We’re Going To Wembley… Twice?
Is it an innate sense of confidence or an indicator of the game by game nature of Arsenal at the moment that I had to look up who is playing in the other Wembley semi-final? Maybe it is a little bit of both.
I am certainly worried for Arsenal at the moment – their confidence really seems to have been shaken, especially when compared to earlier parts of the season but then I remember this has been a completely different Arsenal team. We have been missing four of our best players and as the season evened itself out the anger of some of the support became palpable.
The winner of Hull vs Sheffield United will await Arsenal if they can see off Wigan tomorrow and you can forgive those supporters who are not confident we will – or at least will with ease. If I am honest, I wouldn’t really mind if we got through but didn’t make it easy on ourselves because we would have course made it to the final but I would prefer we made things easier for ourselves.
With Arsenal’s current form and Wigan having beaten Man City in the Quarters I more than understand the tension some Gooners are feeling. However, I have a modicum of innate confidence as this is an Arsenal team what will feature Aaron Ramsey after Arsène Wenger confirmed Ramsey will start his first Arsenal game for nearly four months against Wigan.
The Arsenal faithful may not altogether be confident but the sports betting odds at Betfair has us at 4/9 at last check which says a little about what the outside world thinks of our chances – ie very good.
When Ramsey plays I feel confident. He makes things happen all over the pitch. It’s glaringly obvious to almost everyone who doesn’t have an anti-Giroud agenda that Olivier has missed having Aaron et al around him so he should benefit from the return of arguably the player we have missed the most in 2014.
I’m backing Olivier to score a goal or two against Wigan and book us a place in the Final. Even with Ramsey, Giroud is a limited player but what we have in Aaron is a player who understands those limitations and offers a counterpoise, balancing out the inadequacies and allowing Giroud to be that attacking fulcrum that is overlooked when we are winning but vociferously berated and bemoaned when we drop points.
Wigan are still a decent side despite going down last year and the wonderful thing about English football is that on any given day the underdog can do the unthinkable and slay Goliath. Cup football in general offers this in abundance so a cup game between two English sides, both with attacking styles, should be a joy to watch for the neutrals. For us Gooners it might be a nail-biter.
If Arsenal are going to win this game they need to display a bit more energy, more rush and hurry, and a hell of a lot more spirit. They looked completely dejected against Everton and certainly need to pick themselves up off the floor and show people why they were given the honour of wearing the Red and White in the first place.
I’m growing in confidence as the game looms ever closer and think we’ll do ourselves justice in this game. I would love for Giroud and Ramsey to get on the scoresheet and book our place in the final because as two of our most maligned players over the past few years it would be fitting for their goals to be what books us our first FA Cup final appearance in 9 years and arguably our greatest chance of winning a major trophy in the past decade.
I’m going for 3-1 to Arsenal. What do you think; are you confident?
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