So often in the world of film, one giant success leads to a heart-felt but ultimately inferior sequel, and that’s often followed by something undeserving of being in the same league with its original masterpiece, and in football terms folks, that’s Arsenal versus Hull.
Star Wars was never intended to be a Trilogy, neither was Toy Story or Jurassic Park, and while some triumvirates have become legend, some should really have quit while they were ahead.
Part One – May 2014 – Arsenal meet Hull at Wembley in the FA Cup Final.
Having easily seen off the Yorkshire side in two Premier League encounters, Hull stunned the Gunners and got this opening episode off to a roller coaster with two goals in the first eight minutes under a roasting May sun.
Arsenal – desperate for a trophy to end their nine year hiatus – quickly replied through Santi Cazorla and we seemed set for a rip-roaring action affair to match anything from Star Wars: A New Hope to the Jurassic Park in 1993.
Sadly this encounter couldn’t quite live up to the hype, and a Laurent Koscielny effort sent us into extra-time.
Aaron Ramsey then popped up after 108 minutes of gruelling, at times thrilling action, and our weathered and battered favourites had finally ended their nine-year curse.
Part Two – January 2015 – Arsenal host Hull at the Emirates in the FA Cup Third Round
Many a jovial chuckle was heard when it was announced shortly before Christmas 2014 that Arsenal and Hull would play out a sequel to their 3-2 affair less than a year prior.
But much like Buzz and Woody’s second endeavour in toy land, and unlike that time Jeff Goldblum and Vince Vaughn met male, female and baby T-Rex, this sequel failed to deliver. A bit like Jaws.
This second rendition didn’t mean a lack of big-names, oh no, Alexis Sanchez was the star of the show, but it was old warhorse Per Mertesacker who put Arsenal 1-0 up after 20 minutes.
The script was poor and the action sparse, but the sequel ended with some predictable moments as hotshot Sanchez stole the headlines late on to seal a 2-0 win.
Part Three – February 2016 – Arsenal host Hull at the Emirates in the FA Cup Fifth Round
While Part One had got off with a bang, Part Two had left this little series on something of a whimper, so it was met with a wry glee when it was announced that these sides would entertain us one more time.
To add to the anti-climatic vibe, Hull are busy working on their TV Series (promotion from the Championship) and Arsenal are focusing on branching out into new locations (Champions League) so don’t expect either side to put out their A-game for this third movie.
Jurassic Park 3 holds a mediocre 50 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes, a far cry from the 93 per cent enjoyed by its original masterpiece, and it seems Arsenal v Hull III is heading for a similar review.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.