The flags are being taken out of the lofts, the Arsenal shirts on top of the washing pile next to the washing machine as Arsenal fans countdown to kick off for this weekend’s trip to Wembley. We’ve become a little spoilt in recent years, Wembley becoming a second home to us. Last year we hobbled past Wigan before an enthralling low to high cup final against Wigan, one that will live long in the memory for those who were present. This season we thumped Manchester City in the Community shield before recently doing that hobbling thing past Reading. Now Aston Villa stand in the way of a famous back to back FA Cup triumph. Not only this but Arsène will have won his sixth FA Cup if he can pull this off, which would be an English record. Those who have been search high and low in the ticket marketplace for cup tickets may well be a little disappointed, as they are in short supply.
If you cannot get to Wembley then I would recommend doing the next best thing, and that is buying some tickets for the screening at the Emirates stadium. I shall be taking my son along this year and from what I hear, it is as close as you can get to being at the real thing.
Onto the game itself, the manager has some tough decisions to make ahead of the final. One of those decisions will be who take his place between the sticks. David Ospina has been Arsenal’s number 1 for most of the season but traditionally Arsène has often stuck with his number 2. But all does not seem well with former number one Szczesny so I expect Ospina to get a shot. Literally as well. Well if he produces any of the howlers we saw in the previous match then he’d do well to avoid the other kind of shot.
The other major decision Arsène Wenger has to make will be who leads the line. Oliver Giroud has had his best season in an Arsenal shirt and it’s been his goals that has dug us out of many a hole this season but in recent weeks he has lost his confidence and has failed to hit the net for many weeks. So Theo Walcott was given a chance against West Brom and he struck home a hat trick, something Giroud has never managed in an Arsenal shirt. So what to do? I could see the manager going either way with this one.
As long as we lift the cup and my son and I can come back happy then I don’t care.