Time and again, over the past nine years, like a broken record, questions have been raised over Arsenal's spirit, leadership and fighting qualities when it comes to facing adversity.
Well, on Saturday, adversity certainly could not have come in a more difficult manner, with Hull City taking a 2-0 lead within eight minutes of the FA Cup final at Wembley.
That spirit and leadership qualities were put to the stiffest test from there, with Santi Cazorla opening a small window with a wonderful freekick, before Laurent Koscielny scored his most important Arsenal goal with 20 minutes remaining of normal time to send the final into extra time.
With the naysayers licking their lips at the possibility of Arsenal slipping up again, in a similar manner of 2011, Arsene Wenger's men did the opposite – they kept banging at the Hull door, and eventually found a way through, via an absolute peach of a goal from the legend-in-making Aaron Ramsey.
The nine year wait for a trophy is over, the "trophy drought" bandwagon can move on, as a wonderful 3-2 victory in the most thrilling of FA Cup finals earned -- and boy were they made to earn it by a thoroughly impressive Hull side -- Arsenal their 11th FA Cup title, to join Manchester United at the top of the all-time list.
Even Wenger could not have dreamt of a more nightmarish start when he went to sleep on the eve of the final. Hull City started the game off from the opening whistle, and before Arsenal had even woken up, and realised they were in the final of a major cup competition, they were 2-0 down.
Both goals were the result of poor defending, and the first one even more so, with the Arsenal defence thinking all they needed to do was defend the penalty box and forgetting about actually having to keep an eye on the players on the edge of the penalty area.
The ball was driven in from a corner to Tom former-Tottenham-man Huddlestone, whose first-time shot from 19 yards was mishit, with the ball falling to James Chester, who should not have even been in the final, making a surprise recovery from injury, to guide it in inches past the fingers of Lukasz Fabianski and into the side of the net.
If Hull, playing with a back-three with wingbacks, were in dreamland with that goal in the fourth minute, it only got better in the eighth as Curtis Davies, another central defender, struck home from close-range. Arsenal failed to clear an initial freekick from Hull, with Stephen Quinn keeping the ball alive and finding a nice cross for Alex Bruce to head on target, which Fabianski did really well to keep out. The Arsenal goalkeeper could do nothing about the rebound, though, as Davies thumped the ball home to cue this-can't-be-happening celebrations.
Arsenal needed to calm things down, get some possession and start working the Hull defence a little, rather than allowing their central defenders to do the damage, which Bruce, the third Hull centre-back, nearly did with his header off a corner cleared by Kieran Gibbs off the line.
The possession, and the ball, finally decided to stick to Arsenal for a while, and after a certain period, the first goal came for the team in red and white. Bruce conceded a freekick 25 yards out, allowing Cazorla to fire home a strike at the opposite end of the wall, with the fearsome strike catching goalkeeper Alan McGregor out.
The Gunners grew into the game as the first half wore on, keeping control of the ball, and nearly making it 2-2, with Lukas Podolski firing in a nice low cross which Mesut Ozil, after getting ahead of his defender, failed to make true contact with.
It was the pattern of play expected at the beginning of the game from then, with Arsenal taking control, while Hull sat back, kept things tight, while looking to spring on the break.
The Gunners could have gone into halftime on level terms, and it would have been all Hull's own doing, with Quinn dillying and dallying with the ball, allowing Giroud to steal the ball with his cross across the box just failing to find an Arsenal body.
At halftime the score read 2-1, and for 25 minutes into the second 45 it remained so, despite Arsenal's best efforts. The Gunners had three penalty claims in all during that period, and any of the three, or all, could have been given, with the first a hauling down from Tom Huddlestone on Giroud, the second a handball on another Spurs man Jake Livermore, and the third a challenge by Curtis Davies on Cazorla.
The whistle and a point at the penalty spot from Lee Probert just would not come, though, even if the equalising goal did. It was another defender that got his name on the FA Cup final 2014 scoresheet, with Laurent Koscielny celebrating his new contract with the club by swivelling and slotting the ball into the net from six yards on 71 minutes.
That goal came after Arsene Wenger brought Yaya Sanogo on for Podolski, with the decision to go with two strikers up top working perfectly as the pressure button was pressed into overdrive by the North London club, with Gibbs, the chance to be the hero and the headlines flashing across his head, missing an absolute sitter, skying one over the bar from nine yards out, when it would have been easier to send the net rustling.
It was all Arsenal in the final minutes of normal time, with that momentum carrying on into the first period of extra time, as Hull started to hang on for dear life. Giroud would have been celebrating in his mind as he thumped a header off a cross from Ramsey, only to see the ball decide it was not time yet and thud onto the bar.
The wave after wave of attacks just kept coming, with Wenger bringing on Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky in the second 15 of extra time. The two substitutes nearly fashioned a delightful chance, before THE goal was scored – Giroud playing a wonderful backheel onto the path of Ramsey, who had tried, and tried to blow the house down, before brilliantly slotting the ball into the bottom corner with the outside of his right foot.
The finish was typical of what Ramsey has been all about this season, and boy oh boy did he come to the party at the right time.
Hull threw the proverbial kitchen sink in the final minutes, desperate to find the goal that would take the final into penalties, with Sone Aluko coming quite close. But it was Arsenal who could have easily increased their lead as spaces opened up with pandemonium, in the best way possible, and delirium ruling amongst the red and white wave at the final whistle.