Friday, September 19, 2014
Report: Wigan 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties)

Report: Wigan 1-1 Arsenal (Arsenal win 4-2 on penalties)

Arsenal: Fabianski, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Monreal, Arteta, Ramsey, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Cazorla, Podolski, Sanogo

Subs: Szczesny, Jenkinson, Gibbs, Kallstrom, Akpom, Eisfeld, Giroud.

It wasn’t fun, in any way, but Arsenal booked their place in the FA Cup final with penalty shoot-out win over Wigan at Wembley this afternoon.

Arsene Wenger sprang something of a surprise, handing a start to Yaya Sanogo ahead of Olivier Giroud, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Aaron Ramsey returned to the starting line-up.

The England man almost found himself through on goal inside 60 seconds, but Sanogo’s flick rebounded off him and into the arms of Scott Carson. And the roles were reversed in the 6th minute, this time the Ox’s great cross was headed straight down into the ground and at the Wigan keeper by the young Frenchman. Either side of Carson and he’d have scored but it was a good effort.

As expected Arsenal dominated possession with Wigan sitting deep and organised behind the ball. When they did push forward, Aaron Ramsey found Oxlade-Chamberlain with a wonderful long ball over the top, but Carson blocked the lobbed effort out for a corner.

With Wigan so defensive, and Arsenal not exactly willing to leave space in behind by pushing too far forward, it became a game of many passes but not much in the way of chances or attacking play.

Ramsey’s fine 26th minute pass to Sanogo resulted in an Arsenal corner, which ended up with Bacary Sagna at the back post. On his left foot, and from a tight angle, he put the ball back across goal and just beyond the far corner.

At the other end a Jordi Gomez cross skimmed the top of the crossbar, before McManaman steamed past Vermaelen into the box, and put in a low cross which Mertesacker cleared. Sanogo fired a shot high and wide, but Arsenal fans in the stadium were growing obviously frustrated at Arsenal attacking struggles.

McManaman again showed Arsenal needed to be aware, firing a shot just over from a tight angle after again getting some joy against Vermaelen, and Lukasz Fabianski was forced into his first save of the day after Fortune got a good shot away.

Lukas Podolski curled a free kick not far wide in the 40th minute, before Yaya Sanogo was put through on goal a moment later. His pace took him away from the defenders but his first touch was poor and that allowed Carson to get out and block the shot.

It meant the teams remained scoreless at the break, and although Arsenal certainly had more of the ball, they definitely lacked end product in their attacking play.

As expected there were no changes on either side at half-time, and not much change in the way of the game. Sanogo was easily eased out of the way when chasing a Cazorla pass into the Wigan box, and Mikel Arteta had to be alert at the other end, making an excellent block as the Latics threatened.

There was a bit more pace to Arsenal’s passing in the second period, but in the 59th minute Wigan were awarded a penalty when Per Mertesacker brought down Callum McManaman in the box. There was a delay before the taking as Monreal got treatment for an injury picked up in the build up to the penalty concession, and the Spaniard was taken off on a stretcher.

However, Wigan’s Spaniard, Jordi Gomez, stepped up and fired home the penalty to put the Championship side 1-0 up, while Kieran Gibbs came on for Monreal. Ramsey then put in a good cross for Sanogo which the striker prodded over the bar.

Arsene Wenger then put on Olivier Giroud for Lukas Podolski, a decision which was met with boos, although in truth the German had been peripheral. Oxlade-Chamberlain tested Carson from distance but found the keeper up to the task, and although the Gunners huffed and puffed they couldn’t find any way through.

An 80th minute corner almost saw an equaliser when the ball hit Sagna and rebounded off the post. Moments later Carson made a brilliant save from Gibbs who saw the ball cleared the ball off the line as it was creeping in, but in the 82nd minute the man who gave away the penalty provided salvation.

Arsenal had a corner, it came in, Vermaelen got a head on it Sanogo laid it off to Oxlade-Chamberlain who mishit his shot but Mertesacker was at the back post to head it home. 1-1, sweet relief, and the defender celebrated with real emotion after making the mistake which gave Wigan their penalty.

Giroud tested Carson with a low shot in the 87th minute which the keeper held well, before Mertesacker headed over from a corner. The referee added five minutes to the the 90 but neither side could find a winner in regulation time, so the game went into extra time.

Wigan had the first shot of the first period, Powell firing over the bar, before Aaron Ramsey squirmed into the box and saw an effort blocked. The Welshman then fired in a great cross for Sanogo which the youngster missed completely from inside the 6 yard box.

Sanogo then forced Carson into a good save and from the resulting corner hooked a shot over the Wigan bar. Oxlade-Chamberlain saw a shot blocked in the Wigan box, but the game slowed down with the players out on their feet, and after the first 15 minutes there were no more goals.

The second period was even slower but Arsenal were desperately unlucky not to be ahead when Oxlade-Chamberlain rattled the crossbar with a brilliant effort and the keeper beaten. At the other end Collison planted a header not far wide with Fabianski rooted to the spot. The Wigan forward also capitalised on an Oxlade-Chamberlain error, but put his shot wide.

Aaron Ramsey was replaced by Kim Kallstrom but in the end we reached the 120 minute mark and the game went to penalties.

