It is time for Africa in our tour of every continent ahead of the FA Cup final. Emeka Onyenuforo of Arsenal Nigeria blogs about his matchwinner on Saturday, Mrs Arsenal in Lagos and delightful news from Jill Smith.
You can never forget last season’s final. There was deep excitement and tears of joy after we finally ended a run of trophyless seasons with that 3-2 victory over Hull in extra-time. We watched the game in a pub in Nigeria and place was alive with singing, jumping and shouting.
For me that moment was as good as when Jill Smith, Arsenal’s former supporter club liaison officer, told me our banner would be on display at Emirates Stadium as part of the club’s 125th anniversary. It was incredible to think our work would be visible in a place where legends like Ian Wright, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams had played.
"Everyone will be in Arsenal shirts and the atmosphere will be incredible"
This year’s FA Cup final promises to be a very close game. Aston Villa are a flexible and mobile team who can give anyone a tough game on their day. Christian Benteke is a good target man for them. However we have matchwinners in abundance with Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud and the extremely talented Mesut Ozil. However I would point to Santi Cazorla as being the right figure to win this game for us or the Little Mozart, Tomas Rosicky, if he gets the chance.
In Lagos, we have outlined our programme for the day. We’ll be congregating at the SS Lounge on Victoria Island for the game. It will be a full party with DJs booming out music. Everyone will be in Arsenal shirts and the atmosphere will be incredible. Our most nervous supporter will probably be Timmy from Akwaibom state. She is known as Mrs Arsenal and cannot stop watching Arsenal games. But, elsewhere, Gbenga Olawoye and the founder of Arsenal Ghana, Fahd Mohammed, rank alongside her for passion and commitment.
I hope to be celebrating with them all immediately after the final whistle is blown. Watching the game unite the Arsenal faithful and my family members is very satisfying. I truly expect a fantastic atmosphere on the evening. I can’t wait.
Personally I have no superstitions about Arsenal matches. I believe only in direct victory on the day and we should believe in nothing else except that.
It’s been a great season but could have been even better if not for a poor start which was the result of early-season injuries and fatigue. If we can readjust a little bit and add a something more to the squad then, with the right belief and proper winning mentality from the players, we will be a team to beat next season.
We simply just need a little extra in the team and we are good to go. Winning the FA Cup for a second successive season will start it all.
We are the Arsenal.
We must be ready for the fight and prove it on the day.
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