There are so many words I could use to describe the Gunners’ season, but given that much has happened on Sunday (including that horrible scare at Old Trafford), I truly can’t use many words like “Wenger Out” or “Time for Change.” We’re lucky that we’ve all got to enjoy our football in one piece obviously, but if there’s a phrase I could use, its “Missed Opportunity.” With horrible losses to the likes of Swansea, United, Chelsea and Southampton (the latter two being refereeing catastrophes), it’s horrible to see our title hopes become forfeit like that. Injuries have also, once again, demolished us, so I hope next season, we’ll finally figure out a way to rest and rotate our players accordingly. With Leicester now Champions, it’s easy to throw Arsenal under the bus and ask “If they could, why couldn’t we?”, but have a look at United, Citeh and Chelski. The Foxes took it one game at a time in a season where no one (save for Arsenal) took them seriously on the pitch. Congrats to them of course, but I can bow out of this season knowing that my Gunners did their part against them. This really is history in the making so bravo to LCFC.
Sunday’s game against Aston Villa will be one for the history books for me as well. It really did look like we were going to finish this game at 1-0, but Giroud came through with a glorious hat-trick that in all honesty should be a bit more routine from him. Each goal was a testament to his abilities and I hope he finds that audaciousness to convert more ruthlessly against stronger clubs next season. I missed the last goal since my Dad was bouncing around channels to see the other scorelines, but finding out that it was Mikel Arteta who made it happen (to heck with the OG) is icing on the cake for a man who ends his footballing career with Arsenal.
Arteta helped steady the ship at Arsenal when the likes of Nasri and company were leaving the team one after the other. A natural leader on and off the pitch, he gave the Gunners the calm they needed to see out some intense games. His through-balls, his metronomic passing and work-rate were excellent. I’ll never forget him taking two penalties against Everton in the FA Cup, or the time he beat Man Citeh 1-0 at the Etihad with that firecracker of a goal. He gave his all to Arsenal during these past five years, and although injuries and age have taken his toll on him, I think we’ll all remember him for helping us get through some dark times as we finally ended our trophy drought. His tears at the end of the game against Aston Villa speak volumes about how he feels about Arsenal and his career overall, so good luck to you Mikel in whatever you do. A true captain in every sense of the word.
The same can be said for Rosicky and Flamini. Two huge personalities at the Emirates. Tomas in particular has spent 10 years at Arsenal when many left, yet in my opinion, it will be hard to get someone that can emulate his level of skill. Little Mozart embodies everything that Wenger’s brand of football is known for, including slick passing, tenacious dribbling and an amazing hunger to press press press. I’ll never forget his goals against the Spuds, including the Rocket at White Hart Lane, his outside-of-the-boot finish as we won 5-2 at the Emirates in 2011 and the poach from Danny Rose to chip Lloris in the 2014 FA Cup. However, his tiki-taka goal against Sunderland will always be his masterpiece. If you haven’t seen it, I’d suggest you check it out. Oh, and Flamini? I will miss his pointing, his yelling, fouling and his awesome personality. I’m glad he took care of his unfinished business at Arsenal and helped us win 2 FA Cups. Oh, and that volley against the Spuds in the League Cup last season? Priceless.
With other Premier League stalwarts like Tim Howard leaving Goodison Park, this has truly been a Premier League season of unprecedented events. Legends are leaving. A team with very little odds makes the impossible possible to win the Premier League trophy. West Ham bid a victorious goodbye to the Boleyn Ground at the expense of a shambolic Manchester United. Mourinho continues to NOT be missed at all. Sunderland survive the drop yet again. Arsenal, despite failing to win the League, have made it to 2nd place for the first time in 10 years while Spurs implode once again. It’s been a crazy season once again folks, and it’ll definitely be one for posterity. Until next season everyone!