ONLY ONE WAY ARSENAL CAN EXPERIENCE THIS FEELING AGAIN
Football is about winning things. It's about glory. And you fancy for Arsenal's players, after the experience of 250,000 Gooners celebrating an FA Cup triumph with them through North London on Sunday, the penny has dropped. Finishing fourth and qualifying for the Champions League is nice. But it'll never give you the high like Arsene Wenger's young squad have been floating on since Saturday's final whistle. It's about making history, lifetime memories and celebrating with your brothers in arms. This young team now surely realises by only winning things can they enjoy such an experience again.
ANOTHER NEWCASTLE SELF-INFLICTED BLOW
Seeing the sheer joy on Arsenal faces at Wembley, you wonder just how Newcastle United players will be feeling today. Newcastle have effectively told their squad to forget any hope of such an experience. The Cups are no priority for the Toon - which was confirmed at a fans' forum last week. Would the players be happy with this? Even better, what of Remy Cabella, the Montpellier midfielder, or Manchester City defender Micah Richards? Both players are on Newcastle's shopping list this summer. But is simply playing for a top ten league placing going to convince them to move to Tyneside? Another self-inflicted blow for the Toon.
DON'T BLAME WONDERFUL CUP FOR FA FAILURES
If the FA can't make their Cup competition pay off after the last 12 months, then they never will. Last year it was Callum McManaman and Wigan Athletic. On Saturday it was Aaron Ramsey and a five goal thriller. Goals, underdogs, end-to-end football. The last two finals have had the lot. Budweiser have now ended their sponsorship and the chat is the FA are struggling to find a replacement. But on Saturday's evidence, it's time to shift the blame for the competition's 'apparent' lack of pull on those selling it's wares and not the Cup itself.
ALLEGRI AND MONCHI PRIMED FOR PREMIER LEAGUE
Two new, high-profile residents have just landed in London. Massimiliano Allegri, the former AC Milan coach, left Italy after losing his job in the New Year to relocate to London in order to learn English and improve the prospects of fulfilling a long-term ambition of working in the Premier League. With Tottenham, Southampton, West Ham United and West Bromwich Albion all in the market for a new manager, Allegri couldn't have timed his move any better. Then there's Monchi, the Sevilla sports director who masterminded the team that won this year's Europa League. The Spaniard has also moved to London to improve his English with the view to eventually working in the Premier League. Monchi actually has close ties with Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. It'd be no great surprise to see him moving to London Colney during season 2014/15.
VAN GAAL NEEDS EVRA LEADERSHIP
For all the fuss about keeping together the 'Class of '92' at Manchester United, Louis van Gaal's priority should be convincing Patrice Evra to stay on. Prior to last season, Phil Neville had been away at Everton for nine years. Paul Scholes has never shown any great enthusiasm about getting his hands dirty at Carrington since retiring and Nicky Butt, like Neville, had been away from the club for a DECADE before returning last year. In contrast, Evra is a part of the fabric at United. When he speaks, Evra IS Manchester United. His influence isn't just felt inside the senior dressing room - it runs throughout the club. Adnan Januzaj admits the Frenchman is the one he's closest to. Contrary to popular opinion, Evra never fell out with David Moyes. Nor did he take offence over Moyes' pursuit of Everton fullback Leighton Baines. In fact, he encouraged it - confessing to the Scot that he felt his game was declining because of the lack of competition at left-back. Evra has the option of triggering another 12 months in his current deal. If Van Gaal needs a leader, after convincing Ryan Giggs to stay on, his next call should be to Evra.
RAMSEY SUCCESS A TRIUMPH FOR WENGER
Arsene Wenger does make good players better: Aaron Ramsey is proof of that. Failure in the transfer market for the Arsenal boss shouldn't detract from his work on the training pitch. Ramsey was five-star on Saturday and deserved to go down in Gunners history as their FA Cup matchwinner. It's a great triumph for Wenger to have not only brought on Ramsey's talent to its current level, but also achieve it helping the midfielder overcome his shocking broken leg injury suffered back in 2010. Wenger was right in the after-match - how did the PFA and the Football Writers' Association fail to recognise Ramsey's campaign?
BASHAM GREAT EXAMPLE TO CUT KIDS
From the McDonald's counter to the Premier League? That could be the story for Chris Basham, who is coming off contract at Blackpool. Leicester City are among clubs interested in the 26 year-old, who picked up a job at McDonald's when he was axed by Newcastle United as a teenager. Rescued by Sam Allardyce at Bolton Wanderers, Basham has since established himself as Championship class - at the very least - with Blackpool. And now the Geordie could be signing a Premier League contract. A great example to any young player cut loose by their clubs this summer.