So we got there in the end. At half-time I think every Gooner was starting to get worried, not a lot being created, and certainly not testing their goalkeeper. Ipswich started to look like a side clinging on for dear life early in the second-half, but Arsenal were playing the game far too narrow against a packed defence. Finally, Jack Wilshere spotted Nicklas Bendtner who had dragged himself wide on the left-hand side. The big Dane took a glorious first-touch, stepped inside his defender, and slammed the ball in to the bottom corner. From Wilshere's superb pass, to Bendtner's tremendous skill and finish, it was a glorious goal. It was also one in the eye for the mugs who were getting at Bendtner once again last night - a prat sat behind me started the game when Bendtner's first touch was a square pass to Fabregas' feet by shouting "for fucks sake Bendtner" (more on this clown and his friends shortly) - of course, how dare he play an accurate pass to the skipper?! One thing that can never be levelled at Bendtner is an accusation of not trying, so it is doubly pleasing to see him rewarded like he was last night. When Koscielny made it 2-0 Ipswich visibly wilted, and it was really a matter of time then before we got another, Fabregas eventually being the scorer of our third. It's great to be going to Wembley for a Cup Final, even if it is "only" the Carling Cup. This trophy might represent the start of something for these players, so now they have to make sure they win it. I don't much care who we play in the Final, but I am wary of both Birmingham and West Ham, especially after we thrashed both of them on their own grounds recently.
One of the things that annoys me about Carling Cup nights is the fact that the games are attended by such idiots. We saw yet another pitch invasion last night which may well mean some sort of fine for the Club - this stupid prick nearly crashed in to Samir Nasri on his way to winding up the away fans. It's a shame no Ipswich fans replied in kind and gave him a thump. At least there was no Mexican wave last night. There was, however, a bunch of clowns sitting behind me, as mentioned above. Throughout the game people were getting news from Man Utd's game at Blackpool. When Blackpool were leading 1-0 we heard this idiot behind say to his mate "I reckon we wouldn't mind getting beaten tonight if Man Utd lose." Why the hell do these people go to football? During the match last night I couldn't give a toss about Man Utd v Blackpool. Arsenal were trying to get to a cup final and that was all that mattered to the real fans. I read earlier today that Arsenal and Man Utd have both lost in four League Cup finals, which is a "record" of sorts. I can imagine the bloke behind me saying to his mate at Wembley "I reckon we'd be just as happy with a fifth loss in the final so that we can have the record to ourselves." Tosser.
It seems a shame to move on from last nights glory on a sour note so I won't. I'll leave it by saying that the boys played pretty well in the second-half last night, and I hope that Arsene plays the full strength first-team in the final on 27th February. We must give ourselves the best chance of winning this trophy, and that means the likes of Song, Fabregas, Nasri, Van Persie etc all being in the starting line-up when we get to Wembley. It's great to be there and I can't wait to get my Wembley flag and t-shirt.
I don't think any football blog in this country can be published today without reference to Andy Gray's sacking. My initial reaction to Gray's dismissal is one of amusement, and a regret that Keys hasn't gone too (yet). However, there can be no doubt that the pair have been stitched-up by someone at Sky. I've read before that they are both unpopular amongst those who work for Sky as they see themselves as being a bit of a cut above. Richard Keys has given an interview this afternoon where he has cited "dark forces" being behind the sacking of his colleague. My brother pointed out last night that Andy Gray is among those taking legal action against the News of the World over phone-tapping. Who owns that paper? Rupert Murdoch. Who owns Sky? Rupert Murdoch. It appears that Andy Gray may be guilty of biting the hand that feeds him (and a very healthy annual salary is what he is/was fed) and Uncle Rupert's office was not going to stand for it. It's just a speculative observation, but it seems that someone set out to get Andy Gray this week and they have certainly succeeded. Now, if we can only see the back of Keys and Redknapp...
Late edit: Richard Keys has resigned from Sky Sports. Not really a surprise I would suggest.