Arsenal Capable of Bringing Home Two Cups in Two Years?


Just 3 or 4 years ago, it was hard to imagine Arsenal winning 2 FA Cups in as many years. Wenger has always used cup matches to rest his key players and give youngsters an opportunity to shine. Yet as crazy as it sounds, Wenger has changed a bit, and nowadays every chance to win a trophy is viewed as important. The FA Cup may not be the Premier League or the Europa and Champions League, but winning is winning. A trophy, no matter what competition, will drive the team forward and could only do more good than bad.

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Sunday will be the last time we all get to witness this Gunners team before the transfer market opens up for the summer. However, Aston Villa isn’t going to be a walk in the park and to win this game, Arsenal will have to be aggressive and fight for the ball. I hope the team comes out swinging and looks to score, a repeat of last year’s final may give me a heart attack. Arsenal have a tendency to come out slow and don’t pick things up until they are down.

Prediction: Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa

1) Alexis Sanchez Ends his First Year on a High

All year, Alexis Sanchez has been the driving force behind Arsenal’s amazing performances. Like other great players he can create something out of nothing, with the added perk of being the most hard working player in the world of football.

Lately Alexis hasn’t scored as much as he did early on in the season, but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t been crucial to the team. Even when he is not as his best, you can always count on Alexis to work hard and close down the opponent. It has been an amazing first year at Arsenal, and it would be a story book ending to the season if Sanchez was to be the one Arsenal counts on to end the season on a high.

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2) Can’t go wrong with Walcott or Giroud up Front

Maybe this is an over reaction to what happen last game, but I honestly believe that Walcott can succeed in the No. 9 role. His speed gives Arsenal another dimension and if he can finish the way he finished last weekend, Arsenal may not need to add depth to that position over the summer.

Although Walcott is not the most reliable No. 9, one can only hope that he finally reaches his potential and turn into the player who last wore 14 on the back of an Arsenal jersey. Thierry Henry was once a speedy winger turned Arsenal great and one of the best strikers out there during his prime. I have always hoped that Walcott would improve his finishing and become something close to Henry. As always, one can only hope!

Yet Walcott’s ability to play the No. 9 is not crucial to Arsenal’s success this weekend, because Arsenal have another striker in the form of Olivier Giroud. Giroud plays a very different style, holding play up front. His ability to link up with the midfield is amazing, and his ability to bully Premier League defenders while controlling the ball up front is very impressive.

Although Giroud has slowed down and hasn’t been as impressive lately, he is still a good striker and does his job magnificently. Wenger really can’t go wrong with either player and it will be very interesting which player he starts, indicating the approach Arsenal is going to take.

3) Coquelin is My Player of the Year

Yes, he doesn’t score many/any goals. Yes, he is not the most skilled player. Yes, he isn’t the biggest, fastest or the most creative. But Coquelin is my player of the year because he has played a crucial part to Arsenal’s success this year. Defensive midfield is not the most glamorous position, and in an era where attacking players are valued so highly, it is hard to find a player who likes to do the dirty work.

Coquelin is that player, and he thrives in that role, staying back while all the creative attacking players do their work. With Coquelin in the lineup, I always find myself feeling like Arsenal’s opponents will not score a single goal. Coquelin allows Arsenal’s midfield to push up and force the opponents hand without the fear of being hit on the counter. So many times, we have seen Arsenal face lesser sides and lose because no one is back to disrupt the counter. In my opinion he is as important to the team as Ozil, Sanchez or Cazorla.

Next: Now is the time for Arsenal to sell Nacho Monreal

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