by & filed under News Review.

It is here, another FA Cup final for the mighty Arsenal. We’re going for number 14. Mikel Arteta is going for his first as a coach. The young players are going for their first-ever trophy. We have Europe on the line.

It’s different this year and it’s a shame. I’ve never missed an Arsenal FA Cup final. I usually go with my football family, we meet up, get drunk, celebrate or commiserate together, and then it’s a beautiful memory forever locked (even the losses can be fun after).

My Uncle, who is a Leeds fan said to me a few years ago that trophies were about parties. If you’re having a lot of parties, life is good, but if you’re not, then what’s the point?

Arsenal fans might not have had a lot of major-trophy parties of late, but we’re certainly advanced in FA Cup shindigs. This is our trophy, no one has won it as often as us. You feel something in the air whenever we head to Wembley. Wenger took these games very seriously, he loved the FA Cup, and I expect some of that has rubbed off on Arteta, who played as his captain in a winning side. Let’s hope Mikel has a similar relationship with the trophy.

Today is going to be tough, we’re not favourites which is unusual, and the squad of players we have available can be a little bit like that box of chocolates Forest Gump always bangs on about. You don’t know what you’re going to get. However, after thinking about it, under Mikel Arteta, it is more likely than ever that we’ll be picking out a chocolate that doesn’t have a sour liqueur hiding inside.

We’ve beaten United, Liverpool, and City this season. Both our Chelsea games, whilst not optimal, saw solid performances. We’ve had some very good away wins in 2020 as well. Arteta tailors a game plan to the match, the players understand it, and if there are no mistakes, we usually have a pretty good chance of making it very difficult for the other side.

I think we’ll see more of that today. There are rumours that Kieran Tierney is being considered as a centre back today, Ainsley is apparently getting the nod, then it’s with the gods how we set the team up from there.

This isn’t the same game as City or Liverpool. Chelsea has a pretty exciting collection of players that can move the ball through midfield. They play very attractive football at their peak, they are quick on the counter, and they can also pick apart a deep block. They have Olivier Giroud, say what you will about him, but he’ll be motivated, he’s a brilliant link-up striker, and he can score outrageous goals. Willian is in blistering form and along with Kante, is in the squad today.

Their weak spot is in defence. Frank Lampard teams often have a soft underbelly through the middle of the park, and this particular team has struggled with the goalkeeping position. Chelsea actually conceded more goals in the league than Arsenal this season, clocking in at a whopping 54. That is a massive opportunity if you can deal with them going forward. Tough to see how we bring exciting football to unlock their defence after bumming around without a #10 for so long, but we have seen glimpses of good play, particularly the first half against Leicester.

Our challenge is defence, individual errors, and in-game management. We don’t have Mustafi and in this squad, that’s a problem. He’s been huge for us under Mikel, bar a couple of games I think he was fatigued in. There aren’t many good options for us, but nor was there in 2017 when Per Mertesacker and Rob Holding put in a BEASTLY performance for us. The individual errors issue always lurks, our xG has been shocking this season in part because of that, the players know this, and they have to be at their best today to avoid being ‘that guy’ in a final. I also think Lampard has been adept at times at changing things up during the game. Arteta needs to make good decisions when that happens today because Chelsea has more from the bench than we do.

In Arteta’s first run out in the league, a game I attended, we were really unlucky. Callum Chambers picked up a nasty injury, then Frank made some smart changes from the bench and got quite lucky with Jorginho staying on the pitch. The second game we managed to rescue the game with Xhaka and Mustafi sitting on the bench. This is our third crack at Chelsea, arguably the most important on, we have to deliver. Lampard will come with something interesting tactically and we have to counter it, and then move fast to deal with whatever he does in the second phase of the game.

Moments like today define managers and projects. A trophy in your first season, whatever it is, can be absolutely huge. It builds trust from the players, it bonds squads, it builds rapport with the fans, creates forward momentum, and it’s just a beautiful feeling to know you’re on the right path.

This is massive.

Enjoy the game, have fun with your friends and families, let’s make some memories of a different kind today.

Big love from everyone at Le Grove, COME ON YOU GUNNERS xx

1,490 Responses to “COME ON YOOOOOOOU GUNNERS!”

