1345 days ago, Arsenal played in the FA cup in Wales. Not just in the FA cup, but in the final of this prestigious competition. Patrick Vieira fired home the winning penalty in order to bring the trophy back to North London. After a 0-0 draw.
So, if you want to draw positive omens, this was another 0-0 draw in Cardiff. Lets hope we'll also see trophies at the end of this season because that is the last time we won anything.
That aside, we were clunky today at Cardiff. I grant you I was stood on a terrace and have not seen any TV pictures but that was my assessment from inside the ground. It was not an awful display as some fans were trying to make out. Simply put, our play was missing a frisson. We needed a little moment of magic to open up the Cardiff defence. What we got was passing which was slightly astray and players not quite on the same wavelength. This happens. And when it is a frisson you are lacking, we can understand why Wenger is chasing He Who Must Not Be Named in the transfer market.
The replay is no bad thing - in many ways we haven't been able to build momentum the way we should have over the last 4 weeks because we've played so irregularly. I worry about ticket sales, but I think we'll sell plenty of ordinary tickets. The real worry is attendance of season ticket holders. A big-name signing would put bums on seats.
Ultimately what is crucial is that Wenger does not throw the replay and play the kids. It is unlikely we will win the league or the champions league. The FA cup is winnable. It's been slightly devalued but the list of winners tells a story. A trophy will be nice. So we as the fans have to implore him to take the replay seriously. And we do that by buying tickets.
When people are walking away and giving up, it is now we are needed more than ever. And you never know, this team could surprise you.
So Ninian Park was a disappointment rather than a disaster. If their free-kick had gone in, it would have been a disaster. As it is, we are in the hat with a favourable draw. We just need to make sure we support the team sufficiently to get to the next round.
But Ninian Park also disappointed me in another way. I was expecting great atmosphere, with a raucous rivalry between the two sets of fans. Instead, I saw a quiet crowd who turned into thugs post-match.
It's good to be English.......