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!!