The FA Cup is unforgiving and relenting. And yet, it’s sometimes magical. It offers a chance for moments of David versus Goliath. Who can forget how people went bonkers when Bradford came back from being down 2-0 to beat Chelsea. . . at Stamford Bridge. That’s the magic of the cup.
With yesterday’s extra time win, Arsenal are back in the cup looking for their 7th under Arséne Wenger, their 13th overall. Arsenal also became the first club in history to qualify for 20 FA Cup Finals. Yet, our good buddy (I am being facetious) Piers “friend-o-Trump” Morgan had this to say in the aftermath of this feat:
7th in the League & Arsenal fans are going nuts with joy at reaching final of a 2nd tier trophy.
Shows how far we’ve fallen.
Get a grip.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) April 23, 2017
It is of course Piers Morgan. So it’s not unexpected. But there are others out there, maybe less vocal that feel the same way. Many of them Arsenal supporters.
Diminish silverware because they want Wenger gone. Wenger fighting for silverware in any competition goes against the general idea of Wenger is washed up and finished.
I’ll take a detour here for a moment to reiterate my own stance – I want a new manager in as I think it’s time but Wenger still get wring something from this squad as he showed yesterday and just because he’s the manager, shouldn’t diminish the feat of what he has achieved with this win and what it does for the players and the fans.
The FA Cup isn’t considered glamourous by some because it doesn’t feature the big money prize of the league or the Champion’s League. Because it almost seems to feature a team who some believe doesn’t deserve to be there like Aston Villa 2 years ago, it’s poo-pooed as insignificant. And because in the past managers have not always prioritized the competition over what they consider more prestigious.
But is the FA Cup without prestige? Hell no. It remains the oldest and in at least my opinion the more glamourous domestic Cup competition in Europe. This year’s final four was made up of some of the best England had to offer and it was clear that each manager saw their chance at winning silverware and took it.
The fact is it’s diminished by some of our fans because as we’ve said earlier – it’s a successful moment for Arsene Wenger and the team. And some are so hell bent on seeing Arsenal fail, just to force Wenger out any success is frowned up and openly diminished.
That’s sad to me. You support a team but can’t relish in it’s success because the man driving that successful moment is someone who you’ve come to dislike so much it clouds anything you do. But as people are so wont to point out – it’s Arsenal FC not Arséne FC. And just because Arséne got us there shouldn’t diminish the fact that we are playing in another Wembley final for the chance at more silverware.
Arsenal have another attempt at history on 27 May. They stand the chance of winning the cup for the 13th time – more than any other team. Wenger as manager could win it a 7th time making him the competitions standalone best manger. Those are things to be applauded and enjoyed not pissed upon because of some agenda.
Has the cup diminished? It did but I see a return to it’s prestigious precipice. Managers are starting to field stronger lineups as they begin to realize with only 4 real attempts at silverware – challenging for the FA Cup is seen as something worth fighting for.
Tell the thousands of fans who make the trip to Wembley the cup has diminished. Tell the thousands more who moan about not being able to get tickets because the allocation is low, that the FA Cup has diminished.
The fact is it’s a major trophy in a domestic season. It’s a grueling campaign that can pit you against the highest and lowest and you just don’t know what the result will be and that frankly is the beauty of this competition.
It takes away from the grind of the relegation battles or the battle for the imaginary trophy of the top 4. It’s a tangible prize with so many twists and turns that it makes it compelling.
Fine, you want Wenger gone. But if you can’t relish this moment for what it is then I really do question your credentials as an Arsenal supporter.