Search

All Guns Blazing: Rain or shine, Arsenal FA Cup finals are never dull

14:32 14 May 2014

Arsenal goalscorers Ray Parlour and Fredrik Ljungberg celebrate with the FA Cup in 2002

Arsenal goalscorers Ray Parlour and Fredrik Ljungberg celebrate with the FA Cup in 2002

EMPICS Sport

Gooner and football journalist Layth Yousif looks back at the highs and lows of Arsenal’s FA Cup final history in our weekly fan column

Support your community by viewing your local businesses

Please wait

You will be able to read the article in 5 seconds

Thank you for supporting your local community

You may now read the article

Arsenal in the FA Cup Final brings memories flooding back. Five trips to Wembley in the space of four months in 1993, including the FA Cup final and replay against Sheffield Wednesday. As a Londoner attending Newcastle University, myself and a pal known as The Wiseman had little sympathy for bleating Wednesday fans who complained of having to make four Wembley trips in a month.

Certainly not having to add an extra 200 miles onto our round-trip – and the dubious pleasures of the overnight coach. So it was no wonder we met Andy Linighan’s last-gasp winner with untrammelled ecstasy – it was a price worth paying. As was the purchase of the 1998 Cup Final record Hot Stuff.

It was certainly hot the day we beat an insipid Newcastle side bereft of ideas and imagination – or maybe it was more to do with Adams and Bould, Vieira and Petit, Overmars and Parlour et al performing majestically as we clinched the double? May 16, 1998 at a sun-baked Wembley is still one of my favourite-ever matches supporting the Arsenal.

2001 in south Wales saw another heatwave, even if the weekend was spoiled by two late Michael Owen goals I never forgave him for. Also never forgiven was Tim Lovejoy for those derisory words against our Ray, words which will haunt Lovejoy forever as we claimed victory in 2002.

Fast forward to 2005 and it was Manchester United fans not forgiving us for winning the Cup on penalties after a leaden display. We didn’t care – especially when we had the trophy in our hands.

Come Saturday I shall be at Wembley again with my ticket gleaned from 25 away credits – even if many equally long-standing fans and season-ticket holders failed to get one due to the ridiculously low allocation. I’ve always said the Community Shield should be the game to reward the so-called ‘football family’ – not the biggest domestic cup final where tickets (and touts) are at a premium.

But whether you’re going to Wembley or heading for the big screens at The Grove after a trip to Piebury Corner – having picked up a copy of The Gooner (and my exclusive interview with Sol Campbell) – I guarantee Arsenal fans everywhere will be singing that immortal song which begins: “What did she wear…”

I know I will.

PS: As a very superstitious type, in response to a reader’s question: I’ve also penned this column before the Spurs, Everton and Wigan Cup games…

Follow me @laythy29

0 comments

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 Sport Stories

Wed, 18:26
Islington Schools Running League

Mossbourne Academy pair Luca Minale and Nile McKenzie clinched victories in the Islington Schools Running League with two races to spare.

Wed, 18:12
FC Unity Under-12s

Alex Smith and Rees Jones both registered braces as FC Unity Under-12s routed Crown & Manor 7-2 to keep pace with the Camden & Islington League leaders.

Wed, 18:00
England captain Matt Dean at the Blind World Cup

England captain Matt Dean says his team have learned a great deal from their experience at the Blind World Cup despite defeat in the semi-finals.

Wed, 17:54
Gladstone Wanderers (white/red) vs Boston Celtic in the Jack Morgan Cup. Pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

Gladstone Wanderers gave fellow Division Three side Boston Celtic a 5-0 thrashing to book a place in the second round of the Jack Morgan Cup.

Most read sport

And they have a role to play in saving their species.

Twinkle, twinkle you little stars – thanks for making your homes so festive.

Offers for university places are at a record high.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition