling – from the off. So whoever it is I hope they stamp on the dangerous tackles early on.

    Anyway, win or lose, I shall be renewing my Arsenal subscription, so we can all rest easy after the TW closes.


  • I remember him winning the FA cup with the (crazy gang) Wimbledon

  • Have fun Total…I think we’ll have to agree to disagree because I think both Santi and Sicky are GREAT players but I give the nod to Santi only because I think he can do more in less space (if you know what I mean…) in matches where we hope to have most of the ball…

    Agreed 007, that I don’t see the FFP sanctions hurting City very much…

  • Oops. Just didn’t know that JB. Seems City have been let of the hook once again.

  • there is a wage cap @ 17HT – they get sagna on the free but don’t forget they lose a few players on free as well who happen to be on high wages to accommodate Sagna’s high wage demands.

    and I feel your pain with 2 american footy experts 😀

  • Hey Gerry…So sorry about the ailing dog…

    Indeed, let’s let the ref help us….

  • City got a bit more punishment then that.
    They can only play 21 players in the CL, also they can only play players under a certain wage amount in the CL.

  • PG, Vinnie Jones says Arsenal play good football, were hurt by injuries in key moments (so could have done better and that Wenger will do whatever he wants to do after we win the match… I like it… 😀

    Teams coming onto the pitch…

  • A Sagna and Kompany CB pairing would be frightening. Let’s hope he doesn’t go to City.

  • Lee Probert is the ref?… One who likes to let ’em play?… Prince William shakes everybody’s hand…Did he fly coach or take the tube from Buckingham today?

    God Save the Queen?…

  • 17,
    You got to love old Vinnie he is a funny geezer. He was a head case on the pitch. He used to grab players by the bollocks and everything ha ha ha ha

  • Lots of folks at Wembley…Plenty and the Nou Camp too… Two trophies to be lifted simultaneously today in London and Barcelona…

  • Here we go…(Ozil having a moment with Allah)… Wenger’s hair is rather the opposite of Steve Bould’s….

    Great atmosphere….

  • it is really good to see a strong, strong bench for us. If only all our players were fit all season indeed.

  • Sagna perfect with his first intervention… Hull don’t appear to be in bus parking mode… And win the first corner…

  • we have a game on our hands….

    can the real Arsenal please stand up ?

  • Giroud faking injury…Indeed we need to get our attack going…

    Vinnie Jones commented upon the “sponginess” of the pitch and it does appear kinda slow…

    Another Hull set piece and a 2nd goal…

    Looking bleak here…

  • oh my god, fuck. now we got our work cut out. shit
    It is lucky we have 80 mins to put it right

  • OK guys…I would say we cannot let any more in…And perhaps we have to get some offense going ourselves…

  • I just can’t understand why we always seem to mess it up in the big games. Nearly a third goal for Hull. Thank God for Gibbs.

  • I know the pressure was on but hull haven’t experienced anything like this..pur players have. There is absolutely no excuse for starting this slow.

  • Almost 3-nil… Gibbs heads off the line…We are absolutely being dominated at these set pieces…


  • can our defenders wake up and start playing ?

    not one single header so far from the set piece…other than the line clearance

  • they are massively up for this. we are in a bit of trouble here.
    get in yoiu little sapish wizard

  • that’s the first of 3.

    and I wonder who predicted Santiago scoring the first goal for Arsenal – winks at PG ; )

  • Keeper should’ve gotten that one…Maybe the nerves go both ways…

    Mas, por favor…

  • The time wasting has started early. Come on boys they don’t have the skill to hold on to this lead!

  • Elmohamady (one of their very best players…) hurts himself kicking Sagna?… Too many goals, whistles and stoppages in this first 20…

  • Rambo whiffs…Great cross from Poldi! C’mon Welsh Jesus!!!

  • Late tackle but Sagna makes a meal of it….No card…

    Nice contact there from Ozil but headed away…

  • We are gonna see a lot of time wasting…Thank Dennis we’ve gotten one back…

  • Cazorla doing really well in midfield. Always on the move and looking to make things happen.

  • Nice two on two but Giroud too slow getting it onto his left foot. Gibbs belter gets a corner but Hull seems to know how to defend them… C’mon Ollie, that’s a silly shot to try… Keep possession instead…

  • Ref allowing serial fouling w/o reaching for a card… We’re definitely struggling with the soft pitch…

    Rambo-Sagna 1-2 earns a corner…

  • We’re doing better in the air but getting our good long shots blocked. Ozil, Gibbs and Rambo have all made some great contact (from distance) but all three have been blocked…

    Hull doing well in our half for the first time since their goals…

  • honestly – what the hell is giroud thinking and doing out there ?

  • we need to be passing to Ozil more , getting him in to the game more

  • Nice break there with Rambo and Ozil…until they play it on to Ollie…

  • Our passing in the final third has been… I don’t know how to describe it.

  • Kos running the break…passes to nobody…Hull doing well and keeping the ball away from us…We might need to do better in keeping it ourselves…

    Giroud wants a whistle for handball but might need to just do more with fewer touches…

  • Looking like a one trick pony in the final third. A lot of stagnant players out there

  • Giroud is having a shocker.


  • Admir, the term is “non-existent,” I think (re: final third passing)…The cross from Poldi to Ozil was the only good thing I can recall…Otherwise, it’s the FK and some potshots…

    Giroud being man-handled but poaches one…Very close to finding Poldi with the pull back…

  • Admir, Giroud just seems slow, lethargic and is frustrating to watch. I haven’t seen much of Podolski either though.

  • if only that was Theo instead of Gibbs of that long pass from Santiago 😀

  • no, we won’t be losing to the team against whom the Danish prince has scored against.

    we are still winning 3-2, no worries

    but we need Rosicky for the 2nd half.

  • To me, Lulu and Ollie are working hard…The ref, in classic Cup Final mode, is happy to blow near the center circle but not near (or in) the boxes…

    Half time… I think we’re OK having gotten the one back but we will have to dig very, very deep…

  • UEFA Cup Final 2000: Arsenal-Galatasaray 0:0 (1:4 after penalties)
    FA Cup Final 2001: Arsenal-Liverpool 1:2
    Community Shield 2003: Arsenal-Manchester United 1:1 (3:4 after penalties)
    Community Shield 2005: Arsenal-Chelsea 1:2
    Champions’ League Final 2006: Arsenal-Barcelona 1:2
    Carling Cup Final 2007: Arsenal-Chelsea 1:2
    Carling Cup Final 2011: Arsenal-Birmingham City 1:2
    FA Cup Final 2014: Arsenal-Hull City 1:2 (at the half-time)

    Too many one-twos on the score-board and not enough of them on the pitch!


  • Look, all three goals have been off set-pieces… The pitch is slow but we’re coming into the match. Rosicky pressing and running would be a tonic given that Hull are playing without fear and want the ball. Steve Bruce has them well organized–not parking the bus but clogging the middle of the pitch and not showing any panic…

    Giroud is miserable to watch but he’s working hard and I think it will pay dividends IF we can keep more possession in the 2nd period. Ideally we get two goals but we also need to realize it could be another 90 mins…

  • god I hope they dig deep. I don’t want to hear about this trophy drought any longer

  • Meanwhile, Alexis Sanchez has scored an incredible goal against Atletico Madrid (Costa got injured) after Fabregas’ lay-off.

    One positive thing: we finally scored a goal from a free-kick.

  • calm down lads – we are a 2nd half team and good news is that we are not 4-0 down, it’s only

    1-2 and we have the 2nd half to score 2 goals.

    we must get more joy from the left as I have given up from the right hand side and you know what ? it’s time to be a bit more brave now by having a few long shots as well !

    COYG !

  • AFC, Giroud is ALWAYS poor…until he scores or assists…in other words, what he does is ugly work. If he keeps after it, however, good things could happen…

    Keep the faith fellows. These guys are working hard for the cause. .

    IMO the guy who is really struggling is Ramsey–that long stride just isn’t what is needed out there, though he hit a great volley from one of our corners. We’re in for a huge battle and this is it…

    Game on…

  • Cheers, AFC…

    Slow start to the 2nd with some poor lay-off touches (a really ugly one from Giroud)… We’ve got the ball but cannot seem to get into their half with it…

    Brilliant from Ozil with a high ball but Poldi late getting into the box…

  • Oh, and Podolski is even worse than Giroud today. Always one step too slow.

  • Admir, Sicky for Poldi would be your sub? That would be mine, I think…

    Rambo almost gets a ball to Giroud but first touch is off from the big fellow (surprise, surprise…) Bruce faking injury as a result…

  • Geezus Steve Bruce is a few pounds over his playing weight…

    Hull with the ball but now settling for 30 yarders from Huddlestone…

  • What about Wilshere guys? Would you save him for later in case we really need to go for it, where he can come on for Arteta/Ramsey?

  • @17 – yes, I’d go with that one.

    It’s one thing to lose in FA Cup Final to, say, Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester United but to lose a final to bloody Tom Hundredstone is an insult.

  • Wilshere, I think, will play… Subs have to be considered as part of a 120 minute game…

    Giroud goes down easily but he was hit and grabbed on the neck…

  • We haven’t lost yet, Admir…

    Finally a yellow for Huddlestone…Another FK from the right coming…

  • C’mon Gibbs, settle the possession, don’t try 30 yd volleys!…

    OK, Pod off…but for Yaya… 😯

  • Sanogo doesn’t fill me with confidence but I hope he can prove me wrong.

  • Yaya–right in there…Gibbs too heavy trying to get around and to the by-line… Arteta doing great work all over the pitch too…

  • Atletico equalized against Barcelona despite the fact both Arda Turan and Diego Costa are off due to injuries. My father watches Barcelona on the other stream and isn’t very happy with the result.

  • Kos heads wide from Santi’s corner…We’re building some pressure… Geezus, that’s a handball on Livermore, no?

