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Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea: The FA Cup final mailbox

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Send your thoughts on the cup final and anything else to theeditor@football365.com

Your own conclusions
*First things first, no its wasn’t a red card. Should Azpul have gotten one? Probably. But Chelsea didn’t lose because of bad officiating. They lost when Pulisic got injured

*What a player he is. If he hadn’t gotten injured im sure he would have got man of the match. His technique, dribbling and pace are a pleasure to watch. He terrorised our defence, excited to see him next season

*Once we settled in defensively and Pullisic was off the pitch, it was a fairly comfortable game for Arsenal. Game management is not a phrase often associated with Arsenal but Arteta has brought intelligence and calm to the club, there is a real sense that everyone is all in the same boat going the same way.

*Speaking of which, judging by the celebrations, Arteta will be our Klopp. Who knows if he will be as successful, but the players love him, he loves the club and he has passion in abundance.

*Luiz and Tierney make a nice CB pairing in a 3. There is pace, there is organisation, there is clearance, there is range of passing. If Saliba is as good an all rounder as he appears, that back 3 could be very tasty indeed. Will be interesting to see who the back 2 would be.

*Bellerin brought the second goal but AMN played better I thought. He has improved massively under Arteta and has the opportunity to play as a Pep wing back which gives him the midfield role he wants

*Xhaka and Ceballos (deserved MoM) make a great CM pairing when you have the ball, but they are prone to switching off. Really good number 10’s will exploit this endlessly as Chelsea did in the first 20 minutes.

*With Lacas workrate, pepes guile and Aubas sheer goal scoring ability, there’s a lot of variety up front for Arsenal. If they can start clicking, they are a very scary front 3.

*Massive result for Arsenal. This is a game changer for the next few weeks and leading up to next season. We even avoided the play-offs and sent spurs an extra 3 games in an already tight schedule. Lovely.

*Arteta was very bullish about Auba signing a new contract. I hope he knows something we don’t because if I was Auba and I wasn’t sure, that would have rubbed me up the wrong way

*After a shit show of a season, its nice to have something shiny at the back of it. Looking forward to next season now
Rob A (one of those games where everything went right for us and wrong for them) AFC

FEATURE: 16 Conclusions on the FA Cup final

Or, Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea: arbitrary number of conclusions

Pulisi? is the best Croatian (American born) to have scored in an FA Cup final. A huge talent that Croatia will massively regret not claiming as their own (which is fine by me as I’m part Slovenian).

Aubameyang is the best African striker since Drogba to lift the FA Cup. Did anyone think he would win silverware playing for Arsenal? I have confess I didn’t. Gabon is on the map! Just, don’t ask me where.

Arteta has got his hands on silverware before Lampard, Ole, and Jose (for Spurs). He’s kind of a big deal.

Somebody really should have told Auba about the plinth.

Azpilacueta and Pulisi? picked up injuries without being fouled. Are Chelsea players made of glass, or is that just Arsenal players, as fans of other teams are want to claim? Obviously not. But, this time Chelsea were the unlucky team.

Giroud has never been an elite striker. But, god does he add value to an attack. Will his critics finally hush up? They really ought to. Who doesn’t love “go-karting”?

Anthony Taylor should referee as many Arsenal games a season as Mike Dean does.

The omens were good for Arsenal. Not superstitious, but, the history book on the shelf…

Emi Martínez was in tears again. It means more.

Of the “big six”, Arteta has beaten Liverpool, City, Chelsea, and United. That’s all in half a year with a calamitous Arsenal squad.

Lampard has done well in his first season as Chelsea head coach. What a contest we’ll have between those two young managers over the next few seasons.

Pépé is the most talented Ivorian (not Frenchman) since Drogba to lift the FA Cup. What a goal (that didn’t actually count).

Matt Smith “stole” a winners’ medal during the trophy-lifting ceremony. If he isn’t made to return it then he will have one more winner’s medal than most Spurs players. Also, Eddie Nketiah (for Leeds and Arsenal) now has two more winner’s medals than Kane.

Arsenal’s substitutes: Nketiah, Papastathopoulos, and Kolašinac. Without serious investment Arsenal will once more finish several places behind Chelsea next season. But, who cares?! We won a trophy!! Aubame-bloodclaat-yang!!!
Simon AFC (aka norf London gooner) 