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  1. andy1886

    Left CB or left wing back, Tierney has been a terrific signing for us. Which pillock was it referring to him as the Jock Crock again??

  2. Mark S

    andy1886-Happy to see you hoist the “Winners” trophy today. I’ll take my Tr4phy and head home. 👍🏻

    I am feeling up for it today. Just a weird feeling that I have. Arteta will have the team focused to go out there to do a job. (Maybe I’m thinking that way because I don’t want to think about us finishing 8th, no trophy, and we can’t buy anyone because we don’t have any money.)

  3. andy1886

    Thanks Mark, I do fancy our chances today, just as long as we don’t get all expansive and let Chelsea get round behind our back three. Ideally if we draw them in the same way we did against City I’d fancy Auba and even Pepe to get on the score sheet.

  4. Marko

    On today it simply boils down to who wants it more and who makes less mistakes in defence. That’s it. If Luiz plays like he did against City in the league or Holding against Watford then we’ll lose. If we play like we did in the semi then we’ll win. We’re a jeykll and Hyde team so who knows what team will show up

  5. NJ Gooner

    Will ANM start at left or right wingback? We need something to counter Chelsea’s speed on the counter.

    Butterflies time.

  6. TR7

    3 at the back, stay compact and hit them on counterattack

    The game against Watford proved we are not yet ready to play 4-3-3

  7. GillespieRoadNoMore

    Hopefully Mikel can outsmart Frank today, is this the first ever FA Cup Final to feature both managers as winners when players?

    COYG, hoping we can repeat the magic of 3 years ago and erase the memories of Baku 2019.

  8. Sid

    Auba Auba Auba
    Cant you see
    Sometimes your goals just hypnotize me
    And i just love you flashy ways
    Guess that’s why they broke, and you’re so paid (uh)

  9. Rich

    Be surprised if Giroud doesn’t score today, I think we’re a better counter attacking team, breaking teams down isn’t our strength.

    The problem with that is the deeper we go, the bigger danger Giroud becomes, and we can’t sit off Chelsea the way we sat off a Liverpool and City for this reason.

    Can’t say I’m confident, could do with a couple of early converted penalties for us, with Chelsea going down to 9 men.

    Only we could mess it up from there.

  10. WengerEagle

    Complete coin flip today, I don’t buy into the bookies taking Chelsea as heavy favourites.

    They’ve plenty vulnerable and we will get chances, we really need the Auba of the SF to show up and bury chances that come his way. He has a tendency to be wasteful in front of goal in the pressure games so let’s hope that’s not the case today.

    The dangerman for them is absolutely Pulisic. We know Giroud inside out so not concerned about him so much although he hurt us in the EL Final didn’t he?

    Hoping we squeeze out a 2-1 win with goals coming from Auba and Laca.

  11. Valentin


    Great read.
    It makes it clear that when Arteta setup the team in a 3-4-3 (5-2-3 or 5-2-1-2 when defending), the team does not requires a classic No10. However that requires better 8 and better 6. Hence Partey.

    His idea of keeping possession and winning the game from 70 minutes onward by simply tiring the opposition may be something that Arteta wants to do, but we do not have the players comfortable in possession. Aubameyang, Pepe are counter attacking players.

    Personally I would rather we went back to the Invincible era of blitzing the opposition in the first 20 minutes and then picking them up when they open up. Closer to what Klopp is doing at Liverpool than Pep’s ManCity.

  12. Nelson

    If Chelsea plays Alonso, we have a good chance. He is no match for Pepe.

    I guess Lampard will start with 3 at the back first, with Jorginho amd Kovicic as midfielders. He could switch to 4 3 3 and bring in Kante as the third midfielder.

    I think Arteta will go with experienced players. But I prefer AMN over Bellerin.

  13. andy1886

    @ Rich – with three CB’s you’d hope that we’d be better able to keep Giroud quiet. If we’re not compact I’d be more concerned about them getting in behind us (as happened a lot in the Sp**s game).

  14. Rich

    I think it’s Niles at left wingback
    Tierney left centre back
    Bellerin right wing back.

    Niles is rapid, gets into good positions, but his final ball with his left isn’t up to much, think I’d rather Saka, with Niles instead of Bellerin

  15. Rich

    Andy1886 were really not a very good team.

