We Won The Cup
There really is only one “Cup” in English football and it isn’t the League Cup. The FA Cup has a history the League Cup cannot match and no matter what changes are made to the League Cup it will always be a poor relation of the three trophies in English Football. The FA Cup is traditionally the last act of the domestic football season and on May 30th Arsenal won their record 12th FA Cup and 6th since the arrival of Arsene Wenger as manager.
I have noted before my earliest memory of Arsenal is hearing of their FA Cup and League Double in 1970-71. Until the early 1980’s the FA Cup was the only English match we saw in its entirety on television, other match coverage being edited to fit the schedule. I watched Arsenal lose the ’78 and ’80 Cups to Ipswich & West Ham respectively but I also watched my Gunners win the “5 minute final” in 1979 against Manchester United. I have seen Arsenal dominate a final but lose to Liverpool in 2001 and I have seen Arsenal play a horrible match and win on penalties in 2005 against Manchester United. Last year against Hull the Gunners went down 0-2 but managed to pull out the win in extra-time 3-2 but this year was the first time I have seen Arsenal dominate and win. The 4-0 result might have been a tad unfair to Villa but such is football.
I do feel for supporters of Aston Villa, they have enjoyed a few successes over the years including winning the league in 1981, the European Cup (Champions League) in 1982, plus League Cups in ’94 and ’96, but I am not sorry enough to have accepted an Arsenal defeat. Aston Villa is one of the great clubs who’s glory days came in the early decades of the League and Villa Park was and is a sign of their pedigree. Renovations have removed most of the highlights of what may well be Archibald Leitch’s masterwork but the heart of the club is the supporters and they have remained loyal through the decades. It would be great if Villa, or one of Birmingham’s two other top flight teams Birmingham City or West Bromwich Albion, could join the elite but there are only so many spots at the top of the table and it is one thing to stay in the top flight for a long period but another thing to challenge for a top 5 spot.
So here we are again with a season over, except for the Champions League Final, and another one to look forward to as we get into the “silly season” of transfer rumors and supporters fantasies of big name buys for very little money get free reign. Chelsea’s League and League Cup Double along with Arsenal’s FA Cup victory will gradually slide into irrelevance except as notes in the record books as we move into the next season and most will ask “what have they done lately?” This begins at the clubs themselves within hours or days of their success and filters into the support base until it is a footnote in the club’s history.
The 2014-15 season is now history, fodder for songs & chants in the stands and arguments over pints in a pub/bar or wherever people gather: we are now in the beginning stage of the 2015-16 season.