To be honest, the Arsenal players and Arsene Wenger have had enough prior warnings in recent years about just how dangerous it can be to go into a game, especially a very important one, assuming that you are the better team and so the job of winning is already half done.
Going back to that painful League cup final defeat to Birmingham City in the last few minutes, right up to the recent first leg disaster against the French club Monaco in the Champions League, Arsenal have come unstuck like this a few times.
There have also been a few times when we survived the dreaded cup upset and perhaps the most important of those was in the FA cup semi-final and then again in the final last season. That semi-final against Wigan needed a rare goal from Per Mertesacker to take us into extra time and penalties and then we were faced with the nightmare of conceding two early goals to Hull City in the final.
But as nerve wracking and painful as they were, the near misses should have taught the Gunners not to take Saturday´s semi-final opponents Reading lightly. That is what our French midfielder Mathieu Flamini is saying anyway, as reported by the Arsenal website.
He said, “Wigan definitely [gave us a warning] which is why we know exactly what to expect. The FA Cup is a very tough challenge and you have to give everything to win it.
“We know it’s never easy to win a trophy and we are very focused. It won’t be easy because we will play a very good team, but let’s start with the semi-final, let’s do the job properly and hopefully we will win it again this year.
“The first time was a great moment. I was at the club for three years and to win the FA Cup is always very important. It was a great moment, a great communion with the fans and I will always remember it.
“The second time was a chance [for me] to win a trophy straight away and there was a lot of emotion and happiness. The club didn’t have the chance to win it for many years, so I was very happy it happened the year I came back.”
As well as the semi-final scare against Wigan helping Arsenal to focus, do you think that winning the trophy last season will make it easier for Arsenal to repeat the feat this time?