    Serious time-wasting now…

  • Steve Bruce w/ the long goodbye…Switching to the other match, Messi pounds one into the net but flagged offside…

  • Sorry, I meant Alex Bruce, of course…

    Oh my, Santi hacked down on the pull back…No call…

  • final 20 minutes – and yep, you guessed it right – BITCH TWITCHY TIME

  • Wow, Stonewall it was, shows the replay…Yellow for the hack on Kos, at least…

  • get innnnnnnnnn

    bitch twitchy always fucking workkkkkkkkkkkkkkkks


  • Better there from Ollie…Yaya too tight at the post…


  • Giroud does well but Sanogo can’t squeeze it in.

    Kos with another important goal.

  • Kozzer….I do!!!! Fuck yes!!!! That is dejavu of the rvp carling cup final.goal then injury

  • Could have easily been a broken leg or ankle for kozzer. Thank frick he’s okay

  • Replay shows Yaya with some real skill and Probert gave the wrong call (a corner)…

  • People are looking tired out there…(except the new guy for Hull)

    GIBBS with a HORROR MISS after great work from Yaya…

  • why couldn’t that be Poldi

    blimey, what a foocking chance to seal it …head in hands moment that am afraid

  • What tha hell Probert has to see to award a penalty to us? Curtis Davies using a shot-gun on Giroud’s knees?

  • Replay shows Santi might’ve kept his feet there…The previous, however, shows a ref w/no guts…

    GREAT Volley from Ollie, but keeper is up to it…

  • Ramsey not doing well with his passing right now…C’mon boys…

  • we should have wrapped this game up by now, I don’t know what Gibbs was doing with that golden chance, just bloody hit the target or slot it in – open goal, right in front of you

    we need to be more clinical and brave than this, come on lads

  • howcome that was a yellow card and foul when the pass has already been overhit like by 2 minutes ? ? ? ??

    this ref is getting on my nerves, disgrace

  • Looks like we might get another 30 mins in our season… Davies gets a yellow…Ollie is wearing ’em down…

  • Sanogo’s presence in the attack stretches opponents so Giroud has more space to operate with.

    Damn, how this one didn’t get in?

  • And another one from Giroud. Damn, damn, damn! (Read this “damn” as the “f-word”, I just want to be polite in case some children are reading this blog.)

  • Wow, whattaball from Arteta to Ozil…Giroud weak on the turn and shoot… Just get to the ET I say…as another long one will be coming… Yaya heads it out…

    Oh Santi…just can’t quite reach the heavy one from Rambo…

  • Extra time, fine by me…Give me as much Arsenal as I can get…

    Let’s get a couple here!!

  • in Spain – the unthinkable has happened after Barca’s 2nd goal was disallowed in the 70th minute

    we have new champions in Spain :Shock:

  • I am happy with extra time, the amount of time Hull wasted it is probably the right amount of time in total.
    We should beat them now, i was getting worried massively til Santi scored.
    Great goal from KOS that man always scores important goals now. Can’t believe Gibbs shot ha ha ha ha ha, got to laugh that was a great chance, still we are by far the better team now, just need to do what they do best and keep there shape.
    Fingers crossed.

  • the best chance of the game fell to Gibbo and he must explain to every Arsenal fan – how he managed to miss that 😀

    back to serious mode, this ones in the bag boys –

    who to score the winner ? my money is on YAYA.

  • Nou Campers taking it well…Atletico are a real team…They should’ve locked it up beforehand, but what a show in the big stadium…

    Arsenal need a couple from open play here in the extra time…

    Go on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • You know, people, not even 30 miles from my place there is a flood. Whole Bosnia have been in the mess due to flood, rivers have been literally attacking cities and they have looked like rivers made of shit and blood. At least 12 people have died.

    I anticipated this match as a possible stress-free fun that have made me think about something else than a possibility that erosion (that has been even bigger danger than the flood) might bring down the building I’m currently typing from.

    So, lads, win this one for me. And, Yaya, score a winning goal so Jose can’t reply to you with: “I won the same number of trophies like Arsenal did and it equals the number of goals you have scored for Arsenal.”

  • sorry to hear about the floods @ Admir – hope it doesn’t cause more damage or get worse

  • wouldn’t it be wise to bring on Rosicky and JW or Flamini even ?

  • in all honesty – that was bread n butter for Giroud and yet he couldn’t score.

    get me Bendtner 😀

  • @007 – thanks. BTW, Bendtner had scored from similar position (Jenkinson’s cross) that Giroud just had.

  • If it goes to penalties…

    McGregor saves 30%
    Fab 31%
    Szcz 27%
    Bring back mannone…34%

  • OMG, lost my connection there…

    Sorry to hear about the flooding, Admir…Stay safe, eh…

    Ramsey final ball not working today…

  • Gotta keep pushing boys, even if the initial surge has only gotten on the bar…

  • Thanks, 17. It would have been much better for our country if we had had people in charge who hadn’t been useless as Squillaci-Cygan-Silvestre back-line.

    We need fresh blood.

  • Ramsey is losing his mind here… Or is it just continuing with the confidence. Some Sicky or Jack, I think is in order…

  • Ozil still running…Poor return ball from Yaya…

    Santi tries to place one…too high…Ugh….

  • Lads, what do you expect if this one goes down to penalties? I mean players are drained and physical exhaustion brings to lack of concentration.

