Daily Archives: May 17, 2014

A great final to a mediocre season



The FA Cup Final is the greatest day of British sport. Forget the National, Super Sunday and the Boat Race, the FA Cup has it all. Each season I devour the fixture list to see who has who in the cup. What makes the FA Cup a far more interesting tournament than the Premier League is that you only have six games to win. This in itself isn’t that surprising. To win the Premier League you can lose at least six and still come out on top. But what makes the FA Cup such an amazing prospect is that if you lose one then you are out. This isn’t a shock. We all know what the FA Cup is and how knockout tournaments work. There is something wonderful about that still keeps me captivated even after all these years.



Today was no different. For two hours you got gut wrenching, physical, end to end football. What makes this final so much more powerful is that it came after a (and let’s be honest) mediocre season. No one played particularly well. Manchester City won the league as the other three threw it away at various points along the way. I’m not belittling Manchester City’s win, far from it. Any team that wins the league has my respect. It’s a hard slog and to finish out on top you must have done something right. It just wasn’t a classic season.



Arsenal are the rightful holders of the cup. This is the 11th time they have raised the cup. They are now tied with Manchester United with most wins. No mean feat in itself. The game could not have started worse for Arsenal. Conceding two goals in eight minutes, not the dream start. Then on 17 minutes Santi Cazorla scored one of the best free kicks I’ve seen in recent years and the Arsenal had some hope. Half time came and went and the game was end to end until Laurent Koscielny bundled the equalizer over the line. It was game on. Arsenal pressed and pressed, hitting the woodwork and side netting again and again. It was looking like the 2005 final (penalties) then player of the season Aaron Ramsey got the winner in the 109th minute. It was only fitting that he got the winner. After showing so much early promise only to suffer a horrific leg break, then to come back and for the fan to turn on him must have been heart breaking. But Ramsey is made of stronger stuff. He dug deep concentrated and this season finally showed what he could do. For him to get the winner it was perfect.



So the season is officially over all that is left to do is watch the Champions League final next weekend and in less than a month the World Cup starts. For the first time in a long time I am positive about the closed season. Now if only I could get “Go Santi Cazorla! Go Santi Cazorla! Go Santi Cazorla!” out of my head I’d be perfect!



The Andrews Sisters – She Wore a Yellow Ribbon



May 2014