On Saturday, Arsenal will play in the FA Cup final for the second year running, and will look to maintain their hold on the trophy. Should they do so, it will be the second (FA Cup) trophy in two years for the London club, and will be seen as a welcome prize for the third place Gunners. Arsenal, though far off the pace of title winners Chelsea, squandered an excellent chance to finish second in the league, and fell far short of what was expected, or hoped for, in the Champions League this season. Though they have made significant progress in strengthening their squad, and becoming more serious contenders for major silverware, their third place finish displays their inadequacies.
However, unlike last season’s FreedomPop review of the FA Cup final against Hull City, Arsenal will not be feeling the pressure of needing to win in order to bring a trophy home to the Emirates. Yes, the Gunners will be the overwhelming favorites, but having ended the trophy drought, the intense need for them the win a trophy will not be there, perhaps allowing the players to relax and play their game. That said, the Aston Villa side that they will face will no doubt be hungry to show what they can do, and that they deserve to be in the final with a big club like Arsenal. Should the Gunners underestimate the Villans, they may leave empty handed.