1. Congrats to Arteta for his first cup win. Lampard will consider this a harsh lesson for his team. The transfers for Chelsea next season will see them play slightly differently. But they seem to have a high energy base in there.
2. Arteta has got Arsenal playing in his image already(for the most part at least). They couldn’t sustain the intensity for the full 90. Although I do think Arteta will work on the fitness of his players for next season and sort it out.
3. That being said Arteta also seems to have got a nasty side to this Arsenal team. Every time Xhaka fell, he cried like he got shot. Similar behaviour from a few other Arsenal players as well indicate that it is a direct consequence of the coaching. Arsenal did get a helping hand from the ref as every 50-50 seemed to go their way. But it happens every now and then and tough luck for Chelsea that it had to happen to them in a cup final.
4. It remains to be seen if Arsenal can hold onto Aubameyang (I think they will), because his second goal was a truly world class one. Arsenal have to target one or two strong player to add to their spine. If that happens, they will have a strong campaign next season.
5. It also remains to be seen how Chelsea strengthen their defence. The fixture pile up meant that they had to deal with multiple injuries, even during the match, but I think they will also have a strong campaign if they get a leader in central defence.
6. All in all, an exciting first half, the match tailed off in the second half as both teams tired. But Arsenal did look the stronger of the two over the 90 minutes.
Ferventfootballer (Excited for the next season)

Spurs sweetness
So Spurs will have to settle for play-offs to be sure of European football, this is sweet. oh and i will take position 8 and an FA trophy than finishing in the champion league position with no trophy.
Lwazi (The progress in this arsenal side) Cape Town

Trophies matter
It kinda bothers me that Arteta won a trophy before Ole did. United are the much better team, but I truly do believe that trophies matter, a lot. Currently Arteta has won more than media darling Poch, and thats how it will go down in the records books. This Arsenal team may not be a classic or even any good in most games, but Auba truly carried a team that Arteta has whipped/threatened into shape towards the end of the season.

Lampard was exposed as a coach, and the Chelsea team was shellshocked at how dirty Arsenal were willing to play, and the decisions that went against them. I think the 1 biggest thing that Arsenal fans should take away from this game was that their team was willing to win dirty. To dive, jump, scream and surround the referee. I know these are not great actions to see from a team, but Arsenal are usually the ones who bend over and lay dead when a team comes out strong against them. To see them actually have some heart, passion and the willingness to do what it takes to win, is a sign of a winning mentality.

Congrats to Arsenal on their 4th FA cup in 7 years or something. Trophies matter, and dont let anyone tell you any different. Here is to hoping Ole wins the Europa!
Aman (Dirty may not be the right word, but you get the point)

Pandemic sentimentality
After a night spent with a big grin on my face from watching my team win the fa cup I am feeling rather sentimental so I just want to say how grateful I am to all involved in finishing off the season. Particularly to the players who (after watching two hamstrings go in the final) are evidently at their physical limits.

During lockdown there were a lot of legitimate arguments in the mailbox about whether/how they should restart the season and I honestly don’t think anyone would have begrudged them binning it off. I am sure money was the main impetus but after the decision is made someone does have to actually go through with playing.

This year has obviously been fully shit but football, and all those who contribute to it, have made it feel a whole lot more bearable. So genuinely well done to all involved everyone should feel proud.
James Warren

Piss poor Taylor
I’m very disappointed we lost the game today when it was there for the taking especially early on. Lampard was more concerned with where we it went wrong today than this piss poor officiating which is good on him because he was not blameless either. Everything that could go wrong did, injuries to key players before (Willian & Kante) and during (Azpi & Pulisic) the game, the defense reverting to its worst state. I’m sure all that and more will be dissected in mails by others.

Arsenal probably shaded it in the end in terms of sheer desire and the individual quality of Aubameyang but that isn’t my reason for mailing in. It’s not about Arsenal’s playacting or diving either but more about the man in the middle and general standards of officiating in England.

I’m usually quite level headed about refereeing decisions as it swings and roundabouts, that’s football isn’t it? I take it with equinimity but with Anthony Taylor it’s something else entirely, in my opinion there should be a genuine cause for concern for the authorities.

There’s a bad pattern emerging here whenever Anthony Taylor officiates a Chelsea game. Taylor officiated the last FA cup final between Arsenal and Chelsea in 2017 where Moses was also harshly sent off in 2-1 for Chelsea. In all Anthony Taylor has officiated 5 matches between the two teams in all competitions, Chelsea haven’t won any of those games. Here’s a summary of those games below:

Arsenal 1 Vs Chelsea 0 (FA Community Shield – August 3rd, 2015)

Arsenal 2 Vs Chelsea 1 (FA Cup Final – May 27th, 2017)

Arsenal 2 Vs Chelsea 2 (Premier League – January 3rd, 2018)

Arsenal 2 Vs Chelsea 1 (Premier League – January 19th, 2019)

Arsenal 2 Vs Chelsea 1 (Premier League – August 1st, 2020)

Taylor was also in charge for both Utd Vs Chelsea games in the Premier League this season. The second one was our other very controversial loss this season. The key incidents being Maguire not even getting carded for kicking Batshuayi in the crown jewels & Zouma’s legitimate equalizing goal being ruled for a nonexistent foul amongst other bad calls too.

This isn’t to say Chelsea haven’t won games with him in charge but he tends to always be in charge of the big games we lose.The PGMOL in the short term should remove him for consideration any games involving Chelsea while a thorough investigation is done.

