Another season has past us by. One that promised so much at the start, waned throughout the course of the season with a mix of the close shaves, insipid displays, some ridiculous scorelines to eventually a strong finish. Here is a complete season review of Arsenal in 2012/2013.
There were indications that Arsenal’s star striker, Robin van Persie could depart from the club, having scored 37 goals in all competitions, but having finished trophyless. Arsenal had signed Lukas Podolski from Cologne for £11 million even before the 2011/2012 season ended. Steve Bould was promoted to assistant manager, replacing Pat Rice. French striker Olivier Giroud was signed from French champions Montpellier for £12.8 million. Days later, van Persie dropped a bombshell announcing on his personal website that he wouldnt be signing a new deal with Arsenal. Carlos Vela would move to Real Soceidad permanently for £6 million, before Laurent Koscielny agreed a long term deal. Spain star Santi Cazorla was signed from Malaga for £11.4 million. After speculation linking him to Barcelona, Manchester City and closely to Juventus,it was eventually the despicable Manchester United, who snapped up the traitor van Persie for £24 million. Thomas Vermaelen was handed the captain’s armband. To everyone’s surprise, Arsenal made their second major sale, when Alex Song joined Barcelona, rather their bench, for £15 million.
The season started at home to Sunderland. New signings Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla both started for the Gunners, and despite their midweek exertions, both had pretty decent outings. Cazorla impressed with a couple of shots from long range. Another new boy Olivier Giroud made his debut as well, when he came on as a sub later on, and was the culprit of a glaring miss, having been put through beautifully by Cazorla.
More admirably, Arsenal not only stood up to, but deserved to win their second league match, away at Stoke, traditionally one of the hardest places to visit in the Premier League. Mikel Arteta, Abou Diaby and Santi Cazorla were proving to be an efficient midfield, as a second goalless draw was the final result.
The Gunners’next destination was Anfield, a venue where they had narrowly escaped with 3 points last season, thanks to, er, the Dutch cunt assisted by, hmm..Alex Song. However, Arsenal put on a much more balanced and well planned display against the Reds. Abou Diaby was proving to be dictating the play in midfield as per his whims, putting in a Man of the Match Display.
Arsenal’s first goal came with all the 3 new signings playing a major role in the goal. Olivier Giroud pulled the attentions of Martin Skrtel and Daniel Agger towards himself, giving Lukas Podolski plenty of space to net home a Santi Cazorla through ball. Minutes later, Podolski would turn provider for Arsenal’s second goal, scored by Cazorla, as his former Villarreal teammate Pepe Reine fumbled.
Newcomers Southampton were next up for Arsenal in the league, and the Saints were given a hiding by a blitzkrieg of a performance in the first half. A Kieran Gibbs cross was diverted in by Jos Hooived into his own net, before Lukas Podolski smashed in a free kick. This was the first of 3 goals scored in 6 minutes. Arsenal conceded their first goal of the season, but ran out comfortable 6-1 winners.
Arsenal’s winning start continued in France, as they opened their Champions League campaign at France’s champions, Montpellier. Their former start striker Olivier Giroud started, and he assisted Podolski’s equalizer after Younes Belhanda had given the hosts the lead from the spot. Arsenal won 2-1, but were given many nervous moments.
Arsenal’s first major test of the season would come in their next game, away to the defending champions Manchester City, and boy, did they rise to it. The Gunners put in a brilliant passing performance, to completely dominate the Sky Blues in their own backyard. However, they conceded a cheap goal to Jolean Lescott. Arsenal outpassed their opponents all game, and finally got their equalizer when Laurent Koscielny smashed home in the 82nd minute. After this game, Arsenal were tipped by many to go on and be main title contenders.
Arsenal’s new found defensive stability was one that was being discussed all over. Carl Jenkinson seemed to be 10 times the player he was the previous season, and the centre-back partnership of Per Mertesacker and Thomas Vermaelen was being hailed as one of the best in the league. Kieran Gibbs, too was putting in some impressive display. Lot of credit was given to new assistant manager Steve Bould, one quarter of Arsenal’s famous Back Four.
Olivier Giroud opened his Arsenal account as a youthful Gunners side thrashed Coventry City 6-1 at the Emirates in the Capitol One Cup. And just as Arsenal were looking like dark horses for the title race, came the first blow of the season, at home to Chelsea.
