Search

All Guns Blazing: Success tastes sweet, now Arsenal must build on it

12:21 21 May 2014

Arsenal

Arsenal's Santi Cazorla (left), Tomas Rosicky (second left), Mathieu Flamini (second right) and Lukas Podolski (right) celebrate with the FA Cup

EMPICS Sport

In the last of this season’s Arsenal fan columns, Alex Bellotti reflects on the topsy-turvy FA Cup final and the Gunner’s season as a whole

As Layth Yousif noted last week, Arsenal FA Cup finals are rarely dull – but my God, how many of us were expecting that?

Ten minutes in, 25,000 fans and I were watching the match on the Emirates big screens and the atmosphere was poisonous.

“Just shut up, you don’t have a clue, you stupid ****,” cried one fan behind us. We turned around, terrified a fight was breaking out between the Wenger Knows Best and the Wenger Out Brigades. “Oh it’s all right everyone,” he quickly mediated, “I was just shouting at Michael Owen’s commentary.”

In the end of course, it was an incredible turnaround and a classic final. All three goals were telling: the quality of Santi Cazorla’s free kick, Laurent Koscielny’s knack for scoring on the big occasion and who better to decide the contest than our undoubted player of the season, Aaron Ramsey?

Though I couldn’t make the parade – unlike a quarter of million fans, kudos – the celebrations that spilled immediately into Islington were incredible. The sheer relief of it all made for an atmosphere close to those closing scenes in Fever Pitch, and it was quite special talking with Gooners from all over the world as others climbed traffic lights and rode the tops of moving buses.

Considering the ever-increasing competition within the Premier League, it was always going to take a bit of luck (we never left London in the FA Cup) alongside skill and character to end our drought, but who’s complaining?

The season as a whole has been, I suppose, one of a ‘valley’ shape; it started high, dipped considerably, but ultimately rose again. It makes a change from the usual ‘cliff’ shape and, while not hinting at full redemption, certainly marks progress that we haven’t seen for a long time.

A few inevitable departures will need replacing, but as a whole, the core of our squad is tied down and we need to capitalise on that with a solid summer in the transfer market.

At the helm of it, seemingly, will be Arsene Wenger and while the jury will still be out on him, he is undoubtedly one of the world’s most respected managers and a major draw for the pedigree of talent we need to pursue.

We’ve got him, some seriously talented ‘winners’ and finally some silver to sit amongst the gold at the Emirates. That to me is a decent list of ingredients, so here’s hoping everyone’s got a taste for success going forward. See you for the Community Shield!

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

Tomorrow, 08:00
Charlie Hodgson kicked three penalties in Saracens' victory over Exeter on Sunday. Pic: Andrew Matthews/PA Wire

Saracens’ director of rugby Mark McCall is confident his current squad can maintain the club’s momentum at the top of the table, despite the absence of key international stars due to the Six Nations.

15:41
Left to right: Amir Castronovo, Gabriele Giovannoni, Alexis Lambropoulos, Ella McEver, Marlie Rittenhouse, Julia Murphy and Ally Dill

Eleven-year-old rising star Brandon Biss led the way as Camden Swiss Cottage picked up 68 medals over three weekends of racing in the County Championships.

15:38
Hendon's man of the match Harry Charles. Pic: Paolo Minoli

Hendon progressed to the quarter-finals of the Middlesex Vase after coming from behind to beat Millfield Old Boys 40-21 in a rollercoaster encounter.

Right-back Kieran Trippier scored Tottenham's winning goal in Saturday's 1-0 victory over Watford at White Hart Lane

Tottenham blogger Chris Miller feels that, while Kieran Trippier and Ben Davies got into some dangerous positions against Watford on Saturday, they could have made more of the opportunities.

15:49
Matt Botha scored Hampstead & Westminster's goal. Pic: Mark Clews

Hampstead & Westminster’s men returned from the winter break with a 3-1 home defeat against basement boys Canterbury, leaving them one point outside the bottom two in the Premier Division.

Yesterday, 18:30
Hendon manager Gary McCann. Pic: Andrew Aleksiejczuk

Hendon manager Gary McCann branded his side’s performance “embarrassingly poor” after Metropolitan Police striker Leon Smith hit a hat-trick to secure a 3-0 victory against his former club on Saturday.

Yesterday, 17:04
Tommy Tejan-Sie lets fly for Wingate & Finchley. Pic: Martin Addison

Wingate & Finchley captain Marc Weatherstone feels the Blues have gained an important boost of confidence after earning their first win in 10 games by beating Burgess Hill Town 5-1 in the Ryman League Premier Division on Saturday.

Yesterday, 14:41
Highgate Harriers' Oran Gallagher was fourth in the boys' Under-13 race. Pic: Dieter Perry

Highgate Harriers’ Under-11 boys romped to victory in round four of the North West London Young Athletes League at the Bannister Stadium on Saturday.

Most read 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

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe