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 Islington Gazette 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 Islington Gazette 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 Islington Gazette 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 Islington Sports News

12:00
Dawid Malan hits out for Middlesex. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Skipper Dawid Malan believes Middlesex’s NatWest T20 Blast campaign is gathering pace after they recorded back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

07:11
Isledon Wolves player Ethan Irvine (right) and coach Adrian Daley celebrate cup success in 2013

A decade strewn with silverware is not an achievement to be overlooked – but there are other means of gauging success at Isledon Wolves.

Yesterday, 16:50
Middlesex's Toby Roland-Jones

It’s always great to see two young guys come together in a partnership like Nick Gubbins and Steve Eskinazi did this week against Lancashire.

Yesterday, 16:00
Islington side Access2Sports Under-16s, who won the Community Basketball League play-off final

Islington’s emerging basketball stars completed a double as both of their teams were crowned Community Basketball League champions at the play-off finals weekend.

Yesterday, 15:24
Fusion FC coaches Sarah Cleary (left) and Carrie-Anne Layton (right) with girls at the weekly coaching sessions at Market Road

The new Camden & Islington Girls’ League is to be launched in September following a successful series of weekly coaching sessions at Market Road.

Yesterday, 12:58
Arsenal's Asisat Oshoala

Arsenal Ladies boss Pedro Martinez Losa is backing Asisat Oshoala to be a long-term success despite a slow start to her Gunners career.

Yesterday, 07:07
Highgate captain Jake Sharland

Highgate captain Jake Sharland wants his side to forget about results and focus on enjoying the game as they attempt to turn their season around.

Tue, 10:13
North Middlesex's Connor Nurse took 4-20 against league leaders Ealing but was less successful when he opened the batting, being bowled first ball. Pic: Max Flego

North Middlesex find themselves just one point above the relegation zone in the Premier Division of the Middlesex County League after their latest failure with the bat resulted in a defeat against leaders Ealing.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

£15k prize bundle

Imagine having the opportunity to win an incredible £15,000 bundle of some of the most amazing prizes available. Well, for one lucky contest entrant that dream could soon become a reality because we at MyOffers are offering an incredible free prize bundle that will make even the most hardened person wild with excitement.

Win a BMW 1 series

There are fewer cars currently on the market more stylish and exciting than the BMW. Known all over the world as one of the best car manufacturers, the BMW is renowned for sleek designs and fantastic high quality workmanship.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe