It was the stuff of nightmares. Our worst fears played out before us and the world. The defeat crushed Villa hearts, displayed the true scale of the rebuilding task, and certainly ended a number of careers.
Now that I’ve slept on it, it doesn’t feel much better.
Arsenal are an exceptional team, but they were afforded the freedom of Wembley as they despatched us with ease.
We not only froze, we suffered an ice age, as we chased shadows, to no avail.
Where did it all go wrong?
Villa were unable to contain Arsenal, yet persisted with exhausting attempts to do so. We never adapted, never changed and conceded just at the wrong time.
The first, hammered home by Walcott came after a growing spell of pressure. We never took the opportunity to regroup at half time, and thus, never recovered.
Any fan of football would go on to appreciate the quality of the Sanchez strike. It hurt, but it was a devastating hit of sublime quality.
Game over. Villa became feebler still, permitting Mertesacker the easiest goal of his career. The maligned German nodded in unmarked from a corner for 3. Giroud chipped in to make it 4 at the death .
Emotions run high, especially as the character of the defeat was atrocious. There should be no delusion that our meek, at times pathetic showing has been derided internationally. Merely glancing at a broadsheet or comment on social media will promptly confirm this.
A huge, huge let down. When will this chance present itself again? And in our lifetimes?
But, life goes on.
Positives to be drawn?
Maybe it will prompt a cull of the squad that has escaped relegation for years. Too many names steal a living at our club. Professionals, maybe, but our future, they are not.
And so concludes our season. Step aside Randy. Sell to a diligent, passionate owner, who wants to better us. Give Sherwood a chance and maybe some pride can be restored next term.
Up the Villa.