Abou Diaby, impressive so far, hobbled off quickly, as Fernando Torres gave Arsenal the lead, owing to some calamitous Arsenal defending. Arsenal managed to rally and got their equalizer through Gervinho, who seemed to be in fine goal scoring nick. However, Chelsea would win 2-1, thanks to a Juan Mata free kick early in the second half, which whizzed past everyone into the net.
The Gunners had to pick themselves up quickly, and they did so when Greek champions Olympiakos paid a visit to the Emirates. 1-1 at half-time, it took a goal from Lukas Podolski and a late goal from Aaron Ramsey to seal a 3-1 win.
Arsenal sported their traditional yellow kits for the next league game, away at West Ham. Mohomad Diame scored an impressive goal for the Hammers. Giroud scored his first league goal for the club moments before half-time. He would turn provider for Arsenal’s second, scored by Theo Walcott, before 3 points were sealed by a magnificent strike from Santi Cazorla.
The first international break of the season out of the way, Arsenal travelled to Norwich, where they were outplayed and outfought by a hard working Norwich side, eventually losing 1-0 to a Grant Holt goal. That was just the start of what was going to be a tumultous week.
A toothless Arsenal were beaten at home by Schalke, through goals from Klaas Jan Huntelaar and Ibrahim Afellay. The Gunners had mistered only 2 shots on target combined in their losses to Norwich and Schalke, both coming from youngster Serge Gnabry, who came as a substitute in both games.
This called for a fiery Annual General Meeting, as the board, including Peter Hill Wood, Ivan Gazidis were questioned sternly by Arsenal shareholders. Questions were raised as to why sufficient funds were not being used on buying new players, and why the squad was suffering from inconsistency. Arsene Wenger apologized for the recent losses, as well as admitting his lack of comfort at the situation.
Things slighltly improved on the results front as Arsenal barely managed to beat QPR at home 1-0 thanks to a Mikel Arteta goal, that might have narrowly been offside. It was also the return to action for Jack Wilshere, after a 15 month layoff, and he seemed sharper and chirpier than ever. It was also the return to the first team for Bacary Sagna, after 4 months out of action.
However, what happened in the next Arsenal game, no one could even fathom in their wildest dreams. Away to Reading for the next round of the Capitol One Cup, Arsene Wenger named a young side, with the exceptions of Koscielny, Arshavin, Walcott, Djourou and a certain Marrouane Chamakh. Who’s this bloke anyways?
This was a game, remember, I sat and streamed the night before my all important MBA entrance exams. How crazy I must be. On the other hand, I would have cursed myself to death had I missed the game.
Reading got off to the best possible starts, scoring 3 goals in the opening 20 minutes, through Jason Roberts, an unfortunate own goal from Koscielny and Mikele Leigertwood. The lead became 4-0 through a Noel Hunt header, with young goalkeeper Damian Martinez having a disastrous day in the office. With cries of “We want our Arsenal back.” echoing from the Arsenal end, Walcott managed to pull one back just before half-time, latching on to an Arshavin through ball. Arsenal rallied in the second half, and with goals hard to come by, the manager decided to bring on young German attacking midfielder Thomas Eisfeld and Olivier Giroud. I vividly remember myself going to the loo to take a quick leak, and when I returned to the match, it was 4-2. Giroud had scored through a beautifully guided header. Just when it seemed Arsenal had run out of steam, Laurent Koscielny made up for his own goal, with a towering header in the 89th minute. With nearly 5 minutes of extra time having been played, despite the referee announced only 4 minutes, Arsenal got a free-kick in Reading’s half. It bounced off the back of Chamakh’s head into the path of Walcott, whose shot crossed the line, with a Reading defender scrambling clear. Carl Jenkinson netted in the rebound just to make doubly sure. Incredbly, Arsenal had come back from 4 goals down to draw 4-4. 30 minutes of extra time beckoned. The match took a completely different turn when Marrouane Chamakh scored his first goal in a century when he shot from distance. There were more twists, however, as Russia international Pavel Pogrebnyak made it 5-5 on the night with a close range header. His countryman, however, had other ideas. Andrei Arshavin ran the length of the field to set up an easy tap-in for Theo Walcott, and an ridiculous game was sealed with a Chamakh lob over Federici. 7-5 to the Arsenal!
However, there was little time to digest the bewilderment, as Arsenal’s next opponents would be perennial Premier League rivals Manchester United. The animosity between the two clubs and the tensions between both sets of supporters had increased after the transfer of the Dutch cunt.
