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Thursday, 15 May 2014

FA Cup Final Preview: Arsenal ‘Cup villains’ to stand up to underdogs Hull City

Just after Obafemi Martins gleefully tucked in Birmingham City’s winner at Wembley, obliterating Arsenal hopes of a first piece of silverware in over five years, a horrified Laurent Koscielny, who played a large part in the comedy of errors that led to the goal, received a smack on the back of the head from a City player who was wheeling away in celebration.

This slap was seen across the world, and while it was initially seen as a cruel bit of afters on the Frenchman, it was exactly what every Arsenal fan wanted to give the defender for allowing David to beat Goliath back in 2011, and ensure that the League Cup was not to be that victory to spur the Gunners back into life, and into contention for further, more lucrative prizes.

That slap has, as a confirming reaction to his error, been just what Koscielny needed, as he has clearly grown as a player since that dreadful mistake, and when he takes his place in the Arsenal backline on May 18th against Hull City in the FA Cup Final at Wembley, there will surely be no more mistakes from a defender now regarded as one of the very best in the business.

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