Wenger, Loyalty and FA Cup Success
It’s FA Cup final day and if only records were kept of how many times Arsenal fans have dreamt of a day like this, I am pretty certain the world’s largest record store wouldn’t be able to contain it. All through recent weeks, we have all been fixated on this encounter and honestly I can’t wait for it to kick off.
I was listening to ‘A Bergkamp Wonderland Podcast’ recently and one of the questions asked was who would you pick to score the goal that wins us the cup, immediately a plethora of players went through my head. Ramsey was up first, what an amazing season he has had and it would be perfect to cap it with a winning goal, Sagna? Kick, win and then leave the club just like Viera? Or Ozil, the mega signing that has brought amazing belief to the squad? While I was still undecided and the chattering on the pod went on, one of the guys went with Arsene Wenger!!
Hmmm, so we know Le Boss didn’t have the finest of football careers but when he said Arsene, it wasn’t due to his ability to actually score a goal but because of the fitting nature of him scoring a goal that would give Arsenal a trophy. A trophy that would symbolize all he has worked for since this Arsenal project started with the move to the new stadium. A ground that has the constant reminder of the last trophy Wenger and Arsenal have won embedded on it.
The club has stood with Wenger all these years and Wenger has shown extreme loyalty to the club and his players. We can accuse him of many things but we can never doubt his loyalty to seeing a fruitful end to a project he was a part of from inception. It’s easy to say who wouldn’t be loyal with the kind of money he earns but if it was about money he would have gone to Real, PSG or even Monaco and earned a whole lot than he currently earns.
When asked if he would be back at the Emirates next season, Wenger simply said: “Yes.
“I don’t know (when I will sign a new deal). I told you many times that my word is my word. I am from a period where you didn’t need a pen to commit.”It is not linked (with the FA Cup final) at all. It was important to be in the Champions League, that is for sure.
Wenger is the only man I know that if posed with this interview question can answer with the same response and it would be the honest answer.
Interviewer: Monsieur Wenger, what is your key strength?
Interviewer: Monsieur Wenger, what would you consider your greatest weakness in a workplace?
Lead Interviewer (speaks quietly with his colleagues and then says): As an Arsenal fan for almost 17years, Monsieur I can’t help but agree with you on those last two questions.
The thing about been extremely loyal is that you almost completely expect the same from other people and in Wenger’s case, his extreme loyalty to his players has not always paid off but with this present crop, it seems it might bear fruit. Ramsey, Gibbs, Szczesny, Rosicky are players who have contributed immensely this term and are repaying the managers trust in their abilities.
Arsenal has been in some form of transition and we needed a steady hand to guide us, Wenger’s loyalty provided that steadiness and time has come for him to reap the rewards. If he should continue to be in charge is a debate that divides the fan base right down the middle but we are not going to dwell on any negatives today.
A little about the game, we need to win. Those four words summarize everything else one can say about the game from an Arsenal perspective. I have made it a point of duty to completely block any memories of previous final loses and even when it is referenced in a tweet on my timeline, I quickly move on. Winning this cup is the only option. There is no way else one can write it.
A major topic for discussion has been who will start in goal and this argument wasn’t helped at all by Fabianksi starting our last league game against Norwich. My opinion is Fabianski straight away, he has been amazing whenever he is called up and he was extremely instrumental to our making it to the finals with his penalty saves. Szczesny is the best keeper at the club but Wenger is a man of his word and he has said Fabianski is the cup keeper so I would expect him to start.
Of more importance to me is who starts up front, Sanogo seems to be the FA Cup choice but I am seriously hoping he doesn’t and I think it’s very different from the goal keeping situation. Giroud should lead the line and whoever plays in any other position on the pitch is of no importance to me. We should beat them with any team we put out especially as they are without their key strikers Jelavic and Long. Imagine if we had to face an inspired Man City team right on the back of their EPL title win, woud it have felt a lot nicer lifting the cup after beating one of the big sides but right now I don’t really care.
So, the drought ends with this FA Cup and hopefully the effect of lifting a trophy will be so strong that it would create a deep hunger within the team to win more. Coming fourth in the EPL seems to have been our minimum acceptable standard; I sincerely hope winning one trophy will be our new minimum. Next year we go for two and three the year after, who says we can’t do it. We went 49 undefeated, we can do all things.
Whatever you do tomorrow, whether it’s it in the hallowed chambers of the Wembley Stadium, seated alone on your couch at home, in a very hot viewing centre in Lagos filled with anti-arsenal fans or hanging out with CanonCrested at our first Arsenal Fans hangout, remember to sing loud, have fun and drink the best of wines to our deserved FA Cup Victory. Congratulations Arsenal Fans, it’s been a long time coming!!
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