Lukasz Fabianski saved the first Wigan spot kick, Arteta put Arsenal 1-0 up. The Pole saved the second too, as Kallstrom made it 2-0. Wigan scored their next one, Giroud put Arsenal further ahead, and Wigan forced it to go to Santi Cazorla, but in the end the Spaniard kept his composure to put Arsenal through to the final.

It wasn’t at all pleasant, but like getting a handjob from an old crone, we still got there in the end!

13,967 views

189 comments

  1. OX and FAB delivers!

    We played much better after Giroud was brought in and we basically played with 2 strikers. We actually had targets inside the box when our players were crossing the ball. Something for Arsene to think about.

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    • Just A Gentleman

      Yes, we haven’t won anything ever since we went from 4-4-2 (or 4-4-1-1)! BUT WHO CARES, WEMBLEY AGAIN YAY :D

      Thumb up 81 Thumb down 5

    • Big Chief from Antarctica

      Fabulous Fab! Gotta love him.

      Roll out the red carpet, the red carpet!
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jt6LIs4lme4

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    • Completely agree. Giroud gets a lot of criticism, justifiably so, but the offense looked a lot scarier once he came on today.

      Also no one is talking about how good Kieran Gibbs was today. Great on both sides of the ball.

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      • He was brilliant.

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        • Kieran has been one of our best and most consistent players and I always look forward to seeing him play. I sincerely hope hope he’s around for fucking ever cos he’s going to get better and the cunts with the cheque books will come knocking soon!

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    • I think we were better since Gibbs came on. But yeah Giroud brings another presence in the box. After we went behind we’re so flat, hoping on long balls to our two forwards, and I was dreading the options we had on the bench. Thank goodness we made that up with a bit more grit and passion which eventually got us the equaliser. Glad we got the win, now to go on and win fhe cup and seriously make this summer count in terms of transfers.

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    • Remember the invincibles

      A final. Somehow. Thank fuck we had the bottle to score the penalties. Bradford was echoing through my head at the start. Smart of Arsen to throw in a set piece specialist at the death.

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    • “Something for Arsene to think about”, JC? Surely it was he who made the choice to go 4-4-2, and one in the eye for those critics who say he never has a plan B. Actaully, it was more like 4-3-1-2, with Ramsey moving up alongside Cazorla and getting giving us some better opportunities by interchanging on that side, and Arteta playing in the middle behind them.

      Actually, I thought Ramsey looked somewhat tentative and off the pace, unsurprisingly having started for the first time this year. You could still see how good he is, though, and he was our best player overall after the Ox, who was far and away our man of the match. Cazorla, generally poor during an unentertaining first, looked to benefit greatly from the change in formation, with more freedom.

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      • Arsene’s stubborn. He won’t go back to 4-4-2 or any other formation. The fact that Giroud was brought in, was not a result of Arsene’s desire or plan to go 4-4-2 as a tactical change, but rather, he just had to throw in another striker to get another goal. We were desperate at that point.

        Don’t get me wrong. I am a fan of Mr. Wenger. I love everything that he’s done for this club.

        But I feel like as a club, we have not made a progress in the last 3 years. Every year, it feels like I am watching a re-run of what’s happened in the season before. (frustrating transfer saga, injuries, lack of tactical adjustments, etc)

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        • something major happened three years ago though…he lost the player he was building arsenal around..now he has to wait for jack aaron theo alex gedion serge etc

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    • Really good stuff, they looked like they wanted it and fought to the end. Thank you Arsene and players.

      But I seriously don’t have the stomach for this anymore, can we not just win the final comfortably!? I like it much better when we do that.

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      • How the fuck Wigan are not in line for automatic promotion is beyond me!
        They should still be mixing with the ‘big boys’ all day long!

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    • I think playing with two strikers simplifies our play a bit, i for one wouldn’t at all mind if we carried on that way, it may be a bit scrappier but at this point any win is a win.

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  2. Never in doubt

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  3. Phew!!!

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    • that was more stressful than losing

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      • I love Ozil’s tweets. He clearly wants this as much as we do.
        I hope people realize just how much we have missed him.
        He made all around him play better.

        FUCKING FINAL HERE WE COME!

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  4. I’m exhausted

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  5. And when I asked, oh why she wore that ribbon? She said ‘it’s for the Arsenal..AND WE’RE GOING TO WEMBLEY!’

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  6. Just A Gentleman

    We love you Arsenal, we do,
    We love you Arsenal, we do,
    We love you Arsenal, we do,
    Oh Arsenal we love you!

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    • Just A Gentleman

      Downvotes for loving Arsenal, what in the world?

      Thumb up 63 Thumb down 11

      • Don’t mind ‘em.. probably John Terry and Jose.. and Ferguson and Daniel Levy (100 million man) .. Oh how i laughed and laughed.. Sniff..

        And again… We love THE ARSENAL!!

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      • The British thing of downing a winner FFS.

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      • You should be embarrassed for singing after that “victory”.