    Then again, I can recall a lot of examples of players who have came in as substitutes and missed penalties.

  • time to take of Ramsey, for Rosicky

    we need someone to directly run at them.

  • If we had either Theo or The Ox, we would have ripped them apart by now.

  • I’m not thinking penalties, we can do this

    come onnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn

    both rosicky and JW coming on

  • Wilshere and Rosicky on for Cazorla and Ozil.

    Yaya trying but too inexperienced.

  • Wow…Those are some ballsy subs…but I like them…

    Good work immediately by those two down the right…

  • god rosicky is a breath of fresh air normally but check him in this late. He could end up with a hat trick haha

  • Ramsey sent it over the stadium.

    I adore him but Cazorla might have been a better choice to stay until the end.

  • there you go there you go there you fcuking fo

    3-2 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


    you lil beautyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy yyyyyyyyyyyyyyy I love youuuuuuuuuuuuuu uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

  • Hahahaha…

    I was just about to agree with you there Admir about Rambo off (leaving Santi…)

    One touch, sneaky to the front post!!!!!!

  • Whoa…Jacky boy…careful with those stab tackles in the box…

  • And that’s the thing of Champions. Coming down from 2 nil to win a match when it matters.

  • That’s some good noise being made in the National Stadium….

    I think another would be nice (and then a few moments where I might relax)…

  • Sanogo, OG, Ramsey all did well on that one… Can you believe I was late 12 minutes for the game (one sick kid)… Couldn’t come to grasp with e score, and didn’t dare login to bergampesque…

  • Rosicky should have kept going there. Should get another here they are done

  • not happened that since the 18th century ? a team down 2 goals in the fa cup and then went on to win ? or was it since 1964 ?

    who cares, we are going to be creating history today !!!!!!!!!!!!!

    yaya was mighty close to score the 4th there and corner not given.

  • Gibbs owes ramsey dinner. What the hell was that. Bfg and fab…trying to out do kozzer and szcz

  • better late than never @ Alcide – welcome !

    and nearly a heart attack there…

  • Hey Alcide…

    Ooh that must’ve been a shock (to see the scoreline…

    WOW…Our boy Fabianski a little loco there… Heart Attack City…

    Not over yet, lads…

  • I think I’ve aged 10 years in one match. It’s not healthy being an arsenal supporter

  • we are the championsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

    we are the championssssssssssssssssssssssss

    we are the championsssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

  • Well, that was easy…Never in doubt, etc., etc.

    And the sky stays in the air…

  • Yess. Finally we get a trophy. Well done guys. I would have went crazy if I was on that pitch.

  • That match had it all…Frailty and frustration but there was some real spirit on show…

    Hull were a pretty worthy opponent there…

    The jinx has been lifted.
    Finally the Emirates stadium gets a cup in the cabinet .

  • I got nothing left for the the medals and trophy stuff…(not to mention the summer ahead…)

    Like I said…Thank Freaking Dennis!!!

  • 17ht, for the neutrals this was a fantastic match, we were shitting ourselves.

  • 17,
    Your right that was an awesome final.
    For the neatrual it had it all.

  • AFC, of course I’m just kidding… (Though I had a lot of faith in the group and in my heart I knew we could do it…) We played on heart more than skill today…

  • I know you were 17. That was the determination and heart shown by our players today that wins you trophies. We can build on this now. AW also got it spot on today.

  • Hull getting their medals…I gotta say they played in a good spirit…A bit of time wasting but no supremely cynical (or dangerous) fouls…

  • 17, you beat me to it. Hull cam be proud of their performance. They attacked and threatened throughout

  • Wow, the first three to get their medals are all gone…Verms (to Barca or Milan?), Arteta to the pasture (if not the glue factory) and Sagna to Man City…

    Wenger out as well?

    End of an era…Or the beginning of a new one?….

    Haha…Verms lifts it early… Kos and BFG lift it together… And Fabianski lifts it with a “f*cking A” and Giroud takes it off the stands and back to the dressing room…

  • Too early to start drinking (alcohol) here…More coffee then…

    Where are you guys?

  • Wenger to be knighted!
    I am so pleased for him. I hope he stays , i think he just said he will defo be here next season. 🙂

  • PG, where’s everybody gone?…Too many ads here on our telly…

    Wow…I’m still reeling from our need to make things SOOOO difficult. Those two early goals made it quite a mountain to climb…

  • Bloody 3am but not even close to tired. Such a relief. Arsene will definitely stick around. I’ll be pissed if sagna goes to city. Surely not, not only the arsenal ties but because they already have a first class right back


  • how long has it been since Arsenal last won a trophy ?



  • Funny stuff, there Admir…

    It was all you with the preview, Oz…

    Thanks fellas for the chat…Today and all season long…

    This match was maybe a microcosm of the whole season. We have plenty of issues but the group has a bit of spirit within and we should build upon it (rather than tearing it all down), I think. Obviously we need to do better against the next level of competition but we showed a lot winning these final 6 matches and maybe have a bit of a platform for going forward…

    In my opinion… 😀

  • Evening guys 🙂

    Yippee we did it! Read all the comments and am surprised nobody picked up on our lack of dominance in midfield. Ozil, Arteta and Ramsey were not in control for much of the game and this was very disappointing.