It turned out to be a toothless performance from Arsenal, though, probably with the ghosts of last season’s 8-2 mauling still fresh in their minds. United got off to the best starts possible, when a calamitous defensive mishap from Vermaelen fell right into the path of You Know Who, and he finished it off with simplicity. There was a huge hoolabaloo created at half time over the Dutch cunt handing over his shirt to Andre Santos, an incident which then became the butt of many jokes on Twitter. Patrice Evra, of all people on the pitch, headed in to make it 2-0, before Santi Cazorla’s brilliant late solo effort only proved to be a consolation.
Arsenal travelled to Gelsenkirchen, Germany for their next Champions League group game against Schalke, and briskly took a 2-0 lead, through goals from Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud. However, Arsenal gave up their 2 goal advantage, to take home only a point, after goals from Klass Jan Huntelaar and Jefersson Farfan.
And the Gunner’s defensive woes clearly came to the forefront, in their next league game, home to Fulham. Two brisk goals from Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski gave Arsenal a 2-0 lead, with just 23 minutes gone on the clock. However, the duo of Dimitar Berbatov and Bryan Ruiz put on a fine show, to peg back the Gunners to 2-2 at half-time, through goals from the former and Alex Kacaniklic. Before you know it, Arteta fouled Ruiz in the box, and Berbatov converted the ensuing penalty. Fulham were 3-2 up on 67 minutes. Arsenal rallied, and after his earlier shot struck the post, Giroud scored with his head, off the resulting cross, just 3 minutes later. Arsenal had a great chance to win the game, when Andrei Arshavin’s attempted cross struck the arm of a Fulham defender. Mark Schwarzer was equal to Arteta’s penalty. Justice was served.
The Gunners emerged a different animal in their next game, a home time to their North London rivals, Tottenham. The visitors took the lead with just 10 minutes gone, when Emmanuel Greedybayor toe-poked the ball past Szczesny. And the Togolese undid his goal, with a stupid lunge on Santi Cazorla, which saw him being sent off. It didn’t take Arsenal long to equalize, as Per Mertesacker’s towering header almost broke the back of the net. It was the German’s first goal in Arsenal’s colors, and his celebration told his delight. By half-time, it was 3-1 as Podolski’s shot bundled into the net, and Giroud swivelled to score past his compatriot, Hugo Lloris. Sp*rs made a match of it, as they tried to rally their way back into the game, with Gareth Bale their main source of creativity. However, Santi Cazorla’s goal made it 4-1 on 60 minutes, and despite Bale’s solo effort on 71 minutes, reduced the deficit, it was Walcott’s goal in extra time, that handed Arsenal a 5-2 win, a replica of last season’s score when the two sides met.
Montpellier visited the Emirates next, and Arsenal needed a win to seal their passage into the next round. Olivier Giroud was at his battling best against his former employers, as he first teed up Wilshere, and then set up a trademark Podolski goal, a left footed cannon into the roof of the net. Arsenal sealed progression with a 2-0 win.
Some positive news came Arsenal’s way, as they agreed to £150 million deal with Emirates airlines, extending its shirt sponsorship till 2019, and stadium sponsorship upto 2028. This deal promised to bring in £30 million every season as part of the deal.
Arsenal’s patchy form again waned, as they managed only draws in away games at Aston Villa and Everton, and by now Theo Walcott was sporting his moustache, as part of the Movember celebrations. By now, Arsenal were looking increasingly weary, and it got even worse, as they lost a home league game to Swansea. Having barely troubled the Welsh outfit, it took a moment of magic from Michu, Swansea’s find of the season, to open the scoring. The second goal was the result of a poor back pass from Jenkinson, falling into the path of the Spaniard. There seemed to be no end to the poor run of form, as a weakened Arsenal side were beaten 2-1 in Greece by Olympiakos.
Arsenal managed to arrest the slide, with a 2-0 win over West Brom, both goals coming from Mikel Arteta’s penalties; Santi Cazorla making the headlines for his dive to win the first penalty, against Steven Reid.
