Saturday 21st May....put that date in your diary. We've got the FA Cup Final we wanted, so now we feel perfectly within our rights to demand that the game itself should be a classic , with Arsenal winning and for it to be sunny so we can have a BBQ and sit outside with plenty of those little stubby bottles of french beer that you get from the supermarket. Olé!
Unfortunately, just like the weather, you can never guarantee a decent Cup Final. Look what happened in '96. I was beside myself with excitement at the very thought of Liverpool vs Manchester United and in the end the only real highlight was laughing at those awful suits the 'spice boys' wore. Dreadful. But at least I won the sweep that year.
An exciting game cannot be guaranteed and there is very chance that this could be a 1-0 bore-a-thon, but at least we can rely on there being lashings of drama, tension and woeful tackles. As we know, these two teams HATE each other, which always makes things more interesting and whatsmore, there is actually a lot at stake on this match. The winners will be able to take something positive from a frustrating season and will have reassured themselves that they are capable of catching Chelsea next season. The losers will face dejection and derision, as well as relentless calls from fans and media for a change in personnel, be it your Spanish forward, your aging captain or perhaps even your knighted Scottish manager.
Our money is still on Arsenal. Revenge is due and with the return of Gilberto Silva and (hopefully) Sol Campbell, it is going to be a hard task to stop the Gunners from collecting. Saturday's game demonstrated that this season could prove to be a temporary blip rather than a permanent decline in the team's fortunes. There is life yet in the likes of Pires and Viera and it appears that Van Persie, Fabregas and Senderos are now ready for the big time. If a couple of shrewd signings can be made in the summer, Arsenal will be ready to push Chelsea all the way.
Away from the FA Cup, it wasn't such a good weekend for London's teams. In the First Division, Watford began to slowly inch themselves towards safety as they bagged an away win at bottom-placed Rotherham, and in the Third, Orient came away with an unlikely win away to high-flying Southend. Otherwise it was all draws and losses.
In the Premiership, Charlton carried on their now traditional end of season collapse with a 2-1 defeat at home to Charlton whilst Spurs consolidated their UEFA Cup position with an entertaining draw at Anfield. Crystal Palace are still very much in the mire after a 3-3 home draw with Norwich, but Fulham began to drag themselves away from the cesspool of relegation with a 1-1 draw at home to Manchester City.
The capital's two play-off contenders did themselves no favours on the weekend. West Ham drew with Millwall and are now 4 points off the pace with Reading and Derby, the two teams above them, showing no signs of slowing down or slipping up. Brentford were hammered 4-1 by Bradford, and whilst they are still in the play-off places are now running out of games in hand and are the not-so-proud owners of a negative goal difference. It is going to be tight for the Bees. Finally, QPR and Leeds fought out a 1-1 draw in a battle of mid-table obscurity.