    Must say that Santi deserved his starting position today, but Pod…. Was he even on the pitch?!

    Sanogo brought so much drive and energy from which the rest benefited. But bringing on Jack and Rosa together was also important. Nice finish by Rambo to clinch the cup.

    Soooo happy for the boys.

  • no body picked up or presence in the midfield because skipper – it’s been like that since the start of the season 😀

    we only notice it and pick up on it, when we actually have some presence in midfield 😀

  • Read all the comments too, and I’m proud of you guys, looks like nobody lost faith (when I almost turned the TV off as soon as I turned it on saw the score at 12′)! Glad we made it the arsenal way… We’ll remember that one for a long time!

  • Hey Total… It’s still a bit early here but, after showing my wife all the important moments from the match, I think I’m ready for that beer… A nice (cold) Guinness with one of those “widgets” that give it the “draught” head…

    I think–in addition to being set back by the two early goals–our boys struggled with the slow, energy absorbing pitch… (Which makes me think, maybe England aren’t as bad as they routinely look in those matches at the Nat’l stadium…) If we’re talking about guys who didn’t seem to deserve their starting spot, Ramsey was the one, except that he just keeps going and going and going and never lets his head go down and ends up scoring the winner. That’s a bit of a priceless quality here in the modern (mercenary) game, I would think…

    But yeah, we couldn’t really put much together in MF and if it had been Phil Brown’s Hull City the time wasting (and fouling) might have been cynical enough to get the job done, esp. as it seemed 12 on 11 with Probert unwilling to give a pen… Our boys kept at it and really should’ve put it away much earlier. Technically, Giroud is a real eyesore, but like Ramsey, he just keeps working (with only an occasional break to fake an injury)… Ozil doesn’t show the outward passion but he never let his head hang either. Today’s match was all about spirit and beyond the obvious candidates, it’s a quality that seems to run throughout the squad…

    Personally, I think we’ll look a lot tidier and be able to do more in small spaces when Wilshere is a regular. For me, when it comes to our play on the ground, we were really lacking down the left. Poldolski needs to be close to the box or else (for me) he just gums up the works. Gibbs is so one footed and never looks happy on the ball–What a miss that was, eh?… Obviously, Sagna, the warrior, will be hard to replace. but he is clearly at his best in the air or defending rather than as a pressure relief for our MF. If we must assign blame and didn’t like the look of the MF, I think it’s important to look at the guys helping out and their limitations too…

    But that’s what great about football–it’s a team game. Look at what happened in Spain today. The underdogs (Atletico), shorn of a couple of their best players, got the needed result against the big boys–on their turf. In other words a tight group CAN accomplish big things and maybe it’s all the more satisfying to do it that way rather than to simply buy up all the best individuals at each position…

    But now the Summer is on, so here we go. As we propose who to buy (and who to drop…) my only request is to keep an eye to the intangible, more collective impulses in the players we discuss. Remember, there’s a reason their current club is willing to give them up! I’m not saying we don’t need to improve (clearly we do) but let’s try to build on what we’ve been able to create with quality individuals who are also team players and who can enhance what we already have. Or at least that’s my preference (over notions of endlessly searching for incremental individual superiority at each position and assuming that is what will make the best “team.” But that’s just me, of course…

    Back to my beer… 🙂

  • Evening happy BKers! I’m totally drained! i watched that came with a spud chuckling in my living room, with a sense of shock and impending doom from the off. TA and JB, I think its slightly different to our midfield not showing up – I thought our whole team was paralysed by nerves; there was no fluidity to our movement, and no purpose either. We only showed it in glimpses throughout the match. Why we started a cup final so slowly, and so open to any set piece I can only guess at – it frustrates the hell out of me, even on a winning day. But what mattered today was a) we didn’t panic, even when we were 2 down, b) we were patient in going forward, and c) we judged our upping the tempo and pressure just about perfectly – could have done with a few goals sooner for my nerves, but we did most of the right things. As 17 says above, that is a team that has a basis to build upon.

    The sense of relief at the end was truly massive, and I am still surprised how emotional I felt at the sight of Arsene showing his own personal relief and joy at achieving another triumph with our club. Its so easy to forget what a big deal the FA cup still is, and what an effect this will have on the sense of pride and confidence within our team – now a truly winning team. Its sad to see players pretty much confirm that they are off, even on a day like today; but we have a quality core, a happy one at that, and we now have silverware and CL on show for the players we wish to add. While the taunts from the haters will still come no doubt, they won’t cause that flinch of discomfort that comes with an uncomfortable truth, they will just be water off a ducks back!

    A large glass to you all out there – COYG!!!!!!!!!!!

  • that is it @ AB

    we won even though we were probably playing at 57% – had we been closer to our full capacity we may have won 5-2 in full time.

    all is well that ends well and we got over the line !

    3 SQ players in and we can win least 2 trophies every year and you can quote me on that !

    never saw AW this happy before or treated this way – shows the togetherness not only amongst the players but how close they are with the manager as well – Dixon kept mentioning that it would never have happened during his playing days !!!

