Search

All Guns Blazing: Arsenal’s FA Cup anticipation is a double-edged sword

14:56 07 May 2014

Arsenal's Bacary Sagna (left) and Jack Wilshere on the pitch after the final whistle

Arsenal's Bacary Sagna (left) and Jack Wilshere on the pitch after the final whistle

PA Wire/Press Association Images

Arsenal supporter Alex Bellotti looks towards the FA Cup final and says goodbye to Bacary Sagna in our weekly fan column

Thanks to Man City’s despatching of Everton on Saturday evening, Arsenal’s game against West Brom was the sort of carefree lunchtime jaunt I can’t remember experiencing for some time.

While every one of us would switch it for the unbearable intensity of still competing for the title, it made a nice change from our previous two seasons, which have seen tense last day shoot-outs with Tottenham for that much-vaunted Champions League spot.

The game itself was played at a saunter and all minds were clearly already turned to Wembley. It’s been nice again to hear those lovely lines of She Wore A Yellow Ribbon and even Jack Wilshere joined in the fun as his toddler came out wearing said accessory for their post-match lap of appreciation.

Yet, as we all know from Liverpool’s utterly hilarious capitulation against Crystal Palace on Monday – Luis Suarez has never been so watchable – if there’s one polar opposite to the euphoria of winning, it’s the humiliation of watching fans of other clubs laughing in your bleary-eyed face. Because of Arsenal’s well-publicised trophy drought, the potential decibels of such laughter will be enough to break the windows of every house around Islington if we lose the final.

Arsenal’s capacity for disaster is worryingly large and given our recent record, Arsene Wenger’s rather self-assured promise that he will sign a new contract seems potentially premature.

Like many, my standpoint on his future is rather torn, but should the FA Cup slip away from us, the climate amongst Gooners will surely make it very difficult for him to follow through on his promise without a major backlash. Let’s just hope that scenario never materialises.

Finally, a word for Bacary Sagna, whose appearance on Sunday looked to be his last at the Emirates. Much like his career in the famous red and white, his goodbye was understated and professional, but I struggle to think of a single right-back in the league who has been as consistently effective over the last seven years.

In an age where it’s become the vogue for full-backs to mask their defensive inefficiencies with pacy, attacking instincts, his ability to combine both arts to a high level really does make him difficult to replace. While it would be a shame to see him at a Premier League rival, such has been his prior commitment to the Gunners that you couldn’t even begrudge him then. Goodbye Bacary and good luck.

Follow me @AlexBellotti

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

08:57

Middlesex hat-trick hero Toby Roland-Jones says the squad were always confident in their ability to become county champions this year.

Yesterday, 22:30

Mauricio Pochettino says it is important that Tottenham’s players are “desperate” to stay at the club and do not need to be convinced to remain at White Hart Lane.

Yesterday, 18:46

Middlesex dethroned Yorkshire in a thrilling finish at Lord’s to win their first County Championship title since 1993.

Yesterday, 13:01

Mauricio Pochettino will today assess the fitness of Danny Rose, Mousa Dembele and Eric Dier ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Middlesbrough – but he admits it might be “a risk” to select his midfield duo at the Riverside Stadium.

Yesterday, 07:00

In the latest of a series of features casting the spotlight on local football fans, Martin Stephens reveals his favourite player, his most memorable match and the worst moment he has experienced following Wingate & Finchley.

Thu, 22:30

Christian Eriksen says the recent spate of contract renewals at Tottenham shows the players are keen to keep the current squad together for the long term, because they all feel there is “something special to build on” at White Hart Lane.

Thu, 18:33

Tim Bresnan’s unbeaten century kept Yorkshire on course for a hat-trick of County Championship titles – and all but ended Middlesex’s hopes of snatching their crown.

Thu, 15:17

As the dual meaning of the club’s name would suggest, Soccerscool FC is based around twin objectives – developing football skills and having fun.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Interested in purchasing a flat and want to know the rules, rights and regulations as a leaseholder? Or maybe you are already a leaseholder and want to find out more about extending your lease?

Scores of people visited the opening of Composite Door Master’s first public showroom in Hayes at the weekend, where they were treated to a spectacular show by award winning magician, Marc Oberon.

You’ve got cash, you’ve got style and you’ve got a bursting social calendar, but no time. These Crouch End studio suites to rent could be your dream come true.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

If you’re obsessed with Apple or just love a good gadget, this is a prize that will blow you away! An incredible £3,333 to spend on Apple goodies! How would you like to be the proud new owner of the Apple Watch?

As we grow older it becomes more and more important to have means to travel about safely and quickly. Our friendship groups and families grow and the need to have a car that is not only safe but also fast and big enough for all our needs is ever more important. There are many cars on the market for such needs but none deals with them as efficiently or as neatly as a VW Golf Estate. These cars are build strong, long lasting and spacious for a reason. They cater to the needs of many and are some of the most popular cars currently on the market.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now