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    • I love ‘em too. They are my love. They are the tart that sucks me off at a moments notice but then the same bitch that will fucking proclaim headaches for months on end. She will dress like a top, top model one day (do you see what I did there?) and then others look like a bag lady. But do i love her still? Of course I do, cos she stole my heart and no other cunt is gonna get it. So. Look at that beautiful lady on the pitch. Admire her, worship her, cajole her and applaud her. But never give up on her.

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  7. Fabianski and Sanogo Love you men. One more game. We can do it. Some jobs were saved today. I

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    • Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

      Nice to see the mention of Sanogo. I thought Giroud starting would not have changed anything. Sanogo actually made runs behind their defense. I honestly thought he couldn’t have been any worse than our back-pedalling Ollie. Ollie Leadboot wouldn’t even have been in those positions in the first place! Sanogo all day, everyday.

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  8. I was this close to possibly discovering the cunt stabber that may or may not exist deep inside of me.

    Well done Fabinaski!! Up The Arse!

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  9. YESSSSS !!!!!

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  10. Silent Stan's Content Mustache

    This game only shaved 20 years from my life. Fuck it, well worth it.

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  11. Wish I Had Charlie George's Hair

    Please rename the Emirates “Fabianski Stadium”

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    • Whispering Whippersnapper

      Saved Muller in the CL and now this….fuckin penalty specialist

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      • He could have saved the penalty today, too, he was just unlucky.

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      • Arsenal have to renew his contract. otherwise someone other team will get classy goal keeper. Starting to believe he better than Sir S.

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  12. Mixed emotion but thank god for Fabianski but man we in the final !!!!!

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  13. Just A Gentleman

    This was posted 52 minutes ago? ARSEBLOG YOU PREDICTION MASTER YOU! :P

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  14. Arsene's Bored Banker

    Fuck yeah

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  15. There’s this obvious awareness about this win.

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  16. Well done fabianski & kallstrom scored his first for gunners the f.a cup finals coyg

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  17. We might berate our team for being sloppy today but Man City would have given an arm and leg to be stretched to penalties in their QF.
    COYG

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  18. My little girl : Mummy, why is daddy crying?..

    COYG!!!

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  19. Fabulous hands.
    Just win the match inside 90 mins in the final.

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  20. I’m in love with Fabianski
    Can’t help it guys

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  21. Fuck me, I’m happy!

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  22. had to change pants twice but it was worth it!!
    WE ARE THE FAMOUS ARSENAL AND WE ARE GOING TO WEMBEREY!!!

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  23. Ended watching the game with my bottom squeezing up like a rabbits nose.
    What a game from the OX!
    Let’s win the damn thing now!
    COYG

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  24. Fabianksi is starting the final.

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    • Damn fucking skippy he is! If I were fabianski and anyone tried to tell me otherwise I would kick them square in the balls.

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  25. COYG!!! Fabianski should get the start in the final. Giroud must start over Sanogo, simple as that. He is too raw to be playing in a cup game.

    Great goal by Mert!!! Next year’s captain!

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    • Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

      Poorly-rated Thumb up 6 Thumb down 84

      • I feel very hated. :(

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      • Disagree mate. Fabianski got us there and deserves to start. Szczesney can support his team mates from the bench and be ready if there’s an injury and that’s all.

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    • Giroud looked better because he entered the game later in the 2nd half.
      Wigan defenders were tiring. I think Sanogo is faster and his movement is better then Giroud, he was getting behind defenders in the match.

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  26. Fabulous Flabby Hands!

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    • Whispering Whippersnapper

      *flappy…And it’s good to see how far he’s come. His performance was Lehmannesque with a bit of an Almunia brainfart thrown in for good measure.

      *sigh* i’m going to have to call in sick tomorrow

      Up the ARSE!!!

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  27. Don’t really know what to make of that performance. Obviously I’m pleased we’re in with the best chance of a trophy since 2005, but we really made hard work of that. I still think that fourth place is crucial, and then FA Cup + 4th will be a successful season, and we can build on that.

    Let’s hope we can stick the ball in a bit earlier in the Final!

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    • Oh FFS.. Just enjoy the win, would you??

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    • Hopefully the result more then todays performance will give us confidence going forward for the final 6 games now, and although we only beat Wigan on pens, do remember they are the holders who knocked citeh out in the last round.

      COYG!!!

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  28. I’ve aged 20 years after that game. Now to the final!

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  29. i was finally going to join the Wenger out squad if we had lost this match and I might very well do if we don’t win the Cup. but man that was gut wrenching to watch.

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    • me to, I had this written up to post here: “I’ve been defending the team and Wenger like crazy the last weeks but I’ve got nothing left. Something has to change. Fuck it, WENGER OUT.”

      Now it just feels like I’m on morphine or something. That was some crazy anxiety relief

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    • You’re a fanny.

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  30. Sign up Fabianski at double his current wages!

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  31. The Källström loan makes perfect sense now!!! FUCK YESSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  32. HUGE win but this should take nothing away from our horrid performance for most of the game. The fact that Wigan were able to take us to penalties says more about what is going on than the fact that we actually won.

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    • Oh cmon mate. Not one Arsenal fan will deny we’re quite shit but if you can’t be happy at moments like these why support a team in the first place?

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      • I’m sorry?? WE ARE??? One – That’s you .. You’re in the minority mate.. We are THE ARSENAL and calling your club shit – well jokes on you, ain’t it.. Sod off!!

