Bah humbug to anyone who can’t get their rocks off at the thought of an FA Cup semi-final, whoever the opponent.
I’ve been bouncing off the walls all week.
Competing at the business end for proper trophies, the nervous flutter of the pre-match stomach, the fear and the anticipation: that’s the essence of football, it’s what it’s all about. Big moments like these are what you remember when you end up looking back. Where were you when Ramsey scored? You won’t have to think too hard about that, it’ll be etched in your mind forever.
Read this fantastic article from the Times’ George Caulkin and you’ll see how lucky we as Arsenal fans are compared to others. I think we know it, deep down, though in the heat of things it’s easy to forget.
Think of all the times you were elated or despondent at a football match, and I suspect many of those will have been in the FA Cup. For all the scheduling lunacy, the Wembleyness of the semi-final and the loud blaring music over the tannoys at inopportune moments, the FA Cup is still something I can’t help but stay in love with.
Kenny Sansom flat hat, food and beer, mates, Wembley Way. It’s a routine I love.
Let’s just hope we don’t repeat the complacency of Monaco, or freeze like we did at this stage last year against Wigan. I have a string of photos taken during that game when we were a goal down and the clock was ticking, and the misery and anxiety on people’s faces was amazing. So please Arsenal: don’t do it to us again.
Forget the stats though: this is Reading’s one shot at glory, and we all know how transient glory is. They have nothing to lose so it’ll be an intriguing match. Of course we have the form and players that should see us through, but football doesn’t always work that way.
I can’t wait.
Come on you rip-roarers!