  • Cheers AB and 17 🙂

    Every reason to drink a beer on that victory and be proud of our win. This was character building for the likes of Gibbs, Ramsey, Koz, Fab and Sanogo, etc.

    What amazed me is how Hull bossed the centre of midfield and forced us to the sides for large parts of the games. Agreed with you 17 that Wilshere gives more structure and possession to our midfield but he would have needed a beast of a DM next to him today to battle with the Hull central midfielders. I thought that Hundredstone did very well for large parts of the game and we were not able to own the area in front of Hull’s ‘D’, which is a key one for us if we want to play our game of football.

    I really thought that Arteta and Ozil were spectators for large parts of the game and just did not influence the game anywhere near enough for me (nothing to do with passion though, 17). But hey we got there and that is all that matters on a day like this.

  • yes, Ozil was – and JW came up and opened up Hull defence for our key goal… even ramsey had a few killer passes in there somewhere as opposed to Ozil side passes today.

    Ozil had a great chance to score a goal or hit the target earlier on in the match as well – I feel he lacked sharpness or wasn’t at the races today

    Arteta hardly ever influences the game and his lack of speed and strength was again exposed today when he was brushed aside a few times by the hull players – saying that, he knows how to break up play and pick up a yellow card for the team or foul smartly as opposed to Flamini

    IF, Arteta is playing these many games next year at Arsenal then you can bet your bottom dollar that we will be struggling to impose ourselves.

  • Agreed JB. I like Arteta as a squad player but it is time to get a more dominant player who is better at defending as well, as our first option.

  • Great write up and good to see you around AB… 007, love the optimism but (re: Sagna at least) I cannot share it… 😦

    Total, I know what you mean about the area near the D… But I would give a nod to Probert on that one…Once Santi scored from the FK he seemed determined to call nothing which might lead to another goal. Giroud was getting absolutely hammered in that area and there was plenty of contact when he was able to lay balls back to our runners… Ironic then that he made the wrong call to award the corner which resulted in the equalizer…

    Ozil shies away from contact which you hate to see in urgent situations like today’s. Arteta is just too slow and awkward in winning 50-50s…I agree that it’s an area of the pitch where we need to buy reinforcement–but we need truly superior players in those areas not guys who give up 15 yellows and a couple of reds in a part-time role. Flamini, though the price was right, was not quite the boon we hoped he might be this season. We can all see the limitations in Arteta’s game, but he moved the ball pretty smartly for the full 120 I thought. We definitely don’t have the same ability to press the opponents into errors w/o Rosicky in the line-up, even if Giroud occasionally forces a mistake. It would be really nice if we (on occasion) could play that sort of game and Theo will be a huge boost in this regard. Still, the patience paid off and going to Yaya (instead of Rosicky, the obvious move, I thought…) opened some spaces. Still, it’s a concern that we couldn’t make a goal from open play until the winner. Our opponents didn’t either, it must be said…

    So, much to work upon, but still something in the effort and the collective will to not accept anything but the victory…

  • TA and JB. I agree with the need for an upgrade at DM. But I didn’t think Arteta was unduly poor today – he wasn’t dominant for sure, but he broke up their play pretty regularly and carried the ball out from our CBs. I like to see our DM regularly winning the ball and then carrying or laying off, but Arteta is never going to be in this space due to size and speed. Like you both though, we need an upgraded first choice for next season, though I would keep Arteta for squad depth without hesitation.

  • you mean , all of us had to suffer while you were at your cousin’s graduation @ D

    🙂 🙂 🙂

    I honestly feel that Sagna wants to play at CB and this is something that man city can offer him on a more regular basis – the big hint was when he played at CB for the last game of the season vs Norwich – when AW paired him with his french colleague .

    he will stay , we all want him to stay and like I said – I have a gut feeling he will stay…just like when I said we would score 3 goals, Santi will score the first goal and so on.

    all this talk of man utd or city wanting him is nothing more than agent talk – why would you want to leave a club that’s going to be winning the champions league next season for a club that will be trying to finish top 4 or one that will try to come out of the group of death (man city, seeded low and in the lower pot due to seeding’s ? )

  • Probert was a joke today, 17, but that cannot be an excuse for not dominating the midfield more. Agreed on needing an upgrade and that Flamini has his limitations, but I would normally play him ahead of Arteta.

  • JB, not sure. Van Gaal needs a RB as he believes Rafael is not good enough and ready yet and City need a CB partner for Kompany. A Sagna and Kompany pairing would be better than a Mert and Kos one? Zab would be at RB and if City get a new LB they will have the best back four in the league.

  • disagreed @ AFC

    man utd – not anywhere near europe for the next 24 months – that’s 2 years matey – he is what 31 or 32 ?

    man city – they have the best RB in the country , he will be sat on the bench if it was the RB position .

    CB with Kompany – that’s frightening but we know how injury prone Vinny is and also, they are looking at long term CB solutions.

    and he hates Nasri 🙂 grapevine has it, that it was Sagna, Giroud and KOC who encouraged the french boss to omit Nasri.

    and it may have some substance behind it.

    if he wanted man city – he could have been there 2-3 years ago.

