Wigan Warriors-Arsenal,Not Them !

What a jigsaw of a day ! 
It has take me a little while to put the jigsaw together – but I have it at last.  
Waking up this morning (eventually) the events of all of yesterday, from waking up in the early hours with the fan’s usual nightmare of leaving my match tickets at home, a potter in the garden, the uneventful trip to London, early to the stadium, the gradual slow rise in tension as the kick off approached, the slight tick of adrenaline, nothing more  …………………………………… no inkling at all really ……………none …..
Then two and a half hours of emotional, mind bending, throat wrenching, expletive exhausting football. YES FOOTBALL! 
And what a semi final it was – by no means anyone’s idea of a classic football encounter. No football connoisseur or coaching guru will have marked yesterday in their book of notable landmarks. 
The Pie Eaters controlled, resolute, unimaginative but, as they had proved in their two most recent FAC games against Citeh, never a side to be under-estimated. Don’t ever try to tell lightning how many times it has struck or will strike – lightning is not interested in your opinion or even your statistics.
For Arsenal that bit of hesitation in our passing, a degree of rust in our flow across the park with the ball, the back of the players’ minds exercised by the certainty that for us to win was expected, but to lose would be calamity.   
And so the game unfolded. From my eyrie might above the goal I watched, as you all did, the efforts we made to push Wigan, to look for holes, to chase and harry, to find that opening that would bring the goal and settle our collective nerves.
Sanogo worked and worked and worked, then ran some more.  The Ox was by far our most effective performer. Aaron tried to bring his energy and some intelligence into the contest, to differentiate between a side who play as we can, and he Championship scufflers.
But it was not to be. An error –or a freak injury – I do not even know now having watched it again on the box last night handed the penalty to Gomez and suddenly the challenge before us took on a steeper tilt, and the  clock which had measured the afternoon as a neutral custodian of time now began to menace us. 
Cometh the hour, cometh the man – as so often the BFG showed why he has earned 100+ German caps and, having watched the headed finish again on TV, is a much finer footballer than many credit him for.
The final minutes and extra time, flashed by. By then my voice had gone, my mind was going, I had words with a pair behind me who had pressed my button on Sanogo’s alleged shortcomings once too often ( the looks of horror at the row on the fans around us were fair to behold). The players were shot, both sides running on empty tanks, legs barely able to sustain a run over ten yards much less a decent shot.
And so to penalties – my personal horror – I hate penalties – hate them – stemming perhaps from my first ever penalty shoot out in the Heysel. I peered into the abyss, and the abyss peered back.  
Fabianski – an individual triumph but a triumph that embodied the collective effort of a team that gave its all on a day when it mattered.
Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try Again. Fail again. Fail better.
But go to the FA Cup final
Thanks to Andrew( @anicoll5 ) for today’s wonderful post

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58 comments on “Wigan Warriors-Arsenal,Not Them !

  1. very well said andrew…an embarassment of epic proportions if the moronic side of the arsenal “support” get their way……. do you all now see why i insist in club protecting wenger and putting the psychotic fans at their places?


  2. and how utterly embarassing that a chelsea fan can get it and arsenal fans dont

    from f365

    What Were Wenger’s Targets?
    Not a Gooner but this is one that is starting to get me. Many people have contributed recently saying essentially “Arsene has not performed, therefore Arsene must go”.

    Quite rightly, people are saying that in business, people in high managerial positions have (usually) clear targets and if they don’t reach them – it’s goodbye Sir.

    Personally I am not in a managerial position, but I also get targets every year. I try to achieve them, and often slightly exceed them, but that’s it. No more. If I see I’m on target and have some time to spare, then I kinda slack off and spend a lot more time on sites such as Football365 and others. Shoot me but that’s me and I doubt I’m the only one.

    Now as regards to Arsene Wenger, if his objective, as set by his paymasters, was to win the league or the FA Cup, then sure, he has failed in the last 9 years. No question.

    But was this his real objective? The one agreed between him and the Arsenal board? I would say no, it wasn’t. His real objective was probably to be in the top 4 at the end of the season, with possibly for added measure be in the hunt for the title at some stage during the season (which is a cynical objective whose sole purpose was to get the fans excited, renewing their season tickets at high prices). And by that measure, my friends, he has achieved, most years including this one.

    I am sure year after year, the economist in Arsene has budgeted in order to achieve this at minimal cost – hence lack of heavy investment in the squad most years and broken-down negociations with his top players who asked for big money, didn’t get it and so went elsewhere. If the objective had been the title, then Arsene might have thought he needed to keep his star players and attract some new ones for this and would have spent more. But since he saw that the objective was achievable without breaking the bank, well guess what – he didn’t break the bank and yet achieved his target.

    Unfortunately, unless we know exactly what the targets were, we won’t know whether the board is to blame for setting the objectives too low, or Arsene for not reaching them.
    Mike (Chelsea)


  3. Andrews posts have been pilfered for a main post.


  4. Jenkinson on the right wing/midfield:

    The Arsenal 1 – Levy’s Bungling Brigadiers 0

    Last few minutes both Gibbs and Jenkinson on in midfield. Think that happened in another game around the same time too.


  5. Arsenal. With the dreadful injuries of this season, whatever reasons (still speculation), I would consider top 4 and FA a marvelous achievement in a season of continuing transition. Without the extent of injuries we would be in the EPL title mix, no doubt.

    Turning to Chelsea Mike’s views, I would have thought this season Arsenal absolutely set its sights on one trophy, plus a competitive run in the EPL (contender for top spot, nothing is ever guaranteed). The groundwork for that had been laid in the season prior, and with the addition Ozil.

    After the Villa game, we put together a fantastic run, punching at times a little above our weight in terms of continuing to put the results together, and creating expectation. Too little has been made of the injuries, and its so obvious. Six players mainly, for extended spells, Lukas and Ox in the first 3-4 months, Theo then Aaron, Jack and then Ozil.

    A few blog-type fans have been injured for years, broken morale and torn spirit.

    For my part, quite personal actually, one could have invented no better crossing of the rubicon, the manner of it, the test of nerves, not quite an Arsenal-type encounter, than at Wembley against Wigan after a horrible result; not an elite contest but a raw running contest for 120 minutes against a stern championship side with an able defence, a cup pedigree and spirit, the type top level managers loath and fear. We outplayed them, and could not get the ball into the net, off the bar twice, off the line, a few other chances begging. Yet, we won it. Theo would have sealed it, but then so would Ozil or Jack. In keeping with the match it had to be Per who conceded a penalty, then equalized.


  6. hunter13,
    re your comment discussing targets. People often assume Man U have 1st in league as target however I have a copy of one of the Man U annual reports at home and it clearly states the target is 3rd in the league.

    Any sensible business would set three sets of targets; Best, Desired, Essential. On this basis, I’d imagine Best to be League and all other trophies, Desired to be League plus one other trophy, Essential to be qualification to Champions League.

    So overall, as people keep reminding me, top 4 is ‘a’ target, however I need to remind them it is not THE target.


  7. Tonight was kind of normal,
    Slow start, a bit nervous.
    Conceded comedy goal, then turn on the afterburners to win.
    Delighted with Poldi’s clinical brace and as for Giroud, well of Tito or Denis had scored that when twitter was around, the adoration would have been infinite.


  8. Thanks Stuart,
    We had forgotten wining the league was (is) the target.
    Every year is a must or else there is something wrong, right?


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