Well that was a lovely way for us to finish the league season. 4 goals, all in the first half, with some quite blistering football played in the first 45. For me I still approached the game with a slight whiff of trepidation with the nightmare scenario of us losing 3-0 and United winning 4-0 at Hull leaving us in 4th. It was only a whiff as I say but with the 3 home games preceding the West Brom game providing a grand total of 0 goals I thought there may be a little room for panic. Theo Walcott swiftly saw to that with a blistering first goal. He soon followed that with a ‘proper’ strikers’ finish using his toe, as all good strikers do when they have to. Wilshere followed the first 2 up with what is now the Goal of the Season – Well done Gooners on Twitter! Personally speaking I thought that Bobby Zamora’s goal was just out of this world and deserved the award, the strike was a thing of beauty and one that a more glamorous football may have well won with. That’s what you get for being Bobby Zammora. The 4th could well have been Cazorla’s but you can’t blame Theo for stealing in with a tap in to complete his hat-trick. The main thing is that we had our shooting boots on today and got back amongst the goals so we can go into the Cup Final with some confidence.
The second half saw us slow down a few gears and remain injury and stress free. Apart from one moment. The goal we conceded didn’t reflect very well upon any of our back four but mainly our keeper. He came, he jumped and he was conquered. It’s happened a fair few times over a fair few seasons to all of our keepers since mad Jens and will need to be looked at over the course of the next week for FA Cup Final selection. I firmly believe Wenger doesn’t know who he will pick just yet and not just because of the mishap in the game but because of the uncertainty that has clouded both of our keepers’ decision making throughout the season. Last season Fabianski got the final league game of the season in prep for the Final. But this time around Wenger stuck with Ospina, which suggested at the fact that it could be him for the final. But pictures of the Scz suggested that he seemed pretty relaxed. Now I realise that this could be myself reading a little too much into the situation, however he didn’t look like a guy that was preparing for a frustrating week. I really do think a good week in training for either, coupled with the mistakes Ospina has made, for there to be a bit of back and forth for who’ll be between the sticks for the final. Personally I want the guy who will ensure we’ll win the cup! I have a feeling that the Scz will get the nod, I just hope he leaves his errors and cigarettes at home.
The other real selection conundrum that Wenger has is whether to pick Walcott or not. With Giroud being a little out of touch and Walcott now lighting the touch paper with Arsenal’s 2nd fastest ever hat-trick Wenger has another important decision to make. The decision is whether we go with a more conservative approach with Giroud up top and Ramsey right side, with Walcott in the side our shape would change a little bit into a more detached one. In my mind that’s the only decision left to make. The Ox looked too rusty to start and Welbeck is out so the only options from the right are Theo or Ramsey based on the last few weeks. If Theo plays on the right then it’s a question of Ramsey or Cazorla but I think he’ll want both of them in so the ultimate decision he’ll have to make is Walcott or Giroud.
The on pitch stuff aside, there have been plenty of rumours to suggest our summer transfer dealings are in motion already. I’m sure there are a few things happening behind the scenes but I highly doubt anything is close to being done simply because Wenger’s mind will be on the Cup Final. The names we’re being linked with are all good ones; Schneiderlin, Cech, Vidal & Lacazette. Lord knows we need at least 2 if not 3 of the above to challenge, but it remains to be seen as to what Le Boss will do.
We have a real chance to end the season on a high so I really do hope we take it. It would be amazing to lift the FA Cup once again and to do it would actually mean progress simply because the momentum will remain with us. To not win it would mean a season of regression and it would demotivate a lot of the squad also making the summer transfer business more difficult. Players like coming into winning teams so we’ll need to win to reinforce our transfer market position. I’m nervous and excited but really want to feel that winning Wembley feeling again.
So onto Wembley we go. Come on you Gunners, let’s bring it home!
Have a great week people.
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