I somehow managed to avoid getting too nervous, too soon about today. In fact, it wasnâ€™t until Thursdayâ€™s Arsecast that the fear slapped me in the face and the jangling belly kicked in. The waking up early. The inability to think about anything else.
That was compounded last night by a whistle-wetter or two with some of the usual online reprobates. There were people whoâ€™d flown in from LA, from New York, from Montreal: guys whoâ€™ve never seen Arsenal in a cup final, high on nerves and anticipation, wide-eyed and happy.
And thatâ€™s the FA Cup final right there, for me. A massive day, different to all the others; hard to explain to someone whoâ€™s never experienced it. I absolutely love it. I try to soak it all in, but end up forgetting most of it. Having won it a lot, and coming this far two years running, doesnâ€™t mean the feeling changes one iota. For me, the FA Cup final is a glorious day. Always was, always will be.
I want Theo to start, but I think Giroud will. Iâ€™d like Sir Chez to start, but I think Ospina will. But all of this is out of my hands.
Time to head to Wembley, gulp in the atmosphere and wrestle with my inner anxiety.
Come on Arsenal.
May the best team win. So long as it’s Arsenal.