With the "Specialist in Failure" moniker well and truly vanquished, and a record equalling fifth FA Cup shining on Arsene Wenger's mantelpiece the future looks brighter for Gunners everywhere. Success breeds success so they say, and for many fans it will come as no coincidence that Saturday's victory has come off the back of Wenger finally splashing the cash available to him.
Even then, it was harder fought than on paper it ever should have been, as Arsenal basically gifted Hull a two goal lead in the first nine minutes, with echo's of games against Manchester City and Liverpool suddenly surfacing, and audiences everywhere wondered if this game was about to become the final expression of a season which had oozed promise for Ramsey et al right up until it really counted. Instead of writing an Arsene Wenger epitaph though, journalists the world over are now speculating as to where next for a club whose history has demanded for some time now, a more tangible success than perennial Champions League qualification.
Arsenal were in fact, only 7 points away from the double, and had they won their games against Manchester City, they would have finished above the eventual champions. That without several star players has to count as impressive, but now comes the time for strength in depth to be acquired, and finally it seems Arsenal have the fiscal clout to be able to compete with the big boys. With Bendtner out of a high paying contract, and Bacary Sagna following Nasri and Clichy from the Emirates to Man City, this on its own frees up approximately £150,000 a week, about 50% more than Arsenal's second highest earner Theo Walcott to put it into prospective. Enough to attract a Karim Benzema? Probably not, but that would just be a baseline as Arsenal operate at a good enough profit to easily supplement what was already an outgoing to such an extent that to place such a player on wages similar to Mesut Ozil would be sustainable thanks to Wenger's structuring of the club over recent years.
In truth, Arsenal could support several high earners without falling foul of the Fiscal Fair Play rules which have just seen Man City accept a conditional £49 million fine and may well require players of that stature as it seems likely that Chelsea, City themselves, and Manchester United will spend in the close season, Chelsea requiring a world class striker, and United seemingly needing an overhaul in all areas other than forwards. If Liverpool keep Suarez too, (and they may well have to invest to do so), that would make Champions League qualification next season an even closer call. Two more major signings would see Arsenal in a stronger position to survive their almost obligatory host of mid season injuries, and fight on all fronts for honours, assuming of course the likes of Real Madrid or Barcelona don't raid the club of its Ramsey's and Koscielny's!
So, with names like Mario Mandzukic, Lars Bender, Benzema and Angel Di Maria being thrown about by the press, not to mention Wilfred Bony and Mario Balotelli, it's good to know that, finally Arsenal and Wenger can not only afford to be in the running for such players, but with the Ozil signing last season, they/he has also demonstrated a willingness to delve into the coffers and actually pay for world class players once again.