One Word For Cup Triumph: Magnificent.

twj

Arsenal 4 – 0 Aston Villa

1 – 0 Walcott (40)
2 – 0 Sanchez (50)
3 – 0 Mertesacker (62)
4 – 0 Giroud (90+3)

There’s no movie clip to lead in with today; the joy on Theo Walcott’s face tells you everything that you need to know. Fears of a slow start were batted away within seconds and a performance of outrageous confidence brought about the most comprehensive victory in an FA Cup final since Manchester United did the same to Chelsea twenty-one years ago.

It’s was complete; solid defence, industrious artistry in midfield and sharp attacking instincts. It was a performance of which the players should be proud because the supporters sure as hell are. I would tender the view that it was the best by any Arsenal side in any final and it isn’t the euphoria of the moment which, I have to say, I’m grateful has lasted a lot longer than the ill-effects of yesterday’s alcohol.

In the clutches of the media, Arsène batted away talk of transfer windows and captured the mood perfectly,

The quality of the performance was outstanding today and it was a good advert for the FA Cup because we played in a very convincing way. I cannot fault one player – everyone was absolutely outstanding.

We started strong, stayed strong and finished strong. That is what you ideally want but you do not always get it, but today we got it.

The only surprise was that it took forty minutes for the breakthrough to arrive. By the time Theo Walcott arrowed in the shot to break the deadlock, there was a litany of last-ditch defending and last-grasp goalkeeping, bound together with the yolk of wayward finishing.

And yet there was never a sense that Arsenal were going to pay for them; the midfield contained Villa on the occasional forays and the defence restricted them to a cross that Szczesny dealt with comfortably. That was the height of Villa’s attacking threat, the only clip in the Arsenal penalty area in the BBC’s online highlights is the Pole’s fist powering through to get the ball.

It leaves you marvelling at the comprehensive nature of the victory. Still.

Notoriously slow starters, Arsenal were bright and lively from the start. Walcott and Sanchez intermingled and responded to Cazorla’s Man of the Match prompting…everyone did. The movement was sharp, support from midfield strong and as the back four squeezed the play into the Villa half for much of the opening forty-five minutes. For the biggest game, Arsenal produced their most comprehensive, complete performance.

That’s the joy of the occasion, I think. Yes, you want to see Arsenal arms lifting the FA Cup aloft but to do so in such an authoritative manner defies the usual convention of permitting the losers to point to one moment, an incident upon which the outcome hinged. Neither of the penalty claims when they were trailing by three goals affected the outcome; neither had legs either in my view, they were the shouts of desperation. In their position, we would have done the same.

Tim Sherwood’s post-match comments summed it up, when his disappointment in his own team recognised that Arsenal had stopped them playing,

I don’t think we played well but you have to give credit to Arsenal as well. They didn’t let us play well.”

His use of “well” at the end was entirely superfluous.

Fittingly, Arsenal’s win was confirmed with Alexis’ spectacularly brilliant finish. Jack Wilshere was seen rummaging through his bag to hand over the Goal of the Season trophy he had purloined in the eyes of many outside the club; Alexis’ was on a different planet entirely. I can’t remember a better cup final goal although I am sure than anyone whose goal has proved decisive will dispute that contention.

His was a thoroughly impish performance, one which underlined his claim to one of the Player of the Season awards was undone only by the absence of the Premier League trophy. He’ll have to content himself with just the club’s version.

The third and fourth goals signalled the gradual deflation of Villa. The opening brace had been the pin pricks which began silently letting the air out of The Villains baloon but Mertesacker’s minimalist movement to head home off his own shoulder and Giroud’s unmarked amble to the edge of the six-yard area underlined the complete psychological dismantlement Arsenal’s performance induced.

For the club and manager it was a day when the writers of the record books were troubled into dipping their quills into the wells. To both, we’ll drink a toast because any argument that Wenger picked the wrong right back or left midfielder are redundant. To Arsène’s credit, he got everything right on the day and plaudits are thoroughly deserved. Not qualified, just quite simple, straightforward and unreserved.

Records are made to be broken and that can happen next season when having won the pre-season shindig, Arsenal will be fighting to win the first Emirates FA Cup. No doubt the FA won’t have any issue with allowing Arsenal to parade both trophies around the pitch…

’til Tomorrow.

126 thoughts on “One Word For Cup Triumph: Magnificent.

  1. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    I was surprised Villa tried to hold a high line quite frankly given Arsenal had both Sanchez and Theo on the team sheet. Tactical naivity that cost them any chance they had. Still, we had to play well and he did. I personally still see a need at striker regardless of what Theo did. I still think OG is a terrific player, Theo’s recent 4 goals haven’t changed my thinking at this point on who I personally see as the number 1. That could well change, but not many smart sides are going to allow the space in behind or out in the wider areas the Villians did. Much to build on, much to address.

  2. JonJon says:

    i dont think villas tactics had much to do with it to be honest
    i dont think they did that bad, it wasnt for lack of trying, we were just that good…no team in the league could have handled what we did yesterday we’d have thumped anyone..
    it was just villa who was on the end of it…

  3. Columbus Arsenal (MA) says:

    We were that good JJ, but the Villians were also that bad. I thought they played like the 17th placed EPL side on the day. Very different from their win over Liverpool but also reminiscent of their recent drubbing at Southampton.

  4. Phil says:

    They could have chosen to really park the bus, but in reality their style allowed for a free flowing game that played into our hands. And when we are at our best, like yesterday, we are hard to stop.

  5. C says:

    This positive JJ has popped up 2 times in the last 2 years…

  6. Bill says:

    I agree with Miami. The last 2 games don’t change anything about our needs for the summer. You make decisions based on the entire season and not what has hapoened over 2 games. I am not downplaying our performance because we had to show up and play well in a huge game to win a trophy. However villa played into our hands with their tactics and they were in 17th place and they had the second worst defensive record in the league. We could not asked for a better match up

  7. Bill says:

    Actually villa had the 3rd worst defense but you get the idea.

