Tuesday 19th January 2012
They say class is permanent and for a few seconds in London N5 last night, no football fan around the world could deny that statement. If a certain TH does nothing more in the next few weeks, all those of us lucky enough to be present will remember his return as nothing less than triumphant.
It also provided the perfect end to a game that had proved much tougher than it perhaps should have been. Not because we were expecting our visitors to give us an easy night, just that we created enough dangerous situations on the night to have seen our progression to round four tied up much earlier.
No matter what the score however, there is only one prize for victory in a cup competition so ultimately we got what we all wanted. Thierry's touch and finish from Songy's great pass was very much the icing on the cake and brought back memories that almost felt beyond reality.
A home tie against Aston Villa awaits later this month but before that our thoughts turn back to our league exploits.
Does anybody know how we can get rid of this incredible 'full-back curse' we seem to have at the moment?! Back when the unfortunate Conor Henderson picked up his serious injury after only being on the pitch a few minutes in our pre-season game against Cologne, none of us could have any idea what would lay ahead. In a single position I cannot remember a situation like it.
Without going into specifics we must have seven or eight players currently unavailable for that position!
Nobody likes to use that kind of situation as an excuse but any fan or pundit that doesn't believe it causes one or two problems both defensively and attacking-wise is a bit blinkered in my book.
On the positive side, a number of our squad are approaching fitness now it seems so all being well we can only get stronger as we go forward.
Swansea have already proved they are a tough side to beat, especially at home. With that in mind we head into south-west Wales knowing we will have to be at our best to come away with a victory.
A new ground for all of us too, a rarity it seems these days, even in the FA Cup where opportunities are more numerous! There will be a few attending no doubt that remember seeing us play at our hosts' Vetch Field ground 30 years or so ago. I am not one so other than visits to see relatives and our many successful trips to nearby Cardiff, it will be a whole new experience.
Come on you Gunners.
FrankCopyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 10 Jan 2012