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        • Ah another self righteous fan. If you think we’re actually good on current form then god help you.Listen we’re all happy with the win let’s not make this about Wengerites vs anti Wenger. And I never get why the fuck it has to be either one or another. I love Arsenal but I’m also objective, and the teams performance since March has been really poor in the Wenger era. I’ll call it as I see it and if you disagree then we’ll just settle it on that. Don’t give me shit about “oh you can’t say that about our club, go and support another team” yada yada.

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        • Umm.. I said The CLUB.. i.e. THE ARSENAL.. Never said anything about Wenger/era.. Jumping to your own conclusions mate..

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    • Dude, they beat what was a fairly strong Man City side at the Etihad (not exactly the easiest of tasks). And in these kinds of knockout matches, quality often takes a backseat. Players are after all human too(the pressure and the enormity of the moment got to them probably).
      The thing is we have booked a place in the finals and the chance to lift a trophy is still alive.

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    • Just enjoy the fact that we made it to the final. Gives us a much needed boost too.

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    • Maybe so, but they also knocked out City two years running, so I’m just going to enjoy the day!

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  33. Come on arsenal.

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  34. I didn’t think about extra time and promised to cook dinner. As if it wasn’t stressful enough I had a bechamel ongoing during penalties. Never again.

    I still can’t believe that had we lost on penalties it probably would’ve sealed Wenger’s fate. 1000 games + and down to a few spot kicks. Football, eh?

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  35. Jesus H. Christ – my fucking nerves are shot!

    We’re through, boys! We did it! Oh God, I need a fucking drink…

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  36. LOL at the ITV pundits so disappointed to see Arsenal through. A win was required, how we did it does not matter.

    Thumb up 86 Thumb down 1

    • I know right? You can tell the media really wanted us to lose. Well they can all piss off we’re coming back to wembley. Now, it’s just the small matter of 4th place..

      Thumb up 39 Thumb down 1

    • Former Manchester United captain Roy Keane on ITV: “These Arsenal players need a reality check. Last season they celebrated finishing fourth at Newcastle, now they celebrate beating a Championship side on penalties. We are talking about Arsenal FC here.”

      United should celebrate finishing above the relegation zone, and Keane should celebrate his own life for the fact that he became a footballer otherwise he would have become a drug dealer

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      • Momo (@MuhamLAD)

        It’s clear Roy Keane is bitter as f*ck when we’re clearly celebrating getting into a cup final

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      • Murukesh Mohanan

        Dumb fuck. It’s a cup. Doesn’t matter if it is 4th Division or 1st, all teams can win here. All teams should be treated as respectable opponents. Hard-fought wins should always be celebrated.

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      • To be fair to Roy grumpy Keane does he say anything nice about any team. I personally like Keane because I know no matter how bad my life can be at times I’m still happier than Roy Keane.

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    • I’m pretty sure Lee Dixon wasn’t !

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  37. I’ll be really sad if Fabianski leaves us this summer :( Turned himself into a top pro and if he goes to another club they’ll be lucky to have him

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    • The commentators were saying something about him jointing shalke in the summer, a real shame. He’s been top top quality this season when called on, and also the tail end of last if I remember correctly.

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  38. Oh my fuck. Shitstorm averted, let’s hope the shitslide of this fucked up season has enden now.

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  39. Just when you thought it might’ve been one of those days… Arsenal show grit and character, which is JUST what we wanted to see. I’ve never seen such a cool-as-you-like performance on penalties either! Again, such class and character!! COYG!!!

    On a separate note, Roy Keane (for those who watched the game on ITV) WHAT a twat! so happy to see him eat his words and shut the f*ck up!

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    • I’m still waiting on a commentary mute option so that you can hear the noise from the stadium without the rubbish commentary

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  40. maybe it is too late but i think if we’re gonna play giroud i think its better we play 4-4-2. just my opinion. i might be wrong though

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  41. Some one should tell Roy Keane to stop being a cunt. Who wouldn’t celebrate reaching the FA cup final?

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  42. sanogo…..dat was a gud work ethic. oxlade, learn to change direction like TR7 wen running with the ball, yet great performance. we are staying at Wembley!!!!!!

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  43. FUCKING YEEEEEESSSSSSS!!!

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  44. Thank God. Hopefully we can go on and rescue this season now. This should be the shot in the arm that the team needs.

    I can’t remember ever feeling this tense during an Arsenal game in a long time.

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  45. I’m just glad that we won.
    Don’t care how!
    We are into the final!!!!!!!

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  46. Thank fuck

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  47. ‘Heart Attack Grill’ has got nothing on The Arsenal. Jesus… One step at a time I guess. Onto the next game.

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  48. Of all the things that could happen in terms of pressure…..fucking penalties.

    That was guts right there.

    nc

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  49. Well played to wigan, I bit my fingers off man that was intense.
    And we won.
    Yes yes yes yes yes.

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  50. I know Wembley has been criticised as a venue, but watching us there is something that I’ve missed and the reaction after the final whistle I’ve also missed.

    Thank god we get to go there at the end of the season; hopefully it will be more comfortable but I somehow doubt it.

