Wigan Athletic have won the FA Cup and brought a little of the magic back into the devalued competition with a display against Manchester City that simply defied belief.
They matched and in truth bettered their more illustrious and better paid rivals all over the pitch and were deserving g of their late winner. Find me a City fan who disagrees and I will eat my hat.
For one man in particular it was truly a magnificent moment of retribution. The Wigan chairman Dave Whelan broke his leg in the FA Cup Final at Wembley back in 1960 while playing for Blackburn Rovers and now, 53 years on, he finally has come closure for that miserable day.
But they arguably face a bigger game on Tuesday night when they face Arsenal at The Emirates on Tuesday with one thing clear; anything but victory and they will be playing football in Europe next season from The Championship.
It was something that clearly stuck in the back of the mind of the Wigan supremo; who had banned champagne from the dressing room post-game and had this to say:
‘’I was the proudest man in football but now if someone offered me a win at Arsenal on Tuesday instead of the cup, I’d say yes. It’s so vital we stay in the Premier League and I’m sure most people would agree we’re good enough to stay in there.”
Well you know what if he offered Arsenal the cup in exchange for a walkover he might actually have a deal on his hands. Obviously that can’t happen for the various legal and moral repercussions of such an agreement but it does raise an interesting question.
Would Arsenal swap a Champions League place for an FA Cup victory?
Such is the desperate wait for silverware at The Emirates that question might be harder to answer then in usual psyches.
As Eddie Murphy once said if you give a starving man a cracker he is going to say ‘that is the best damn cracker I ever had’.
Arsenal are craving silverware so much that lifting the FA Cup may just trump the feeling of finishing in the top four.
Sure you earn the money and attract more players by finishing in those lucrative one to four positions in the Premier League but you do not lift a trophy; that overwhelming feeling if joy at watching your team lift the cup is not present.
While logic must dictate that Champions League football is far more important than a FA Cup victory; it would not be an easy choice for Arsenal fans starved of silverware for so long.
Arsenal fans? Champions League qualification or silverware? What is more important?
image: © flawka