In light of similar events (Sheffield’s farcical disallowed goal against Villa) this season, allegations from former PL referee Mark Hasley in 2016 alleging widespread match fixing in the PL comes back into sharp focus. The result of the investigations were inconclusive since the PGMOL (who were in charge of the said investigation) were fingered as being complicit according to Halsey.

The FA should take a critical look at the continued erosion of officiating standards year on year in the Premier League. All this despite the cutting edge technology being brought in to assist referees. Inconsistencies in the deployment of VAR, review of incidents, when or how the officials at Stokely park can influence decisions of the referee on the pitch.

Apologies for the length of the mail but let’s still try to have an objective conversation about this.
Double Eph CFC, London.

Love, love, love Arsenal
As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more and more jaded with Arsenal and football in general but by god do I love this Arsenal team.  Sure, Arteta hasn’t changed us into title challengers (yet) but Arsenal before he took over and Arsenal now are night and day.  I love how much they love each other.  I love how Aubameyang builds up everyone around him.  I love how David Luiz can be a disaster on the pitch and a leader at the same time, his impact on this team goes far beyond how he plays.  I love how we’re playing players barely out of nappies and everyone around them believes in them.

I don’t care about stats or league position, our season was ruined before Arteta took over.  I don’t even care if we’d lost that game today.  Arteta has been just what Arsenal needed, he saw that our biggest problem was that the squad was divided and I don’t think there’s a more united squad in the league now.  Next year’s not our year and I don’t care as long as this team reminds me why I loved football and why I loved Arsenal.

Sad to see Pedro go out like that, I’ve always liked him and thought he should have played for us instead of Chelsea.
SC (Give Aubameyang whatever he wants), Belfast

We’d have taken that
Well not the result Chelsea fans wanted, certainly not what I expected either after that early Christian Pulisic goal, wow that lad is a special talent cannot wait to see what he, Timo, Ziyech and fingers crossed Havertz can do next season together.

A few decisions went against us, won’t go into those though, we lost, simple, and I’ll be dignified in defeat, so congratulations to Arsenal and their fans, however looking on a positive note as this surreal domestic season comes to a close, as a whole if you had said to me on day one, we would lose Eden Hazard be punished with a Transfer Ban and yet make a Cup final as well secure 4th spot, then dropped in that we would sign Timo Werner and Hakim Ziyech, I think first I’d check you were not having me on with some top banter as that sounds quite ridiculous, but I’d have happily taken that, like most of our fans would.
Mikey, CFC (If Aubameyang does leave, it’ll be a true loss to the Premier League, but understandable due to his age and wanting to play UCL) 

Arsenal bingo?
Are Chelsea playing a game of Arsenal bingo? Signing lots of exciting attacking players, dodgy defence that is neglected in the transfer market, flimsy Spanish goalkeeper (anyone else remember Almunia?), focusing on top 4 above all else, bottling cup finals, injury prone players, getting hammered by Bayern, putting too much faith in overrated youth prospects…
Harold Potts

Take the lead. Give away a penalty. Three injuries. Lose the lead. Red card and a smattering of yellows. Pedro injured himself diving just to add to the fun.

Chelsea are the new Arsenal.

Wasn’t a pretty performance but solid play from the team and we did it.. FA Cup number 14. Get in! Plus the Europa League is better than no Europe at all. From the ashes of Emery, Arsenal are reborn under Arteta.
Alay, Brighton Gooner

Football as entertainment is slowly dying
When is football going to copy rugby and let ‘injured’ players be treated on the pitch while play continues? You would immediately eradicate the time wasting by players who feign injury to get the referee to stop play. The second half was unwatchable because of all the play acting and stoppages. Football as entertainment is slowly dying.
G Thomas, Breda

Congrats Mikel
None of them, infact it’s the guy who started the season as assistant manager, who took over a new team mid season, whose team everyone seems to cast off as the worst of the top 6, and it’s that manager that wins first.  Congratulations Arsenal and Mikel Arteta.
Dave(will Lampard get criticized for loosing this and coming in as favorites? No he wont), Somewhere

Everlasting Auba
Ok, I take it all back, Aubameyang is the best and we should keep him forever.
Tom (psssssst…Frank Lampard is a big game choker) Walthamstow

Danny “It’s in” Murphy
The enjoyment I felt from the two matches I watched today felt influenced more than I think I’ve previously realised by the co-commentator.

Aberdeen vs Rangers had Ally McCoist. Not as tactically insightful as some ex-player co-comms, but amongst the wittiest, happiest and most entertaining. He and Ian Crocker had a wonderful rapport on Sky Sports (I recall Coisty and Jon Champion at Russia 2018 being equally compatible)

I also watched the FA Cup final. On the BBC.
Graeme, Glasgow

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