    Playing on the counter is our best bet, we’ve got a lot of pace, just not much craft.

    Giroud has 7 in his last 10, scoring in his last 4, when he’s in good form there’s few target men as good as Giroud

  16. WengerEagle

    That 2005 Cup Final penalty shoot-out win over Fergie’s United side was one of my all time favourite memories of that great Arsenal team.

    They absolutely battered us over the 120 mins of football, was the most un-Wengerball Arsenal performance I can remember witnessing as they should hav e beaten us by 2 or 3 at least but we hung on and had the stones to step up and bring the trophy home with 5 near perfect spot kicks.

    The last match featuring that great Invincibles side, all went downhill after that match and with Vieira leaving.

  17. Leedsgunner

    2-0 to the Arsenal.

    Also, Dominik Szoboszlai available for £26m apparently. No brainer at that price.

  18. TheLegendaryDB10


    And that lack of craft comes from our midfield. If we can keep Ceballos and add a creative type player like Partey, then I think we will be a very different beast next season.


    It’s going to be interesting to see what Arteta will do tactically. I have a feeling that we will play on the counter with the focus on throttling their midfield. But that will mean that we will have to be 100% focused for the full 90 mins. What we must not do though is to sit too deep as this will invite them to take shots at our goal. Chelkski are not Watford and are more likely to get their chances to score.

  19. Nelson understands that Ozil departed London in recent days with the agreement of the club hierarchy.. Obviously, the club doesn’t want Ozil to disturb the preparation for the final. It shuts down any question from the media also.

  20. zacharse

    “Arsenal signed David Luiz knowing there were going to be some games he might make mistakes that could cost the team.

    People laugh at him and say he’s this and he’s that. Not me. What he does for Arsenal and the experience he gives in the dressing room is invaluable to his team-mates.

    That’s why he has signed a new contract. I for one am happy that he has. People say you don’t know what you are going to get from him.

    But if Arsenal get the David Luiz that is going forward, making great passes and has a goal in him then Chelsea are going to be in trouble – especially at set-pieces.”

    Wrightys weords not mine. I wonder who would know more about these things, wright or randos on lg

  21. andy1886

    Lots of comments in the build up that AFC have to win to get into the EL, or Wolves would get the final spot. But did anyone get to the bottom of the question that if Wolves win this year’s EL and get a CL spot does that mean AFC get their EL place?

  22. Nelson

    Arsenal Confirmed XI: Martinez; Holding, Luiz, Tierney; Bellerin, Xhaka, Ceballos, Maitland-Niles; Pepe, Lacazette, Aubameyang

  23. Nelson

    Chelsea: Caballero, James, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Rudiger, Alonso, Jorginho, Kovacic, Mount, Giroud, Pulisic.

  24. Emiratesstroller


    As you pointed out in your post Chelsea are fragile at the back and have lost more games and conceded more goals this season than we have.

    Also I think that our goal potential in the forward line is higher than theirs. It
    should not be forgotten that our three forwards scored last season around 70
    goals as a collective.

    Whilst they have not achieved that level this season we have on paper the more potent strike force.

    The million dollar question is how our midfield will cope in today’s game. If
    we can handle Chelsea in that department we could win the game.

  25. Ishola70

    Ian Wright is talking complete shite about David Luiz.

    We hope Luiz can have a very good match like he did against Man City in the semi-final today but going forward game by game next season not a chance he is “invaluable”. More a pain in the arse.

  26. Ishola70

    Always got a chance when Zouma – Rudiger are their CBs

    Regarding Alonso he is suspect defensively as well but going forward he can be very dangerous.

  27. The Backpass


    “Lots of comments in the build up that AFC have to win to get into the EL, or Wolves would get the final spot. But did anyone get to the bottom of the question that if Wolves win this year’s EL and get a CL spot does that mean AFC get their EL place?”

    No, the only scenario we get EL is if we win the FA cup.

    Top 4= automatic CL
    CL winners= automatic CL
    EL winners = CL
    FA cup winners =EL

    If Arsenal and Wolves wins the FA and EL cup respectively, they qualify for EL and CL,and yes tottenham also qualify for Europa League and NO PLAYOFFS would be required foe them.