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  51. Seriously we need striker come this summer… If it was drogba instead of sanogo we would hv beat them 5 0 before the penaltie came

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  52. Easy! Heh.

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  53. In Soviet Russia, WENGA sacks YOU

    Arsene deserves this. I hope he gets to finish his Arsenal career in Style :)

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  54. Was very predictable after 7 minutes. When we went 4-4-2 it gave ys more directness. Gibbs wass much more influential than Monreal too. We are lacking confidence so the win is most important. We’ve had a tough run to here so let’s fucking enjoy it. COYG!

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  55. That was scary. Now let’s improve and get fourth. We have some relief and confidence back that we can use as a platform.

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  56. At one point I had visions of my Mrs crying as the Paramedics said ”clear”. Mr. Bloggs, I love your site and your pods. For Monday’s, I advise the following.

    1) I remember that Glenn Hoddle had to tell Gazz that he was out of France ’98. He brought him into his office. He was wise enough to play some ‘Kenny G’ as he broke the dreadful news. Start your pod with 20 minutes of Kenny G. I don’t even know who he is. But it must be calming.

    2) Play 20 minutes of a ‘self help’ audiobook. You know, it starts with ”You are a strong, indepentent woman…”

    Rejoice. They fought. They did it.

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  57. That was excellent. Very please for the team. Wigan defended well, and after a slow start we did play some decent football. Some great saves by the wigan keeper kept them in it, as did the woodwork. Lets not forget…WIGAN BEAT CITEH TO GET TO THE SEMI.

    It was great to see the team and AW with those big smiles at the end. Thats a big positive.

    And finally. Roy Keane. He reckons we shouldn’t be celebrating for reaching the final…

    Don’t smile Mr Keane, you might crack your face. Tool.

    Here’s to a cracking final in May. Woot!!

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    • Roy Keane trying to wind our lot up. Isn’t gonna work. I’d try to explain it to him that
      a) Last year players celebrated finishing above Sp*rs
      b) today’s celebrations were about reaching the first FA cup final in 9 years.
      but it is a waste of time anyways.

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  58. You could see we were running on empty. But we got there and that’s the main thing. Everyone’s broken, let’s try an regain some confidence between now and the final.

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  59. Blogs, Jesus might be a wiganner; but God is a Gooner!!! #COYG

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  60. 2014-2015 = 2003-2004

    Well done Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain for covering 15 kilometres of pitch today, adding much-needed energy and purpose to the side.

    Interestingly, I also covered 15 kilometres during this match. Pacing back and forth our living room carpet.

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  61. Rubbish performance over the 120 minutes, but we showed character and spirit.

    In cup football the result is the most important thing, so I’m delighted that we made it, but we were awful for those first 70 minutes. It took their goal to finally wake us up. Wenger deserves credit for bringing on Giroud and playing with two up: it changed the game.

    I just can’t see why Sanogo started ahead of Giroud, except to save him for the West Ham game. Yaya looked lost and out of his depth. But yet again the Ox was our star player, unlucky not to get a goal.

    If we don’t improve in the final I can see us getting turned over by Hull (they’ll beat Sheffield United).

    Finally, maximum respect to Fabianski: I knew he would get us into the final.

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    • Piss off you dork!!

      And of course you knew.. Umm.. Duh?? You’re like the psychic of AFC.. Oh wait.. You hear that??? You don’t?? For real?? Your mom’s calling to clean up your vomit, you dip shit. Grow some balls i.e if you have any..

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      • What’s the thing that you are new to using? Is it your brain?

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        • My Name is Difficult to Pronounce

          I might not agree with most of what you say, but some of the hate you receive is a bit too far.

          And thanks for giving Wenger credit where it’s due, mate :) It was exactly what was needed, despite the fans’ booing.

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        • Umm .. not really.. I’m new to emotionally self centred, self righteous prick, who believe that their word is the gospel and.. wait for it….. Dick ass.. who think they’d have a better chance of managing/performing a club (cest la vie) even it weren’t for circumstances and behold.. The World is anew.. And then there was light..

          Like I said.. Grow some balls dork.. Your team needs you.. Spare me your expert analysis on how the game should have been played and just for the love of gawd, support your club with spewing venom agaisnt the club, players, board, manager etc..

          Ps : Want some Cookie ?? You naughty naughty fats – Brrgghhh – I know you do.

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        • well i am sorry but if we loose this cup there is no way i am supporting wenger (not that it matters anyways) but i think its only a fool who does the same thing over and over again and expect different results when it keeps failing.

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      • *without* .. My bad Fats.. Cheerio..

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      • well, that was an interesting read…

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      • If you don’t agree with what fatgooner has to say fair enough, feel free to give your opinion but if all you can do is get personal and hurl insults it isn’t him who is the *dork* fella!

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    • Roy!

      You’ve just been on ITV, so no need to come and badmouth us here as well.

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    • Well, for the first time for a while, I think, fatgooner, I agree with most of what you say. I’m actually thinking of giving you a thumbs up.

      Except that I thought Sanogo deserved his start — he’s more speedy than Giroud, got behind the defence more than once, held up play well on plenty of occasions, and though he missed some opportunities to score — not easy ones — he also made more chances than anyone else over the match as a whole, and was responsible for most of our shots on target. He just needs to get some confidence in front of goal. His touch will improve, and playing real matches is the best stage on which to learn. AW must see something in him to give him the opportunities he has, and he’s no bad judge of forwards.

