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FA Cup dilemma for Arsenal fans

Wigan Athletic v Arsenal - FA Cup Semi-Final

The Bosman ruling around free transfers was a revolutionary moment in football, meaning players no longer contracted to a club could explore options at other clubs whilst still contracted to their current club, then leave for free at the end of the season without the two clubs involved exchanging so much as a penny for players over the age of 24.

In Germany, the likes of Bayern Munich have used this rule to their advantage with the summer signing of Robert Lewandowski the biggest talking point of the January window. One of Europe’s most lethal finishers, who nearly ended up at Blackburn, will now be playing his trade for Germany’s most successful team after deciding not to renew his contract at the club who helped make his name, Borussia Dortmund.

This has also rung true in the Premier League, with Nemaja Vidic leaving Manchester United this summer to join Inter Milan, his compatriot at Manchester United Patrice Evraand Twitter favourite Rio Ferdinand are also considering their options, although it has to be said, Manchester United aren’t really the same force they were this season following a sensational fall from grace in just one year.

Bringing things nicely onto Arsenal. Whilst many of us will be delighted to see the like of Nicklas Bendtner finally walk out of the Arsenal doors and onto the streets of London, no doubt we will all be saddened to see Bacary Sagna leave, whilst in another sense, mixed feelings around the departure of Lukasz Fabianski.

Bacary has been an excellent servant to Arsenal in his time since joining from Auxerre many years ago. But his contract is set to expire and despite once again Arsene Wenger misplacing his trust in players desire to play for him, over seeing their bank balance rise, (Not mentioning names but Nasri springs to mind) we are set to lose a very reliable and experienced right back. In Fabianski, an able, if not concerning deputy to our current number one keeper Szczesny.

But with Arsenals biggest opportunity of a major trophy since the 2006 Champions League final due on the 17th May, the question amongst many fans is valid. Can Sagna and Lukasz really give 100% to Arsenal and their desire to win a trophy when their minds are most likely already elsewhere?

Many players will tell you no matter what happens, when you step onto the pitch you are playing for yourself and your team, that you are playing to lift that trophy which could be one moment of glory you look back on over a career spanning international achievements and various other successes. But in this instance, I believe too much is at stake for Arsenal and too much is at stake for the fans.

For me, when a player has decided he no longer wants to remain at a club, he must be considering his options elsewhere. For Vidic and Lewandowski the choices were abroad, yet with Sagna we are realistically facing up to him leaving to join the blue half of Manchester as so many of our players seem to do in recent years. Think of it this way, imagine you are leaving your job to re-locate elsewhere, you have moving to think of, uprooting family possibly. So many things to consider, yet alone for Sagna and Vidic thinking about where they may end their careers. Never mind how much more money you really want for what will most likely be the shortest contract of your career.

For me there is no real reason to play Sagna and Fabianski against a team Arsenal should be beating most days of the week. We all believe Fabianksi to be a second choice to our current custodian so why would he be played ahead of Szczesny in theFA Cup Final?

And although many fans believe Carl Jenkinson to be a poor choice of cover at right back, you can be rest assured, he would be willing to give 110% for Arsenal on theWembley pitch at 5pm. Would Sagna be able to say the same?

For me it will all be completely irrelivant should Arsenal land their first piece of silverware since 2005. But if Arsenal were to lose, and if a mistake were to come from one of the two players mentioned, would Arsenal fans not only question the players desire and loyalty, but start to question the value of the man who brought them both to the club in the first place as well?

We will only find out once the final whistle is blown on the 17th, all will become much clearer then.

Thank you for reading


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