After a nine years wait since Arsenal last won a major trophy, it was hardly a shock to see Arsene Wenger nad his players explode with delight when the referee blew the final whistle at Wembley on Saturday. Any trophy celebration is going to be great, but you felt that there was more to this one.
The way the players celebrated with the boss showed that they felt they owed the Frenchman something and he has admitted, in an Arsenal.com report, that this cup win was the most important of the five FA cups he now has with the Gunners. It is not because the fifth one equals the record of Alex Ferguson and Man United, although that must give Wenger some pleasure, but you feel that we needed to get this first trophy of the new era out of the way.
There were key moments in the game which the boss has pointed out. Having the mental strength to get going after the shocking start, when the Gunners could have folded was one, while Santi Cazorla’s fantastic free kick came just at the right time for Wenger to be able to deliver a positive halftime speech and keep the momentum of the comeback going.
He said, “The mental aspect is very important in a game like that when everyone expects you to win. When you are 2-0 down of course you are under pressure – everyone thinks you have won the game before it started. But the cup final in England is special, you saw it last year and saw it again this year. It was an important moment in the life of this team, because to lose today would certainly have been a major setback. To win will be a good platform to build on to come back even stronger next year.
“It was more important today than all the others. We have made twice the double, so you have already won [the league] so you are not under the pressure that we were under today. I have won it now five times, it is not too bad!”
Now for the Premier League, Arsenal.