      I agree Giroud should start against top defences, though I think he’s exhausted mentally, and missing the sort of service he got last season from Walcott, Podolski and Cazorla.

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    • We wern’t awful for the first 70 mins, the first 10 mins was how we should have been playing the entire game (if at all possible) then we sloweeedd right down, doing rather too much back and sideways passes.
      but we made a fair few good goal scoring opportunities and i cant help but think – if we had scored just one or two of them, you wouldnt be saying we were awful, not great but not awful.
      also I thought sanogo did pretty much everything right and was not out of his depth whatsoever. he won almost everything in the air, and managed almost evertime to lay it off as well and tended to be in great positions and get really unlucky not to get a goal. you’re not a fan of giroud (which is fair enough he hasnt been good recently…) but imply by the sanogo critisism he should have started? hmm
      i swear you just hate Arsene and its your only agenda to discredit him whenever possible lol, he deserves it sometimes but certainly not today, which is why i feel u were inadvertently picking on his team choices instead of him directly.
      Otherwise, yeah man totally agree lol.

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  62. That’s football!

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  63. SO happy Mertesacker got the equalizer. Most likable guy at the club. Would have been incredibly gutted if he were responsible for the losing goal.

    No matter what happens in the league, with Wenger, with anything, no matter what this performance means, what it does to our fatigue level…let’s go lift that trophy.

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  64. As usual we made it far harder for ourselves than it should’ve been. A wins a win though…

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  65. Let’s shed some light on them!

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  66. Roy Keane can go lick my sweaty bag

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  67. Too difficult to watch Arsenal play as if it was a charity match. No movement no creativity, Cazorla and Arteta were really poor. But a win is a win, I’ll take it any day. Hope we continue to build on this now. I am scared about the Hull match though. These extra minutes will have taken a toll. Don’t know if we’ll have even a fit starting 11 for it. Anyway, god bless the club. COYG!

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    • Correction, Arteta only poor in the 1st half. Played a proper DM role and mopped everything up since.

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  68. 99 problems but being a GOONER aint one

    Weird performance.
    There was some good things happening but nothing happening at the same time if that makes sense
    . Sanogo is an interesting player. Little bit of pace and actually gives defenders something to deal with, he contests well and holds it up well at times. But is also capable of falling over, miscontrolling and cannot finish at all. French Danny Welbeck.
    But the kid does have some talent so well see how he develops and not judge him tooo harshly to soon. You can see what mobility and a bit more pace up front would do for this team if it was a world class or even an established striker. Giroud made a bit of an impact when he came on. He and Sanoga should be our 3rd and 4th strikers and Wenger or a new manager need to address this.

    Podolski was shite and inaffective as usual, the guy is a pure stirker so playing him wide does nothing for him. He has no skill and rarely beats his man on the outside. To an extent i can see its not his fault he has to play wide, Saying that his performance today was shocking and the way he just went up the tunnel when he was subbed pissed me off as he was acting as if he was playing well.

    Gibbs did more in 10mins than monreal did the entire time he was on the pitch and it was his fuck up that led to the penalty.

    Cazorla did absolutely nothing except dispatch his penalty. Did not realise he was playing until the 34th minute.

    BUT WHERE THRU ARRRRR SEEEEEEEEN AAAAAAAAL.

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  69. I swear this is how teenagers feel after pregnancy test comes back negative.

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  70. Hats off to Fabianski and our 4-4 PKs from veteran players.

    !!

    (The attacking performance the other 120 minutes? Predictable and, mostly, poor.)

    The steady, heads up, efficiency of Gibbs, Sagna, Fabs even with their mistakes, should be the touchstone for closing out the Cup/Season. Heads up, attacking team play. Basics.

    Seems that opposing teams have simply closed down Cazorla’s shooting…and Arsenal’s entire threat up the middle…this year. If there’s no credible midfield threat on goal, all the opposition have to do is shut down our forward line. Be that Sanogo or Giroud…or Ox trying to take the game on his shoulders…and sit tight.

    Hopefully, Ramsey rekindles his deadly midfield threat in the run in and we can punish teams for taking the Arsneal midfield for granted again.

    COYG!!

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  71. Angolan Girl Who Loves The Gunner

    Oh Arsenal, Oh Arsenal, Oh Arsenal…We love you, we really do!COYG!

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  72. So happy! I love how kallstrom came on and didn’t stop smiling the whole time. That fucker knew what was gonna happen I’m sure of it haha! Roy keane is a bell shiner and I don’t care who we beat or what league they’re from we have had the hardest run of anyone to get here and we are going all the way!

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  73. I felt physically sick for large portions of the game.

    Still very worried about this team though – This game should never have gone to penalties.

    Thank fuck, for all the talk of mental strength, the penalty takers (and Fabianski) showed exactly that today. I was completely expecting Giroud to miss, and I think his celebration gesture showed it all. Mental strength.

    Also very happy for Kim scoring his first goal. The pub where I was watching the game got treated to lots of words in Swedish when that goal went in. Most of them made no sense whatsoever.

