Win It For Cesc, For Theo, and for Arsenal F.C.

On the 21st of September, Arsenal walked out onto the pitch at White Hart Lane, and walked out 120 minutes later 4-1 winners.

On the 27th of October, Arsenal strode into St. James Park and walked out 4-0 winners over Newcastle United.

On the 30th of November, Arsenal hosted Wigan Athletic at Emirates Stadium, dispatching the visitors 2-0.

On the 12th of January, Arsenal visited Suffolk to take on Ipswich Town at Portman Road, losing 1-0 to the lower-league home side. 13 days later, on my birthday, Arsenal avenged this defeat in the second leg, winning 3-0 at home over the Tractorboys.

This is the road Arsenal have had to tread leading up to Sunday's League Cup Final at Wembley Stadium against Birmingham City. We have seen our Gunners walk into tough away fixtures and dominate decent opposition. We have also seen them lose focus and stumble, and then right themselves again in an effort to win a first trophy since 2005's FA Cup success. We've seen goals from our big names like Robin van Persie, and goals from youngsters like Henri Lansbury. We've seen Arsenal overcome adversity time and again to reach this final, and they will need to deal with more than our share again on Sunday. For the Achilles Heel for Arsenal, injuries, has once again reared its ugly head at the most inopportune moment for Arsene Wenger's men.

A midweek league match just before a cup final is never ideal, but when your opponents are Stoke City, there is good reason to worry. Not so much about the result that day, but about who in your squad will be withdrawn due to injury. It's not an if against a team of Neanderthals like Stoke, it's a when. Sure enough, Cesc's balky hamstring betrayed him in the opening minutes (to be fair, not caused by a Potters player), and he was today ruled out for the final. Later in the match, Theo Walcott was bundled over while driving toward goal, injuring his ankle and being stretchered off. Theo will miss Sunday, as well as the clash with Barca at Camp Nou, and possibly more.

One cannot help but be distraught for these players, but particularly for Cesc Fabregas. He is Arsenal's captain, talisman and star. He is the player through whom all of our attacks seem to come, the Gunner with the greatest vision and ability to thread a pass through the eye of a needle. When our team is down, he picks them up, and he can change the game with a flick of his foot.

Losing him for this match is devastating for Arsenal, but even more so for Cesc himself. He has given his all for the club down the years, and has been a worthy leader. To be stricken down so close to his first chance to captain his club to a trophy can only mean bitterness for Cesc. However, his injury is less serious than originally thought, and while he will miss Sunday's cup final, it appears he will have a shot at our away clash with Barcelona in the Champions League. Not so for Theo, whose ankle problems this season are well-documented, having already missed significant time out due to similar injuries. We will certainly be the poorer for their presence.

Birmingham will not be grieving our losses for this match. They are currently 14th in the league, so a Carling Cup triumph for them would certainly make their season, being as it would mark only the 2nd major trophy in the club's history. Their only injury concern is a fitness test for former Arsenal man Alex Hleb, who famously earned the club 11.5 million theoretical pounds from Barcelona (in that they have yet to pay for him) to serve as a seat warmer. Luckily for Arsenal, we will have back Robin van Persie, Laurent Koscielny, who had missed Stoke due to injury, and Abou Diaby, who was serving suspension due to his red-card outburst at Newcastle.

Whether or not Hleb plays, Birmingham are certain to field their best starting XI, sure to include muggers, buggerers, shitkickers and Methodists.

We know what to expect from Birmingham. We were there when Martin Taylor destroyed Eduardo's leg and derailed his career, and they've not exactly cleaned up their act, with Lee Bowyer getting away with two unprovoked stamps on Bacary Sagna on New Years Day in addition to other unsavory acts. Not to say that we're angels of course; Jack Wilshere's awful tackle on Nicola Zigic at the Emirates earlier this season was certainly the worst by an Arsenal player this season, and deserved its sending off. But compared to Birmingham, it's hard to give as good as you get without going down to 10 or 9 men.

Sunday we play for the past 6 barren seasons, for the players who have suffered for the Arsenal shirt without anything to celebrate for it, and for Eduardo, who suffered worse than most. We play for this Arsenal team, who have stuck together through it all, playing for each other and for the fans in an effort to finally bring home some silverware. And we play for the future, so that this Arsenal team, knowing they are capable of greatness, will go from strength to strength and achieve everything we believe they can, because they believe in themselves. We play to win for all of these reasons.

Let's win this for Cesc. Let's win this for Theo. Let's win this for all those who have doubted us.

Let's win this for the Arsenal.

Roll on Sunday. COME ON YOU GUNNERS!

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