Bidding Farewell to the 2015-2016 Premier League Season

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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.

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Phil McNulty & Celebrations

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I’m sure you all know that this has been a very up and down season for Arsenal, especially since we’ve been number 1 in the Premier League for quite some length, only for it all to topple as we now remain at 5th.  Now, I won’t add to what others have mentioned already, but let me just say that it hurts as a fan.

Yesterday, Arsenal gave us a dogged, grind-it-out, ugly performance to reach the FA Cup finals after the shot-stopping Lukasz Fabianski provided the foothold we needed to beat a Wigan squad who, despite playing for the Championship, remain undefeated in their last 12 games in this tournament.  It was for that reason that we celebrated.  It was for that reason that fans all across Arsenal were swept in jubilation…we have emerged with a chance to reclaim the FA Cup.

Then some hack at the BBC wrote this a day later.

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Bidding a Fond Farewell to the Arsenal 2011 / 2012 Season

With Arsenal sealing Champions League qualification, thanks in part to Martin Fulop (rofl) and a stunning save from Kieran Gibbs, it’s safe to say that the club has finally rounded off another season of the Premier League, but with twists and turns all around.  Sure, we don’t have any silverware, but we’re third aren’t we?

There’s so much for me to say about the 2011-2012 season that there’s no way I can fit all of it into one post, but starting from the Gervinho red card against Newcastle to the drubbing at Old Trafford, both the media and Gooners smacked full blown with the “Wenger Out” Kool-Aid voiced their doom and gloom throughout the football sphere, as they told us all we were relegation fodder, a club in crisis and a weak, trophy-less, feeder club whose “attractive” football lacked any “real grit” to hunker down and win games (as if Ashely Young could show grit in the box before he scores, all I saw was a goddamned diver if you asked me).  August and September were gloomy months indeed.

October started off horribly with a defeat at the hands of our much hated rivals, Tottenham Hotspur (all the while losing Sagna to injury for months in the process), but then came our continued fights to beat the Group Stages of the Champions League, our dismantling of Chelsea at Stamford Bridge (with John Terry kissing the dirt too) and the fact that our signings, like Santos, Mertesacker & Arteta in particular, showed their mettle as Gunners worthy in name.  Panic buys my ass.

From November onwards, it was a roller coaster of a ride.  We beat Borussia Dortmund in grand style (there’s only one Song), we continued to rise slowly up the Premier League ranks,  Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain proved how raw yet prodigious of a talent he could be (while Park continues to elude us to this day), Henry returned on loan to help us out with a brief gale of victory, and RVP continued to score, score and score.  What more could you ask for?

February proved to be another roller coaster for us as we were knocked out of the FA (not before Henry returned to give us one helluva win against Leeds) , we lost 4-0 to AC Milan and a re-match against the Spuds were upon us.  Did we give in?  Hell no.  After scores from Saha & Adebayor, Bacary Sagna returned from the very same fixture that wrecked his leg to give Tottenham the “FUCK YOU GOAL” of a lifetime.  Couple that with a resurgent Tomas Rosicky and you have yourselves one of the most memorable games the Gunners had this season.  It was the sign of things to come, in the form of a big middle finger to all the negativity surrounding the club.

By March, we had seven straight wins in the Premier League, with a dramatic one coming out late against Newcastle thanks to the insane drive of Thomas Vermaelen.  April yielded one of our best games of the season as the Gunners pressed hard against current champs Man City and won 1-0 with a stunning shot from Mikel Arteta.  However, as the season came to a close, we let things slip a bit.  Losses to Wigan and ties to Stoke & Norwich added quite a bit of pressure on us as the race for Third place was coming to a head.  Yossi Benayoun showed his mettle and experience as he began to score good goals, but the loss of Arteta through injury was also a loss of midfield composure for our side.  By the time we made it to West Brom on our last game, things looked grim as we were down 2-1.  But, as I said earlier in this post, all that is in the past.  Chelsea have won the Champions League (classless fucks), and we got our spot to play on it.