    Källströmdinlönnfetadvjävlaunderbarasatanshelvete

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  74. Christ Almighty that was horrible to sit through my heart rate was at about 280 BPM during the penalties, but fuck if all our penalty takers weren’t ice cold! Fabianski (surely he deserves to start the final) and Per are the heroes of the day, Ox played amazingly as well.

    I am one of the very few who think, despite it all, that Wenger deserves another couple of seasons to reap the rewards of his hard work, and hopefully a win in the final in May will be the catalyst for the new era.

    I think it was on the last Arsecast that bitter fans who always have to find something to bitch about were mentioned, well hopefully even they can crack a smile today (although they’ll probably still bitch about something, like Roy Keane!).

    Yes as a whole we didn’t play so well and yes there are a lot issues that need to be worked out, but for fuck’s sake let’s all enjoy today!

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    • Not one of the few, just one of the few posting comments lately!

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    • Sure AW deserves a bunch of stuff but there are a few things he is definitely not good at and those responsibilities should be delegated to someone who is. A third way maybe

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  75. Hard work but YYYYEEEEEEESSSSSSS only one result from silverware!!!!

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  76. N.E.R.V.E.S

    Can you really blame the team?

    Anyone who says we do not deserve this is either bias or blinkered.

    Yes we were unconvincing for large spells against a Championship team but they did beat City and we did beat Liverpool, Everton and Spurs to get here.

    McNulty mentioned that we had to show character falling behind and get a large shovel to dig us out of the massive crevice we have fallen into reaching new depths.

    Well we got a BFgG to do the digging!

    Can’t fault us for showing character and the team for holding their nerves to complete 4 penalties.

    Fabianski has been excellent this season.

    Can’t say we can complain too much about Wenger’s decision to go for the twin towers of Giroud and Sanogo as a Plan B when we tend to deride him for not adopting one.

    Into the finals we go.

    COYFG!

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    • The Championship doesn’t exist in the FA Cup and Wigan certainly aren’t an easy challenge to overcome, especially from 1-0 down to a penalty. So let’s take nothing away from today’s result!

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    • My posts exactly! lol

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  77. Almost everyone think Arsenal were going to lose if it went to penalties – pointing to Arsenal’s so called weak mental strength. Arsenal had won 6 out of 7 last penalty shootouts. Fabianski is a great shot stopper – and better penalty takers. It was strange of Wigan to send out their two weakest penalty takers early on though. Both subs and hardly ever played.

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  78. Finally we made it to the final. It was horrifying. But we made it. So great.
    I thought Gibbs made a huge impact when he came on. Before that left side wasn’t doing anything. I would like to think we were unlucky to go to penalties, but you can’t really believe it since all the best chances were wasted by Sanogo. We are Arsenal and we shouldn’t be relying on a young inexperienced forward on such a important match. Wenger needs to adress this issue I’m the summer.
    What a performance from Fabianski. Absolute Hero.

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  79. This feels fantastic. Got to get in on this. Up votes for all! And Fabianski, what a lad!

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  80. WA Drinking club

    Had to get very drunk for that game xxx get in!

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  81. Why do you ask my name? It is beyond understanding

    In the end the result is all that matters and I am enjoying the win, even if the performance wasn’t up there with the best.

    But the reality is that Arsene was 8 minutes and a couple of good goalkeeper guesses away from the biggest wave of bile and vitriol the Internet has ever witnessed.

    I’m glad for him that Arsenal scraped through. Excellent penalties under huge pressure.

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  82. Fabianski for first choice please..

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  83. I’m impressed with how we calmed our nerves on the penalties….we shouldn’t neglect the fact that we really are desperately in need of a new center forward who can make something out of nothing…get a new quality CF and challenge for the treble next season

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  84. Roy Keane is a bigger cunt than John Terry.

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  85. there was a lot of squeaky bum time during that game. I hope the players don’t make us go through the same unnecessarily in the final

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  86. Relief! Fabianski hero? Yes! Don’t forget the coolness of Arteta taken our first pen!

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  87. The lack of end product is why i allways thought Podolski should play striker. If he does not score, atleast he usually tests the keeper giving a possible rebound oppurtunity, unlike our strikers whom test the keeper in 1 of 10 shots it feels like. On the wing he dont contribute as much. How many of the chances our strikers have got this season would Poldi put in the back of the net? In Cologne, Poldi had 19 goals for a side that was relegated, which was only 2 less than Giroud whom played for a team that won the league. Wenger have also praised his clinical finishing many times, but he still wont give him much of a chance up top. In a 4-4-2 he could play along side Giroud. We need some lethality up top after all. Last season Poldi had a better convertion of chances rate than both Van Persie and Suárez, and as a striker he might very well have challenged for the golden boot.
    :
    Anyways, im so happy now, and all that is not important right now :) Hell Yeah! My nerves are shot after that game.

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  88. Arsenal lacks a winning mentality. Why does Wenger play the second choise goal keeper in a semifinal? The arsenal wins on penalties and displayes a winning mentality. And fabianski saves two shots and wenger is proven right. Kind of. Kallstrøm who we all has made jokes about
    scores in the shootout. As does cazorla. Maybe we should as supporters just
    support instead of trying to be pl managers?

