I can see where the Arsenal centre back Per Mertesacker is coming from and of course we are all happy, relieved and proud to see the Gunners make it to Wembley for a second successive FA cup final. However, I am not so sure that even lifting the famous trophy again will really ease the pain caused when Arsenal blew our best chance in years of reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.
Our failure against the unfancied French club Monaco is fresh in the memory again as the second legs of the tournament are upon us and maybe that is why our Big Effin German has brought up the topic in a statement on the Arsenal website. The defender had to be replaced after picking up an injury against Reading but he had already played a key role against a fiercely determined Reading side.
Mertesacker said, “I twisted my ankle but obviously I am delighted that we are back at Wembley – that is a fantastic achievement for this group for the second consecutive time. We are really proud.
“It was a really tough game and we knew before that they would fight for their lives and give absolutely everything to keep us away from their goal and they did it fantastically. We are just delighted that we made it again.
“It is a little progress [and] it would be a great honour, back to back FA Cup wins. We were knocked out of the Champions League and that was a big blow for us but after that we responded and it is a great achievement. Let’s continue our great run.
“We just wanted to win and do something fantastic for the team and the group. You can see everyone is absolutely happy and delighted.”
It will be great for the Gunners to win back to back trophies but the FA cup is still only our third priority and it still does not get around the fact that we should be doing better in Europe. But we are almost certain to be in it again and probably without having to face the play-offs again. And with real signs of improvement at the club, perhaps next season will see Arsenal really erase the pain of our early exit by going all the way. What do you think?