Where was that all season? by Konstantin Mitov
I honestly can’t quite believe how easily it looked for us to win this FA cup. I didn’t really think we’d turn up, because of the disappointment of finishing fifth and our defensive crisis, which to my surprise didn’t really show.
We we’re the better team and we deserved to win. I have to say that this was the best all around performance from Arsenal all season. Starting with immense individual performances from everyone, which I’ll cover in a moment, I want to highlight how Arsenal felt a whole thing again.
Fans, players and the manager looked united and we packed a punch that hammered Chelsea! Hell, even the owner was here. There was a connection that’s been missing so badly all season, but the fans were brilliant. Wembley feels like home hey?
Now I have to praise some players starting with a guy I’ve been a massive fan of and that’s Nacho Monreal. One of few who were 100% all season, he moved to an unlikely back 3 full of problems and he was his excellent self and all around the back 3 were amazing. That guy Holding. He’s easily slipping into becoming my favorite player.
But the big man on the day is Mertesacker. That was a captain’s performance from a man with 37 minutes of game time, slotting in against the champions and dominating the defense. I like the fact Per is vocal, something Koscielny is missing despite being the better defender. The future of the German is unknown, but he made a quite a game to be remembered with for sure.
Moving upwards, I’ve given lots of stick to Xhaka and Ramsey, but this month we’re finally seeing something good from them and the Swiss just dominated Kante. Aaron scored another Wembley winner and when the team plays so good all over the pitch it’s hard to not be happy.
Even Giroud came on and actually did something! Danny and the Ox were fantastic and Hector as well. Ozil was really good and he should’ve scored at least a goal and Arsenal should’ve scored more, but look no further than the big man Alexis for goals when it matters and he delivered again. 300,000 a week are pennies for a player of that calibre.
Now, I have to give this one to the manager who completely outclassed Conte this time and the Italian still is arguably the best manager in the land. Having said all that, we still need to look at the season from an objective perspective and missing the Champions league is a disaster for us.
Winning trophies is always great, but this shouldn’t excuse the fact, we’ll find out in the beginning of June whether the manager is staying (he is but officially it will come then) and this really destabilized the team and was a huge reason for us missing the top 4 no matter how Arsene tries to deflect this.
The way the board handled this was also terrible. If we want Wenger, why not announce his contract? Why put all of us Limbo? This was just one game still. Not taking away anything from our amazing performance, but the league takes 38 games and we lost like 9 games there. We’ve not made 80 points for a while and our transfer windows have been poor.
We always wait till the end to get business done. Look at City, who already bought that Silva guy. Bang, done, get him in for preseason. I’d be surprised if we do business before mid August. And remember, in Arsene’s own words we started the season unprepared and it ended up costing us.
If Arsene doesn’t add quality and keep Sanchez and Ozil, the questions will be back with a bang. Overall we showed that we are not that bad and that we can play against good teams, but we’ve seen good performances in individual games before, it’s about making it through the entire season with that sort of commitment and it’s all I’ve really asked for.
If we play like that every game with the same intensity and desire, nobody would complain. I really think that this little chant “you’re not fit to wear this shirt” actually kicked the players in the backside and they started to care again. At the end of the day a trophy is a trophy, but we shouldn’t paper over the cracks. I’m hoping we’ll reshuffle the backroom staff and we’ll add somebody to help with transfers.
We’ll stick with Arsene, because we’re unprepared to bring in somebody new, but the FA cup can’t excuse performances like Palace, WBA, Watford, the fact we dropped Sanchez against Liverpool and the overall failure of the season – and Arsene still does not deserve a new contract for the way he always deflects the blame from himself. But he didn’t fail to mention how he deserves respect when he and the Board showed us fans none of it and he praised his 7 FA cup wins and unbeaten season.
I think that others should be talking of your success and if you have to remind them of it, than it’s probably to hide recent failures. Arsenal should be about bigger things than the FA cup. We can celebrate a trophy today, but a summer of hard work is coming and a lot of answers will be given then. Till then, enjoy this FA cup. For all the pain we Arsenal fans had to endure, all of us, despite of our feelings for the players or the manager we deserved something to be happy about!