As we bid farewell to the our season (along with Pat Rice, god bless him), let’s all remember that we still have to wait and see if our Captain will continue to score for us for years to come.  Let’s look forward to another one of Song’s lofted assists.  Let’s hope the young guns like Johan, Ramsey and the Ox strive better to improve their game.  Let’s hope Yossi stays!!  Let’s not forget the defensive badassery of Laurent Koscielny.  Let’s make sure that the new guys like Per, Jenks, Andre & Mikel find a great home with us at the Emirates and let’s hope to God that we’ll avoid any disasters like what we found ourselves in at the start of this season.  Let’s not forget that RVP is the man, winning the Premier League Golden Boot, the PFA Player of the Year award AND the FWA Player of the Year award (eat that Rooney…EAT IT!!).  And finally, let’s add some quality to the squad during this forthcoming “silly season”.  It’s been a crazy time for the Gunners, and a frustratingly vein-popping season for Uncle Arsene, but at least in my opinion, it was a very memorable one.  Cheers to all you Gooners out there, and cheers to our Gunners!!  ‘Til next season!  ^__^

Special Thanks goes to Arseblog, Arsenal FC Blog, Arsenal Bleacher Report & the Arsenalist, along with Grumpygrad.  Thanks to all of you for accompanying me on another footballing season with the Gunners!!

The Blue Moon Goes Straight to Hell!!!: Arsenal vs. Manchester City (4-8-2012)

With a dash of gloom hanging over the Emirates after their lackluster performance against QPR, Arsenal were poised for an uphill battle against the title contenders, but with Silva out, things were NOT going to be easy for Manchester City.  As the first half rolled out, we saw an Arsenal side that looked re-energized and ready to take on the Blue Moon head-on, attacking the ball and maintaining possession throughout. City soon became a threat, but not while the “inspired” behavior of Balotelli came to light. How the ref failed to see Mario’s stud-y challenge against Alex Song blows my mind, but whatever.  Arsenal had one good chance from a Van Persie header that collided with the Verminator during the first half, but aside from that, both teams held each other to 0-0 by the end. Both Benayoun and Rosicky rode the midfield battle well, and our back four were solid as rock.  From my point of view, Arsenal looked to be the better side…

The second half did see City rile themselves up a bit, but Pizarro was not as helpful as Mancini had expected.  Na$ri was worthless and all his boos were well deserved in my opinion.  Tevez and Aguero lacked their usual bite and Arsenal continued to dominate the midfield, with Song breaking up the plays and Arteta winning more balls than my fingers and toes could count.  Our mess up with Theo, Yossi and Verminator not being able to shoot right in front of the box was an absolute howler, while Van Persie’s hitting of the woodwork and Benayoun’s low shot were all excitingly frustrating to watch, but were all indicative that we were on the verge of scoring.

And then the 87th minute rolled forth, with City claiming possession.  Arteta bolts through and steals it away from Pizarro and streaks towards the box.  He looks around, says “FUCK IT,” cranks his leg back and lets out a bolt of blue lighting twenty-five yards out that was so sudden that it left both Lescott and Hart in the destitute rubble and dust of pure failure.  The Emirates erupted in triumph as our teams arms were splayed up high while Arteta gave the fans a showing of his “jelly” belly.  And the cherry on top of the icing?  Us Gooners mocked the Blue Moon outright by replicating their infamous “Poznan.”  How fucking great is that?

So yes, Ramsey blew out his potential game sealer, and the ref FINALLY gave Mario a well deserved red, but nothing was more deserved than our victory over a side whose every move seemed blessed by England’s wayward football punditry.  After being beaten by an Arsenal side who began the season as “relegation fodder” and “a club in crisis,” we have finally proven that we are side with immense quality.  Arteta’s sheer determination throughout the match has now proven that he is now a diehard Gunner’ (and not the “panic buy” that many have initially thought) and the impressive workrate of older players like Song, Benayoun and Rosicky should provide more storied inspiration for our young Guns, including Ox, Ramsey, Frimpong, Ryo and Coquelin.  Our match against Wolves this Wednesday will be hard fought, and we will be missing Koscielny at this venue, but let’s hope Djourou can continue with his good performance from last time and we can snatch away another three points.  Cheers to us fellow Gooners, and most of all, cheers to the tarnished title hopes of City, thanks to Mikel Arteta!