Where do I begin? What do I talk about?
Ozil’s touches, gliding, passes?
Theo’s reverse pass for Monreal?
The chuffed expression on Mertesacker’s face after his goal?
Coquelin not putting…no…our defensive unit not putting a foot wrong?
Santi being Santi?
It was SUCH a commanding performance it was a little underwhelming! Unless you’re a Villa fan, then it would have been overwhelming!
Arsenal played like champions.
Plain and simple – like champions.
“We’re not here to give the trophy back, so let’s get this over and done with.”
As tempted as I am to delve into how the game panned out tactically – what worked for us, what did not, how we broke Villa down – I won’t do that today.
I feel this need to let out some emotions, perhaps some of you will be able to relate.
#1 Relief and Belief
Though last season’s FA Cup win was a massive relief, this victory ranks alongside it.
Last season’s victory was a little unconvincing but the hoodoo was off our back. This season, the Gunners – barring the semi-final performance – stormed their way to the trophy.
Winning the FA Cup back-to-back is both a relief and builds belief – relief that last year’s trophy was not a one-off and belief that we are moving onwards and upwards.
As I mentioned earlier, the performance was near-perfect; it seemed as if a mental barrier just may have been broken.
The joy at Theo scoring, and he could have had more. The joy at Sanchez stepping up on the big stage, the joy at holding our fort and the joy at another trophy. Joy for the players, joy for Wenger and joy for Gooners across the world!
#3 The Gooner Family
I’ve only become active on Twitter over the last 18 months or so and have been exposed to, what is popularly known as, Arsenal Twitter. Even more recently, I have learned of fan pages and fan groups for my country, Pakistan, on Facebook. I don’t know what prompted me to finally give a listen to podcasts, but I do now.
All these combined make everything Arsenal easier to deal with if things aren’t going well, makes celebrating achievements a less solitary exercise – there aren’t any pubs/sports bars in Pakistan. Yes some eateries may have screens but they aren’t cheap either! Celebrating a win with fellow Gooners would happen after a weekend when you go back to school, university, and if you’re lucky then you’ll have Gooners at the workplace as well.
It’s a comfort knowing there are many out there in the same boat as you.
This year, a network of cinemas across Pakistan screened the FA Cup final. I usually avoid screenings for reasons I’d rather not divulge but I guess a combination of increased interaction with the Arsenal social media family plus never experiencing that “crowd experience” – barring watching a Pakistan versus India live cricket game at the National Stadium in Karachi some 8-9 years ago – led me to attending the screening.
Club football, if not football in general, eliminates boundaries; and, in a time and age where there are so many divisions among the human race, it brings a good feeling. Being able to celebrate in several capacities on a global level gives a different sort of high.
I’m glad I chose to come out of my shell and interact with the Arsenal fan base and hope to continue doing so. In fact, hopefully meet some in person one day.
This is when football becomes more than just a game. To be able to celebrate, with people from all walks of life, the success of a club we all love so dearly, is a wonderful thing.
We have a fantastic fan base and it just made me really happy that we, as fans, could celebrate another success.
Wrapping it Up
I’m not a fan of the end-of-season break but I’m sure clubs aren’t fans of physically exhausted players either! It was a fantastic end to the season and it will be interesting to see who Wenger brings in. I kept this light on purpose because we’re in a celebration mode so let’s enjoy the success!