  • Ok JB you make good points. What about Sagna going abroad. Monoco or PSG will surely be interested? Liverpool if they can pay the wages?

  • he could go to PSG – yes

    or back to france, yes

    but I don’t feel it will be in another English club and Liverpool ? no chance !

    at the end of the day, we must respect his decision and I feel that he will be staying at Arsenal as long as he gets the assurances and maybe those assurances will be that he will be our 3rd CB and not TV – which means that TV5 will either be at Man CITY ( pairing up with his Belgium captain ) which would make much more sense actually or TV5 would be at man utd.

    we must absolutely 110% make sure that we don’t let that happen – re TV5

    him and his advisers will most certainly push for man city or man utd now.

    as you can see, I am more concerned about TV5 than Sagna here, ha

  • Hi 17. A great day to be a gooner! I’ve not written recently, but have dipped into the site when time has allowed; you’ve made some top entries in the last couple of weeks, and kept the flag flying strongly for the loyalist movement. Like you, I doubt Sagna will stay – though I want to believe in JB’s hope. Lots of interesting stuff in today’s game – the loss of faith in Flam, but the confidence in Sanogo; the constant issues of DM frailty combined with lack of pace on the flanks; the pros and cons of Giroud again on show and probably polarising perspectives. The sense I’m left with though is one of overwhelming vindication (not mine, but the sense around Wenger); his oft stated belief in both the talent and the will of this squad was borne out, despite the worst of starts. He should be energised and enthused by today, and some of his choices around starting and subs give an indication of how his thinking on players has evolved over the season. Jack is clearly still central to his plans; Pod looks doubtful I suspect; Flam a bench warmer, and; Sanogo someone who Wenger is starting to show real faith in. Lots to ponder for the season ahead.

  • Good points JB. I’d hate to see either Sagna or Verm line up in either Manc side; hope it doesn’t come to pass. I feel for Verm particularly though – to kick your heels during your prime years waiting for someone else to slip up or get injured is no way to live; he has shown exemplary composure during this period. I would not want him to go as it feels inevitable that we would get a serious injury to one of our current CBs within 5 min of him leaving!

  • Just one question ?……..what does that Fcuking Furry Fiend Fozzie do ?.
    Just finished watching the game ” semi-live ” and after 8 minutes had to ask the missus to check that we won and she hadn`t made a mistake !. I started to think she was getting me back for something I may have done in the past and felt like saying….” let it go !….it was 37 years ago that I had a threesome with your mum and sister on our wedding night ! “.
    The best team won the first ever Ars Hull final and you know me….Mr Logical….we were unlucky not to win by a bigger score !…..4 stone wall penalties, so Hull got off lightly in my book and it was great to put Steve Bruce`s nose out of joint !.
    Love reading the comments , especially ones calling for Ramsey to be subbed !…..watching semi-live !……I wanted him to stay on as he was not afraid in taking shots !.
    Reply to my furry sasquatch………Living in Lesbania, I`m afraid having ” hard feelings” is the norm` here….priapism is an illness which will eventually lead to blindness and is contagious to anyone visiting Lesbania !.

    Fantastic PM from the master, Oz !.
    Admir/Josif….all the best mate !.

  • JB, I went dark and watched the whole game without knowing the result or anything. It was the same pain as you guys. 😉

  • Dylan the teenager more of the manly man than the Cockster who needs to know we’ve won before he can watch…Of course, maybe he just wants to save all that manhood for when he straps on the crown to run his kingdom… (Yes, I said “strap on”…) That sounds like some wedding night and makes me believe each anniversary must be a challenge/joy as well…

    There’s some decent logic in there from 007 re: Sagna, but even I’m not immune to all the paper talk…and running down your contract to the very end (but still sticking your head in on all those 50-50s) is a big risk. The loveliest thing, I think, would be bringing Bac to the AW presser where they both confirm their contracts…Of course, some probably still want the manager out, despite running the table, post Everton away…

    On that note, and recalling that dark day, when many were longing for a manager like Martinez (who I truly rate)…We finished just as many points ahead of them as behind Man City… In other words, sometimes I think we give too much emphasis to the moment at hand, w/o seeing the bigger picture. Today’s result likewise is a real tonic but we clearly need some improvement if we hope to get to the next level…

    And speaking of players who might be staying. I was STUNNED to see Fabianski in goal (and waaayyyy out of it there near the end)… Might he be convinced to stay on and try his luck? (Or Szcz’s bad luck?…)

  • Hey total…No match report (Dylan?…) but I’m up for doing some sort of end-of-season thing. (Not right now, but maybe in a couple of days if you’re not up for something similar). People, however, maybe awfully tired of my b.s., I fear…

  • God I still can’t sleep. We did it guys.

    @ BJ

    I don’t share your opt ism when it comes to Sagna. He will leave on a high. When they came back on the pitch Giroud tried to lift him up and carry him on his shoulders as a tribute. Sagna quickly declined and clearly didn’t want it to appear like a final farewell. He’s humble and wouldn’t want the spotlight but you can tell he is out the door. A real shame. I have a feeling verm will leave and so will arteta because he wants to play football and with a defensive midfielder coming in arsene can’t promise him that.

