Three Arsenal players whose FA cup final match display secured their position in Arteta’s team
The FA cup finals lived up to expectations as it was both entertaining and dramatic. Both teams came into the match with a clear mandate to lift the coveted trophy. Eventually, Arsenal came out triumphant with a 2-1 win.
Chelsea opened the scores when Pulisic collected a backheel pass from Olivier Giroud, dribbled past Tierney before lobbing Martinez in Arsenal’s goal. Aubamayang won and scored a penalty before scoring the winner in the second half.
Arsenal has now won the FA Cup for a record 14 times. Three Arsenal players whose future at the club hanged in the balance before now has used the all-important finals to make a statement of intent. They have thus convinced the coach, fans, and the Arsenal board that they are central to the future of the club.
Luis: The Brazilian defender used this match and his recent performances to issue a “have faith in me” plea to the Arsenal board and fans. The 32-year-old recently signed a one-year extension sparking outrage from a section of the fans.
This signing came on the heels of his horror performance against Manchester City where he put up a cameo performance to forget.
Judging from his recent performances, Luiz has shown that Arteta was right in keeping faith with him. His presence will provide the requisite experience to nurture the upcoming central defenders in Arsenal rank-Rob Holding, Chambers, and Pablo Mari.
During the final against Chelsea, he was a rock in the defense; putting up a decent performance to nullify the threat of Giroud. He was substituted late into the second half for Papasthadoupolos when he picked up an injury.
Xhaka: Xhaka has had a mixed season. He started the season as the team’s captain, and midway he goy stripped off the captain band. At a point, he almost left the club in January, but Arteta convinced him to stay. He has since mended his relationship with the fans.
Currently, he doesn’t divide opinion any more like he used to, as he has come to be a mainstay in the team. During the finals against Chelsea, he put up a man of the match performance. Breaking up plays and committing the Chelsea midfielders.
No wonder it was the two tackles he got from Kovacic that led to the Chelsea player’s expulsion from the game. Xhaka has used his performance in the final to issue a “trust in my ability” plea to the Arsenal board and fans.
Aubamayang: The talismanic forward is a mainstay in the team, dragging the club along with his goals in the league and the run-up to the FA cup final.
He is unarguably the man of the match as his two goals secured the trophy for Arsenal.
With a year left in his contract, his contractual talks with the Arsenal board have not progressed as expected. He can potentially walk away free nest summer; following in the footsteps of Ramsey. This is a situation the board is not prepared to let happen again. In the finals against Chelsea, he put up a “come and get me” plea to the Arsenal board.
Meanwhile, his brace against Man-city in the semi-final took the team to the final.
Aubamayang’s importance to the team is not in question; the Arsenal board should, therefore, do all it will take to keep him beyond the one year remaining on his contract.