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    • On the other hand, Bendtner has a WM (winning mentality) rating of 277% over the baseline according to the Arsenal Psychiatrists.

      Perhaps whoscored or opta should start tracking this.

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  89. Özil's Eyes on Arsene's Hot Thighs

    Good to experience something fresh for a change. You will never see Ollie Leadboot making runs behind defenses like that, just saying. Sanogo all day, everyday over The-most-back-pedalling-striker-any-top-side-will-ever-pray-to-never-have.

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    • I think a good player can be made out of OG, but not in the current set-up. He needs competition at the very least.

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  90. Did you all see that? Yup Yup, a Tactical Change, and before the 70th minute!

    It may not have been the Arsenal Way, but I’ll gladly take the Win!

    Hey Uli! Bet you didn’t expect the old Route One thrown into the mix, Did you?!

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  91. Maybe next season 3-5-2
    Would be an option.
    Two natural wingbacks already in Gibbs and Sagna still allowing Wenger to play three in the middle of the park but giving us some pace up front from maybe Theo playing off Giroud.

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  92. The reason why everybody is celebrating is not that we have won something, but that for the time being we have bucked the trend. It’s sheer relief after the month we’ve had, and you can’t deny the team that (who have probably worked their bollocks off while under a big scary cloud of uncertainty).

    How to put this? I’m chuffed to bits that we’re in the final but I’m praying the team can keep their shit together long enough to win in the final. That doesn’t mean I’m pleased about the consequences of the shitshow of a transfer window.

    And any jokes about Championship sides should be responded to with ‘Everton, Liverpool, Tottenh*m’. We wouldn’t be here if we hadn’t done it there, so credit due.

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  93. Back from the game, V.E.R.Y large mojito in hand. TBH, I’ve jsut added sugar to numb to taste of alcohol. Hic.

    What a horrible, turgid and un-inspring game of footie. Well done Mert though – great reply to giving away a spectacularly stupid penno. Why in the blue fucking hell is he not club captain?

    Didn’t even celebrate winning on penalties – too stressed. I am a 35 year old man…there were tears in the shoot out. There, I said it. Nasty, nasty way to settle a game of footie…never liked penno’s – first time I’ve been a part of them live…hopefuly the last. I feel for Wigan *shrugs*.

    In closing…fucking stumped Fab is probably off on a free at the end of the season. What a fucking hero. Is he better than Wzcz?…dunno…but it must push the taleer of the Poles on having a keeper that decent. Lest we forget Fab was our MOTM against the bin raiders as well!!!

    I am really drunk and really tired.

    Sorry for ranting.

    I love you all.

    Goodnight xxx

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  94. Granted the team that wins the title this year would have achieved more than us, but if we win the FA cup and book 4th spot (and CL), it will be better than finishing 2nd or 3rd (no matter how many points) with no trophy(s).

    Not sure we should see it as absolutely abject then granted it is a colossal shame in an opportunity missed given our lead for so long this season (and being really about a striker off closing the deal for the title)

    In that respect, Wenger would not have done too badly at all.;)

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  95. I like my shoes. I don’t like thinking about the conditions in which they were made.

    I’m glad we’re in the final. …

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  96. REALLY glad we came through and got to the final. Don’t mind who we face tbh although SU have been a bit of a bogey team for us in the past in the days of Neil Warnock hmmm.

    I don’t think we played that badly, we did dominate the game but as always didn’t do a lot with it. I do think we play much better when we go 4:4:2 and think both OG and Sanogo should start up front on Tues. I think people are being a little hard on Yaya, if he keeps trying like that he will start putting the ball in the net, he just needs game time. Once he get’s his first goal I think he will be fine!

    Hate winning by penalties and feel for Wigan going out like that but they are the rules. Impressed that when it was needed the team could be cool, calm and mentally strong in dispatching four perfect penalties.

    PLEASE AW DO NOT let Fab leave in the summer, it would be fucking criminal. He is better than most first choice keepers in the PL let alone all the second choice ones. Surely both of them can have an even split of games, they are both fantastic keepers and should be keeping each other on their toes. Don’t want Bac to go either, surely we can go tyhe extra mile to keep him …

    Really pleased the BFG got his goal, he is such a likeable fella and we are lucky to have him. If TV does leave I think he would make a great Captain.

    ONWARDS to the final because for today at least the wankers fauning over our demise were shut up :-)

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  97. I think you are all being over harsh on Roy Keane!
    I no I don’t – he’s a fucking knob!

    COYG!

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  98. Is it just me or did anyone else see, twice, the camera cut to Arsene Wenger clandestinely smoking an e-cigarette and popping it back into his pocket?

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  99. Hmmm. Well done to the lads but… not exactly a convincing victory scraping through by the skin of our teeth against a team that’s fifth in the Championship?

    I’m sure Sanogo’s a nice lad but he’s got a long way to go – he had one shot on target and the rest of his attempts were embarrassingly way off. I don’t blame him – how has it that our team has become so run down that we don’t have decent reserves?

    Fabianski was a hero, as was the Ox, Pod and Santi.

    We’re going to have to strengthen up for the final.

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