Search

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

14:56 07 May 2014

Arsenal

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

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino says he felt compelled to confirm his commitment to Tottenham to prove to the club’s current stars and prospective signings that he will be staying at White Hart Lane.

Saturday, April 30, 2016
Arsenal's Gabriel Paulista celebrates Danny Welbeck's winner against Norwich

Arsenal 1 Norwich City 0

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino hopes to emulate Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign at Manchester United and create his own legacy at Tottenham after announcing he has agreed a two-year contract extension.

Dele Alli (right) appeared to punch West Bromwich Albion's Claudio Yacob during Monday's 1-1 draw at White Hart Lane and has been banned for three games

Dele Alli will continue to take part in training until the end of the season, even though he cannot play for Tottenham, to maintain his fitness ahead of this summer’s Euro 2016 Championship.

Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Mauricio Pochettino has announced he has verbally agreed a two-year contract extension at Tottenham, extending his stay at White Hart Lane until 2021.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe  (back row, centre) visited Haringey Police Boxing Club on Tottenham High Road. Pic: Dieter Perry

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe visited Haringey Police Boxing Club to meet a contingent of fighters who are hoping to compete in the Haringey Box Cup in June.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
Jack Wilshere and Santi Cazorla of Arsenal (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Although they spurned the chance to win the league title, Arsenal Under-21s still have a chance to reach the top tier of second-string football via the play-offs.

Thursday, April 28, 2016
James Harris in action for Middlesex

Middlesex seamer James Harris feels squad rotation is essential if the club are to successfully negotiate a punishing schedule during the coming weeks.

Newsletter Sign Up

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

Kindle 7 inch tablet

Are you looking for a brand new gadget to help you stay connected on the go and make that long journey home a bit more entertaining? Look no further. MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Kindle Fire 7” Display Tablets! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Yummy traditional afternoon teas for two

MyOffers is giving you the chance to win 1 of 50 Traditional Afternoon Teas for two at a location of your choice! That’s 50 times more chances to win, so hurry up and enter our competition today and you could be one of our lucky winners!

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe