Hello Earthlings…and if by any chance there are martians or Jupetarians or Plutans reading this, a hello and good morning to you too. We find ourselves on the brink of another glorious weekend. It has been the first work week and I quite enjoyed it (i’m weird like that) but even with that I still look forward to the weekend and the promise of the Arsenal that comes with it.
This weekend we throw away all our premier league cares and focus on the FA cup, the oldest football competition we’re told. The most glamorous we’re told. I’m sure both points are debatable, but that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy it. I dunno how the Brits feel abut it, but over here in Nigeria, it’s jolly good fun.
Arsenal take on Sunderland in the 3rd round clash tomorrow and we are the defending champions. We started this journey in January 2014 when we faced off with local rivals Tottenham and we beat them 2-0
Santi scoring the first goal before Rosicky utterly humiliated Danny Rose (in my opinion anyway) and scored the second, making the game safe. We went on to a tense semi final against Wigan Athletic where Kim Kallstrom had his best moment in an Arsenal shirt scoring a penalty while I yelled ‘KIM K’ at the tv. Then on we went to the tensest final I have ever watched. In retrospect it was beautiful, but on the day it was nerve wracking. We were 2-0 under 10 minutes and the memories of the 2011 carling cup final loss to Birmingham came to mind for me. I was scared.
I was so scared
Then Santi Cazorla scored that free kick
I watched the game again last week and the sheer beauty of that moment was indescribable, and that was even the most exciting part of the game. Koscielny scored the equalizer hurting himself in the process. Then extra time came and I was a bag of nerves; could this be it? Could this be our year? Would we lose and then face the ignominy? A Giroud backheel and Ramsey shot later and we were champions! I was so happy. My hands shook as I typed a congratulatory message to a friend, I laughed, I ate with gusto, everything was funny and nice and lovely. I know a lot of people look at football fans– or even sports fans in general as wonky in our devotion to our sport or craft, but it’s moments like that we live for. Those moments can never be experienced in the mundane daily lives we live.
We were champions
The next year we started the campaign against Hull City, the beaten finalists. This game wasn’t as tense and on we went to what was the most relaxing final i’d ever witnessed. We outclassed Aston Villa in every respect. We won with such conviction, it was surreal…and we were champions again and it felt gooooooooooooooooooooooooooood!
Which final did I prefer? No idea
They were both exhilarating to watch in different ways. They will both be memorable in different ways. They will both evoke emotion in different ways. But they were both wins and wins I was so happy with. There was the Man Utd win from last edition that was also lovely to watch