Bad became worse, as Arsenal experienced their lowest moment of the season. With only League Two Bradford to get past to progress in the Capitol One Cup, which was increasingly looking like the best trophy chance the club had for the season, Arsene Wenger named his strongest side available, contrary to his belief of fielding youngsters in the League Cup. A side of Szczesny, Gibbs, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, Sagna, Podolski, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ramsey, Coquelin and Gervinho took to the pitch on a frosty night at the Valley Parade. The Bantams took the lead in only the 16th minute, through Garry Thompson, and made Arsenal look extremely ordinary on the night. The finishing in particular, was extraordinarily poor. Gervinho missed the easiest of tapins, and found his feet inside the net rather than the ball. It was not until the 87th minute, that Arsenal managed to get a goal, as Vermaelen headed in a Cazorla cross. Bradford had battled hard all night, and took the game to penalties, winning 3-2, with Matt Duke, Bradford’s goalkeeper, putting in a heroic performance.
Cracks were papered, with a 5-2 win over Reading at the Madejski, Santi Cazorla scoring a hat-trick. Days after the cup exit to Bradford, Arsenal were handed a mammoth Round of 16 tie in the Champions League against German giants Bayern Munich, who by that time, were flying in the league.
The young British core, with the exception agreed to new long term deals with Arsenal. Carl Jenkinson, Aaron Ramsey Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain all signed new deals that would keep them at the club for a period of 4-6 years. Edgy stuff followed, as Arsenal edged Wigan 1-0 at the DW Stadium, Arteta scoring the decisive penalty.
Arsenal managed to end the year on a high, with an enthralling encounter against Newcastle. 1-1 at half-time, both sides battled it out to 3-3, before Newcastle, who had lost to Manchester United 4-3 at Old Trafford, just days earlier, started to tire. Arsenal took full advantage of this, winning the game 7-3, Walcott completing his hat-trick and Giroud scoring a brace.
By now, it was January, and a host of names were linked with Arsenal. None more so than Klaas Jan Huntelaar, who according to many reports had agreed to join the Gunners. Days later, he agreed a contract extension at Schalke. Dani Alves, Marrouane Fellaini, Edin Dzeko, Luiz Gustavo, Yann M’Vila and even Stewart Downing were ridiculously linked to be joining the club.
And just when it seemed, Arsenal would take off, they came up with a putrid performance against Southampton, lucky to escape with a draw from the South Coast. Drawn away to Swansea in the Cup, Arsenal dug deep against the Swans. After a mediocre first half, the game burst to life in the second half, as Michu proved to be the thorn again in Arsenal’s flesh, giving the lead in the 58th minute, moments after coming on as a sub. Arsenal displayed plenty of resolve, and equalized on 81 minutes through Podolski, and even took the lead through a fine Gibbs goal on 83 minutes. However all the good work was undone as Danny Graham was allowed to make it 2-2 on 87 minutes.
Manchester City emerged out of the Emirates with 3 rather comfortable points, after Laurent Koscielny was sent off on 8 minutes, for embracing Edin Dzeko. James Milner and Dzeko would score in City’s 2-0 win. It was the first of a hectic period of football for the Gunners. Jack Wilshere put in a man-of-the-match performance and scored a late winner against Swansea in the FA Cup replay, as Arsenal, progressed 1-0.
This was followed by an evenly contested game at Stamford Bridge. Chelsea quickly got into their groove, taking a 2-0 lead, through Juan Mata and a Frank Lampard penalty. And even though Theo Walcott pulled one back in the 58th minute, Chelsea held on for a 2-1 win. It was the winger’s first goal after he had just signed a long term contract with the club.
The loss was overcome within days, as West Ham visited the Emirates. Jack Collison and Lukas Podolski scored for either side, as they went into the break, level at 1-1. It took a 10 minute blitz from the Gunners to win the game 5-1, with Giroud scoring twice, to add on to Walcott’s and Cazorla’s goals. Brighton were the next opponents in the FA Cup, and were beaten 3-2 at the Falmer Stadium, Olivier Giroud scoring another brace.
Liverpool provided an exciting contest for Arsenal, taking the lead through Luis Suarez in the 5th minute. Despite all of Arsenal’s efforts Liverpool remained in the lead, and Jordan Henderson made it 2-0 on 60 minutes. Arsenal fought back and were level within 7 minutes, through goals from Giroud and Walcott.
And surprisingly enough, the transfer window ended with the signing of Spanish international left back Nacho Monreal from financially challenged Malaga for £8.5 million. He made his debut against Stoke, at the Emirates, as a deflected Podolski free-kick handed all 3 points to the Gunners, to signal the end of the hectic 6 games in 19 days period.