  28. MidwestGun

    Sup Ladies? Getting my hype on… have to win… my brother the Chelski fan is texting me absolute .. time to block him. Think the key to today might by Laca… hope he is the good Laca and not the bad Laca. Let’s Go!!!

  29. Gentlebris

    Chelsea are not as good as people talk them to be.

    Take out Pulisic and Mount from that line up, and you have Everton fired up for a final.

    We win 2:0 today.

  30. TheLegendaryDB10

    Great to see that Auba is all smiles during warm up.

    I really feel that Saka should be in the first XI. But I think Mikel wants to use him later in the game as a “game changer”. Let’s hope that this plan works.

  31. Danny

    Since Saka signed the new contract:
    Didn’t start the NL derby
    Didn’t start the FA Cup SF
    Doesn’t start the FA Cup Final
    …..but Arteta knows what he’s doing…..

  32. Rich

    Danny no problem.

    I’ve been watching inception, and I’ve already been deep into the subconscious of the Chelsea squad, and they already know it’s happening.

  33. SpanishDave

    Thanks Mid I was lucky, my wife is a diamond.
    It’s going to be close call today I hope we don’t loose it, we need to score first.
    Fingers crossed

  34. The Backpass


    Yes,its possible or we win today and wolves EL then next season;

    5 English teams in the CL,
    3 English teams in EL.

  35. Useroz

    AMN isn’t replacing Saka I don’t think. Arteta probably has AMN in special ops again to sabotage some jet Chelsea attacking flows.

    Really 50/50.

    Hunger wins.

  36. DigitalBob

    1-0, 2-0 or 2-1 to The Arsenal. This term knows what’s at stake and I think we’ll see a performance very similar to the semi with Man City,. Full of determination, concentration and the amount of desperation a team needs to win at all costs!

    I’d also prefer Saka starting but hopefully Bellerin puts in a performance and AMN retains focus for the entire match. I really feel we’ll see Captain Auba lift this cup by the evening and drop his biggest hint he’s signing a new deal.

  37. Leftfootcurler

    Just saw the lineups.
    Chelsea are miles better than arsenal personnel are,so they start favourites.

    Have to pray that our defenders don’t make unforced errors and Arteta being a superior coach than Frank gives us the victory.

    Need Europa. Whatever money we can get for player recruitment is crucial.

  38. Leftfootcurler

    I understand AMN’s performance against Traore and Mahrez was outstanding so he is needed against pulisic.

    But Arteta should have given SAKA more chances at RW after his performance against Leicester.

    He made superb runs in behind.
    Much bigger threat than Pepe,there.

  39. Dissenter

    Is it true yesterday was the third hottest day eve recorded in the UK/
    The game feels like a game of four quarters now, hope managers start planning with the added intermissions.

  40. Leftfootcurler

    The important thing defensively is that xhaka and ceballos are vigilant to protect the gap between them and the WBs.
    Pulisic and Mount have good movement and clever positioning and can take advantage of that space.
    This and crosses from WBs to Giroud will be Chelsea’s method of chance creation.

    Arsenal will be playing purely on counter attack
    It’s a shame we don’t have Martinelli.
    Would have destroyed jorginho on the counter.

  41. Thorough

    Xhaka is a moron.
    And if Arteta can’t see it and persists with him next season then he’s a moron too.

  42. TheBayingMob

    Oops. Foreboding. They cut through us like buttaaaaa then. This could be as bad as Baku unless we get our shit together.

  43. Champagne Charlie

    Xhaka and Ceballos are completely dominated here, need to tweak this or it’s a riot. It’s like 5 on 2 in midfield.

  44. Useroz

    Anyone still wants Ceballos?? Jogged his way back and ball watching. 10s later we are 1 down.

    Reference also shit. Luiz and Tierney too tentative. Kick the hell outta ‘em. If it’s. pen it’s. Pen.

  45. Valentin

    Tactically, Arteta just gave them the midfield and we got punished at the second attempt. We have two CM against 3.
    Ceballos and Xhaka are going to be robbed by Mount on a regular basis. Also if nobody tracks him that could be a long afternoon.

  46. Champagne Charlie

    Jorginho had time and space to bring a bouncing ball down and make a simple pass through CM, rubbish start.

  47. TheBayingMob

    If we go two down I might well turn off. I know it’s an FAC final but I can’t watch us get shivved by Chavski again

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