The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
Email This Page
Gunners on salvage mission

London: Arsenal can salvage a heart-breaking season Saturday if the holders beat unfancied Southampton in the FA Cup final in Cardiff.

Arsene Wengerís dream of following up last seasonís double with a treble, including their first Champions League, has remained just a dream, if not a full-blown nightmare. They have a last chance of trophy success, returning to the Millennium Stadium for their third successive final after a 1-2 defeat by Liverpool and a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.

However, given their shaky form, fans fear the last of the three targets will go the same way as the other two. Racked by injuries and suspension which have ruled out midfield skipper Patrick Vieira and centre-back Sol Campbell, who together provide the teamís defensive backbone, Arsenal can be vulnerable.

Along with a heavy dose of self-doubt, so different to the wave of confidence which carried them to last seasonís final as newly-crowned champions, a spate of injuries has forced Arsenal to play with a constantly reshuffled back four.

Southampton have won the Cup only once, back in 1976 when they were in the old second division, and lack their rivalsí big-game experience.

Email This Page