Arsenal were made to slog it out in their next game, an away league fixture at Sunderland. Having taken the lead through a rasping effort from Santi Cazorla, the Gunners clicked the self destruct button, as Carl Jenkinson was sent off. Sunderland created a horde of chances, but were thwarted thanks to a gigantic performance at centre-back by Bacary Sagna, a resolute Aaron Ramsey at right-back and a unnerving Wojciech Szczesny in goal.
It all however came crashing down, days later, as Blackburn Rovers dumped the Gunners from the FA Cup with a shocking 1-0 win at the Emirates. Colin Kazim Richards scored the only goal of the game completely against the run of play in the 72nd minute. And this was the build up to the massive Bayern Munich game.
The Bavarians by now had already wrapped up the Bundesliga title, taking an almost unbeatable lead at the top, to second placed Borussia Dortmund. They were racking up some incredible offensive and defensive stats in the league, with Manuel Neuer unbeaten in 7 games. And they showed normal German efficiency taking a 2-0 lead, through Toni Kroos and Thomas Mueller within 21 minutes. Former Bayern striker Lukas Podolski managed to break Neuer’s record, with a chancy header, to make it 2-1, but Mario Mandzukic scored in the 77th minute to seal a 3-1 win for the German side. They already had one foot in the next round.
It was time to salvage some points and pride in the league. Santi Cazorla obliged with an early goal against Aston Villa, but Andreas Weimann equalized on 68 minutes, off a Szcsesny howler. Cazorla however was on hand again to score an important winner in the 85th minute.
And in typical Arsenal fashion, the Gunners lost their next match, an all important North London derby to Sp*rs. Playing a very high defensive line, Arsenal conceded two quickfire goals to Aaron Lennon and Gareth Bale in the space of 3 minutes to go 2-0 down at half-time. A Per Mertesacker goal in the 50th minute halved the deficit, but Sp*rs held on for a 2-1 win.
This, however, proved to be the last loss of the season. A much maligned Arsenal travelled to Germany to take on the favorites for the Champions League, Bayern Munich, looking to overturn a 3-1 first leg deficit. Thomas Vermaelen, Wojciech Szczesny were dropped, while Jack Wilshere, Lukas Podolski and Bacary Sagna were ruled out due to injury. Lukasz Fabianski, Laurent Koscielny and Carl Jenkinson started, and so did Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky in midfield.
Before you knew it, Arsenal were in the lead, as Walcott found himself in some space in behind the Bayern defenders to set up Olivier Giroud for the simplest of tap-ins. Bayern were lacklustre, but that would just take away the credit from Arsenal, who put in a brave and magnificent performance. Fabianski, playing after almost a year, put in a mammoth display, while Koscielny showed why he is nicknamed the ‘Beast’ by Arsenal fans. Attack after attack by Bayern were being flayed, as the Gunners fought to stay alive in the tournament. Just like the 3-0 Milan game last season, this was proving to be another of those fine European performances by the club. With just minutes to go, Bayern were stunned by an 86th minute Koscielny header. 2-0 to Arsenal. However, with 3 goals required to progress, the German side held on to the 3-3 aggregate scoreline to qualify on away goals.
For the second season running, Arsenal had come within inches of qualification, and had missed out due to bad first leg performances. This, however, proved to be the turning point in the club’s fortunes in the league.
Swansea have proved to be tough opponents for Arsenal in recent times, and the newly crowned League Cup winners were the next opponents in the league. A closely contested first half was followed by an Arsenal dominated second half. It paid dividends as Nacho Monreal scored his first goal for the club in the 74th minute, before Gervinho scored his first goal in a century, after running clear of the entire Swans’ defence. Gervinho would keep up his good form, as he scored once and assisted twice to help Arsenal to a 4-1 win over Reading in the next game.
The winning run would continue at another traditionally tough league ground, the Hawthorns. Tomas Rosicky scored either side of half-time to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead. However, Per Mertesacker’s sending off and the eventual penalty scored by James Morrison gave Arsenal some nervous moments to deal with. Despite the Baggies coming close several times, Arsenal held on for another massive 3 points.
Norwich were the visitors to the Emirates next, and took the lead in the 56th minute, through Michael Turner, again completely against the run of play. It took a late 7 minute salvo from Arsenal to win 3-1, starting with an Arteta penalty in the 85th minute, a Giroud tap-in in the 88th minute and a Podolski screamer in the 92nd minute.
