Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Winning a trophy is a drug I want more of! No £100m transfer can produce this much joy

I don't think I can be the only one who is still on a high from the weekend. The last three days have been superb and I don't really want it to end. These are the special moments in football we should cherish. It's been a long and tough nine years, but everything which was achieved on the pitch on Saturday can now be built on.

I've never been in any doubt that we'd win the FA Cup this season after we won our third round tie against those lot down the road. Of course it was looking tricky when we went 2-0 down on Saturday, but I've had a sense that this year was going to be our year.

But like our 5-2 victory two seasons ago against Spurs, the fans got behind the team and played their part in giving the players the confidence to play their own game and slowly get a stranglehold on the game. Around me there was only support for the team, none of the doom and gloom negativity which can sometimes be found at the Emirates if we go a couple of goals down.

I thought the fans at Wembley were superb. During the semi final, I had seats in the upper tier and the atmosphere around me was tense and it wasn't enjoyable one bit. On Saturday I was stood in the lower tier behind the goal and it was a complete contrast to the Wigan game. The fans were loud, noisy and passionate. They were there to support the team, not worrying about what they were going to have in way of refreshments at half time.

At 2-0 down after eight minutes - and it could have been worse had Kieran Gibbs not headed off the line - the fans needed something to cheer about and they got it from Santi Cazorla's free kick. Once we had a foot in the game, we could build. Laurent Koscienly got the only goal of the second half, which the Gunners dominated following the introduction of Yaya Sanogo for Lukas Podolski and then it was extra time.

The double change of Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky for Mesut Ozil and Cazorla added fresh legs and fresh ideas and it culminated in Aaron Ramsey's goal, which was superb. He didn't have to break his stride to power home Olivier Giroud's back-heel to win us the cup.

There was bedlam in the Arsenal end.

There is a unity among the players, a good mixture between experience and youth, and the manager has finally managed to get them over the finishing line. Winning breeds a winning mentality and I hope that the players get a good taste of this experience and want more of it. I certainly do.

Sunday's parade was a fantastic occasion for anyone with an Arsenal connection to be involved in. I made my way back into the heart of Arsenal land and was thrilled to see so many Gooners turn up. The walk to Islington Town Hall was busy, noisy and friendly. It was great to see so many youngsters waving FA Cup final victory flags.

Then the stage was set in our perfect position opposite the town hall entrance. Pint in hand, we waited with excitement for the players, staff and manager to arrive. And on arrival they didn't let us down. The day was perfect for an open top bus parade.

And the scenes at the Emirates must have driven home again to the players how big a club it is that they play for. The place was awash with a sea of red and white - and yellow - clad supporters waving flags in a party atmosphere.

It's a weekend which will live long in the memory and one which won't be forgotten for a long time. We won the FA Cup. Now lets go and build on it next season.

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