  8. GoingGoingGooner says:

    Anyone notice Koscielny getting his shirt pulled right over his head when the BFG scored? None of the announcers even mentioned it even though it showed up on all the replays.

  9. The Arse in the Gamb says:

    I know that everyone is going on about Theo being a striker now, but I have at least been consistent, other than a suspicion a few weeks ago that we may have seen the last of him. I noted before his injury and have been banging on that when he returns he will get his chance as a striker and what has happened with him can be read two ways; one, that he no longer has a future with Arsenal and we are using him when it suits us or two, which I suspect, is that he is now our back up striker – to prove that he has it in him to be number one.
    His problem has always been that he misses sitters and that has not completely changed, but he is banging them in and that was a sublime left footed half volley. A peach.
    He spoke too at the end of the match like someone who sees his future with Arsenal. As Arsenal. That is different and whilst we need to push on, I would rather him get those shoes than most I have seen mentioned in the position and it cost sweet F.A.
    Well done the guys, I think we were owed a few, but that was a great and severe thrashing in a final and on top of a few choice wins and draws with top clubs recently, it has been a season of success.

  10. C says:

    @Bill

    I get what you are saying, but over the last 10 or so years have we not shown up, not taken the chances even when teams play into our hands? How often have we been in positions in cups against clubs we should beat because they are bottom of the league and we choke? How often have we seen Arsene’s teams make a couple changes and play like shit for a half and either lose or struggle to get a draw?

    Well this time we didnt, we played from the beginning and not only played but flourished. We had a club that came in with some confidence and by the time Sanchez had scored we literally took their fight out of most of them. That is something to celebrate, the changes in both personnel(Theo ans Sczny) played well and were major parts of the performance on seperate ends of pitch.

    Just be happy mate.

  11. Bill says:

    Theo may turn out to be a good striker but we can’t build the hope for our next season around a player who has played less then 10 games at that position. That would be some heavy duty wishful thinking. Theo’s long term injury record is also a concern.

  12. Bill says:

    Of course I am happy but if we are going to talk about next year then we have to bring back the realism. No?

  13. Els says:

    Santori. I think I may be the only one but I love your posts. I agree entirely.

    I can’t see how he saying we don’t need signings is him not enjoying yesterday, whereas some saying we need a keeper, striker and dm (yawn) is enjoying it.

    But we were awesome and we would have hammered anyone yesterday.

  14. Runebreaker says:

    With Theo improving his finishing it augurs well for the club. He scored his goal coming in from the left after switching positions with Sanchez. Arguably he is a better goal scorer when he is on the flanks, sees the runs and surges into the box. With the magicians in midfield that we have he also gets the advantage of isolating the full back and getting in behind.
    But he also showed great movement leading the line and constantly using his pace to pull the defenders, despite his erratic finishing.
    Important is that he signs and we will be the better for it.
    We will even be in a better shape if we get a striker who is better than Theo and Giroud. To win the premiership we may well have to. There are plenty of games as it is for everyone
    Question is which striker?
    I am still dreaming of benzima

  15. Limestonegunner says:

    We’re going to have 75 days of transfer discussion and assessments of our preparation for next season. Today and probably even tomorrow I think Phil has the right idea.

    It is a good time to be an Arsenal supporter, so let’s enjoy it. There have been so many times the last 10 years when it was quite difficult. Hopefully we will move forward and get a double next season. But two FA cups with the second a masterful victory gives a feeling of both joy to us all but also makes it clear we are a potentially dangerous team again.

  16. earflow says:

    Thank you Arsenal.

    Thank you Yogi.

  17. C says:

    @Bill

    Thats true but we have all summer to talk about next year. No?

  18. Els says:

    Yep good point well put Limestone. I can’t wait for next season. Fingers crossed for a fully fit, departureless squad. We can hit the ground running this time around I hope. We’ve got some serious talent and drive about this team.

  19. G4E says:

    Looking at it now, no one really can say this was an unsuccessful season. We qualified for the Champions League without the extra 2 games, and we won the FA Cup convincingly for 2 consecutive years as well.

    It is our nature though to request more, we want something better than what we have, we want the league and champions league. We are not far off, with a couple of additions and keeping the players we have fit for an entire season could get us there.

    6 of the 12 FA Cup won for this club were Wenger’s, doubled our tally. I think, that’s pretty good.

    Despite our shenanigans and frustrations during the season, than man always had the club in his sight.

    We will have our big day, we are practicing for it.

  20. santori says:

    http://www.espnfc.us/club/arsenal/359/blog/post/2458750/olivier-giroud-criticism-is-unfair-premrank

    One of those rare good insights from a French journalist on the American centric ESPN site.

    Giroud is a quality strike that is improving and has a goals per game percentage (52%)equal to the “world Class” Benzema + is cheaper than the 32m rated and media favorite Benteke.

    Add Welbeck who will (like Ramsey, Walcott, Coquelin, Ox, Jack) improve at 23yrs and IF Walcott pens, why on earth will we be shopping for another striker?

    Assuming one is even available and the list is a very short one.

    No Jackson Martinez.

  21. santori says:

    Again, media would superficially criticise Giroud for not getting off the mark against United but Falcao whom they trumpeted as ‘world Class” when United signed him and RVP drew blanks in that same game!

    Blatant nonsense from the media just like the whole Arsenal needs a keeper issue.

    Ospina has the highest save per shots percentage at 80.7% . Szsc is ahead of the curve and is a strong young keeper who will only get better.

    We are likely not going to be wasting our time in the market in these two categories (bar departures)

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