Everton put in a rugged display to emerge with a point from the Emirates, before Arsenal had to deal with some scary situations as they eked out a 1-0 win against 10 man Fulham, at Craven Cottage. They were reduced to 10 men themselves, as Olivier Giroud was sent off.
The newly crowned Champions came visiting next, as the Dutch Cunt was named to start for Manchester United. Arsenal gave the customary guard of honor, as boos rang around the Emirates. Arsenal got off to the best possible start, Theo Walcott giving the Gunners the lead in only the 2nd minute. Arsenal were looking good to extend that lead until United rallied back, with some chances of their own. Sagna gave the ball away to the traitor, and fouled him in the box. Judas converted it to level scores. It remained so till the end of the game, as both sides failed to carve out any clear match winning opportunities in the second half.
More points were garnered in one of the most boring games of football you would see, as a 1st minute Walcott goal proved to be the winning goal in a 1-0 win at QPR. The race for Champions League spots would go down right to the wire, as Chelsea, Arsenal and Sp*rs were within touching distance of each other, with only two teams being able to finish in the top 4.
After a 10 day rest, Arsenal welcomed the newly crowned FA Cup champions Wigan Athletic. Wigan, had just beaten Manchester City 3 days earlier at Wembley, through a late Ben Watson header, their first major piece of silverware. They came into the game, needing nothing but a win to beat the drop.
And they got off to the worst possible start, as Lukas Podolski’s glancing header found its way into the back of the net on 11 minutes. Wigan, to their credit, fought back, and deservingly got a goal on the stroke of half-time, when Shaun Maloney’s freekick whizzed right past Szczesny. Arsenal managed to produce another of the goalscoring salvo’s. This time, scoring 3 goals in 8 minutes, starting with Walcott’s poke past Roubles, Podolski’s expert finish and Ramsey’s slayer in the 71st minute. It was time to bid goodbye to life in the Premier League for Roberto Martinez, and his men, after 8 years of close shaves.
Arsenal traveled to Newcastle for the last game of the season, knowing that a win would seal a place in next season’s Champions League. A draw would mean nervously relying on Sunderland to hold Sp*rs to a draw. After a rather dull first half, Laurent Koscielny gave Arsenal the lead in the 52nd minute, almost a replica of his goal against West Brom on the last day of last season, scored at about the same number of minutes on the clock. Newcastle tried to make a match of it, but nervous Arsenal held on even as news poured in from White Hart Lane of a Bale winner in the 88th minute. As the final whistle blew, it bought with it a palpable sense of relief of finishing in the top 4, and qualifying for Europe’s elite club football tournament, 16 times in a row.
It also bought down the curtains on what has been a hard season for Arsenal players, fans and the manager alike. Having to deal with the loss of two more superstars at the start of the season, and cup exits at the hands of lower league opposition to some incredible games of football, like 7-5 and 7-3 wins over Reading and Newcastle respectively, a heartbreaking Champions League exit against Bayern to eventually finishing the season strongly to seal a top 4 finish.
Impressively, Arsenal’s defence improved, conceding 37 goals to finish as the league’s 2nd best defence, behind Manchester City, who conceded 34, compared to last season’s 49, the worst concession haul under Wenger’s tenure. Arsenal’s attacking quarter of Giroud, Podolski, Walcott and Cazorla have racked up impressive stats themselves.
Theo Walcott – 21 goals, 17 assists
Olivier Giroud – 17 goals, 12 assists
Lukas Podolski – 16 goals, 11 assists
Santi Cazorla – 12 goals, 15 assists
The improvement of young players like Carl Jenkinson, Jack Wilshere, Kieran Gibbs, boys who have Arsenal in their heart has been good to watch, while the resurgence of much maligned Aaron Ramsey to be a vital cog in Arsenal’s midfield engine too has been good to watch.
While Thomas Vermaelen didn’t have much luck as captain, he will know he has his work cut out, with Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker forging a brilliant partnership in the centre of defence. I believe, that this squad, is probably just 2 or 3 players away from building a potentially title challenging squad. It has the right balance, the right talent, the right mix of youth and experience, the right combination of homegrown talent and continental magic.
About time to end the 8 year trophyless jinx. Bring on next season, already!
Premier League – 4th spot
FA Cup – Fifth Round
Capitol One Cup – Quarter-Finals
Champions League – Round of 16
Top Scorer – Theo Walcott (21 goals in all competitions)
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