  • Hi All

    So, like Dylan, I watched it cold. Children are angry, but I’m not! Turned it on 2-3 mins late and you know I saw the redirected volley first. IMO, my thoughts after all the comments..

    A. We were unlucky and mostly by a ref who knew he’d do nothing to be controversial and was thus, yup, controversial. Even 1/2 goal for a post would’ve won it easy… Still, all’s well…

    B. We weren’t dominated in midfield center. RH played three, THREE CBs and stacked it that way. Add in wildly physical challenges that Probert won’t call it all screamed beat us in the air or lose. Add in the early goals and it was always going to be a war of attrition to open them up via fatigue or mistake. Thus, also, no surprise all of first four goals came off set pieces….

    Simply, Hull played the whole game to take away our biggest advantage. With no pace wide, it was very smart. The early goals, more fortunate than good (but hey I’m the first to say it doesn’t matter HOW it got there!!), made it even more effective. The physicality and Probert made it look far more Hulls game.

    Thus …

    C. I’m glad at the character we showed today

    And …

    D. Why did no one note that with Sanogo and two strikers AW changed formation and tactic in the 60th minute. Way early and did I say CHANGE?!? Yup, and to me Sanogo seemed to give them trouble being physical and collapsing so, good call …

    Oh, I thought the final 15 changes of TR and JW were brilliant. Fresh pace and talent. This is where our extreme midfield depth paid off handsomely for us. Had to hurt seeing those guys come in when no one else in the league can replace a Santi and Ozil with similar quality… And so that too played out!

    And then

    E. One sees at the last 20 and OT we got more and more clear, as their fatigue started to show. Thus, to me it wasn’t in doubt from 60 on but a question of no unlucky mistake.. And so it was, a match of effort, grind and attrition in which we DIDNT fold… GREAT stuff …

    Thus, from this, for those already reading TW bits, we want

    F. That B2B defensive type… TV conversion?
    G. More pace wide (Reus) orrrr Strong or pacey ST – pref one who could do both.. Sanogo isn’t quite ready yet…

    So, them my thoughts and no, like JB I believe (hope?) that Sagna will stay. But, we will see!

    Cheers — jgc

  • I will indeed write a match report. Ill do my best to send it in tomorrow. For now, goodnight all.

  • @ professor

    Great comment.

    I’ve always wanted to see tv as a defensive midfielder. He probably has to improve his fitness but it has so many positives. A quality player gets more time, we become more of an aerial threat, less likely to be caught out on a break, he’s got a really good long shot and we have more CB cover.

    Make it happen Arsene

  • Also…it’s no different to hull using huddlestone. Verm is an upgrade on him in a lot of ways and could be our enforcer. Arsene is so flexible with other players but so inflexible when it comes to this sort of thing

  • Hi Oz

    The other wild thought on that. Once upon a time we trialled a young striker of size, physicality and talent named Yaya … Toure …. Now we’ve another very similar young Yaya …. Coincidence or opportunity? 🙂

    Cheers — jgc

  • All

    For those who want a better OG. I want a slick, elusive complementary striker. SQ of course VCC and CM. 🙂

    Why, I point only at the first time back heel that freed ARs shot…

    Just a thought!

    Cheers — jgc

  • Great stuff, Professor, but you’re preaching to the choir here… Agreed that this bit about AW not being tactically flexible is just a mantra…for folks meditating on the glory of change for change sake…Alas, they may have to wait, but at least they can keep saying, “I told you so,” if we stumble…

    Indeed the Sanago switch was bold one. He’s got some real promise and best of all he doesn’t hide. He might’ve kept shooting but (at least) the passing was deliberate. Of course, you don’t want “none” as the answer to the question, “How many goals did your second striker score last season?…”

    Otherwise, all good, and a great point about our depth in MF…

    In my household we’ve switched to the English (clear) spirit…Cheers!

  • WE ARE FA CUP CHAMPIONS FAM!!!!! Fa cup champions!!! I’m still in tears. Tried sleeping and I just kept smiling all through. This feeling is just…unexplainable. Other fans don’t get it. And I even got a couple utd and Chelsea fans trying to mess it up but I tell them ‘you can’t fuck up this much high’. Arsene will stay. Sagna will stay. And I really think ludvine’ll convince him. You see I’m more concerned about Ludvine here. LOOOL™. *whew* it’s been one helluva ride. We’ll have an awesome summer. Just watch and see. And next season… If any other team makes the mistake of letting us spend as much time on top of the league as they did this season, they’ll regret it. I don’t think there’s any team who learns from experience better than arsenal. Team I said. Not manager. :D. It was a good day for football. This trophy worth much more than just the title associated to it. And people will see that in the coming seasons.

    As terry(?) will say, the spirit of the 30’s are stirring! COYG!!!!!!

  • TA – You can use the above for an interim post while you wait for Dylan’s if you want?

  • I was thinking the same when I read your comment, Gerry. So here goes:

    New Post New Post 🙂

    Gerry is back with some fine afterthoughts about the game. Plenty to discuss, I reckon.

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