Your high point, low point and funniest moment of the season. by NS
Well, it's all over.
Overall, a frustrating season for Arsenal. That was a season of Deja vu for many. A promising start, strange team selections at the mid point, Rosicky returning late on, injuries to Diaby, captain sold and a monumental end to the season to catch and overtake Spurs to secure the 4th place trophy.
I sit here on a warm African winter afternoon, my tele switched to ESPN classic. They have a vintage Arsenal game going and im glued as if it were live. Its Highbury....Its Sol Campbell, its Vieira, its Bergkamp, its Thierry... its an Arsenal routing of Manchester United.
Right end of the season, thank god Arsenal have made it into the Champions League, still feeling shaky today after those four added minutes! To calm everything down, I have created a transfer window game. The evaluation of a player's price and wages are dependent on current wage, the amount of years left on their contract, and their form over the past few seasons.
What is it with modern day footballers? They all seem to want to play in the centre of the park. What happened to all the dashing wide players of yore? Nowadays it's as if players are trying to stay as far away from the pitch side fans as possible.
Andrei Arshavin's four and half seasons at Arsenal can be summarised as the following, the first two and half he looked a good signing, then he lost his form, his confidence and then he lost his place in the team and that was that! Without there ever really being an explanation.
Arsenal fans celebrate mediocrity yet again whilst silverware goes begging by Adam Kemp
Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of a season that has proved the most difficult during Wengers reign. I was embarrassed to see the players celebrating like they won the title as they should have been reserved with a fourth placed finish.
Aaron Ramsey has not had an easy run of it. After showing so much early promise at Arsenal he missed almost a year of football thanks to Ryan Shawcross. On his return, Ramsey struggled to win over Gooners with some varied performances. However, the absence of Jack Wilshere and the sale of Alex Song this season has meant that Arsene Wenger has had to rely on the young Welshman more and more, and he is finally starting to reap consistent rewards.
It has been a testing time for everybody concerned with Arsenal Football Club this season, but the players made sure that it finished with a bang by beating Newcastle United at St. James' Park yesterday. You could see the elation and relief on the faces of the Gunners and the Gooners who had traveled to see the game, but we really must do better next season.
After yesterday's Newcastle v Arsenal match report here, Neil wrote: "Player of 2013 so far is Koscienly. Once Wenger went for him instead of Vermaelen...he proved that he is considerably better than any centre back around." Neil – I couldn't agree more.
Arsene Wenger was able to name an unchanged Arsenal side after Mikel Arteta passed a late fitness test on his calf. Although Olivier Giroud was available to play after his three game suspension, Wenger left him on the bench. Newcastle United were determined to try to spoil the party for Arsenal, as were Sunderland at Tottenham.
5 Reasons Why Arsenal Might Expect Help From Sunderland by FD
So now it's down to the final match and all Arsenal have to do is beat Newcastle United on Sunday to secure a place in the Champions League for the 16th consecutive season. It's not a task that should be beyond an in-form and confident Arsenal team who brushed aside the challenge of Wigan at the Emirates last night.
This was always going to be ab open and exciting game, with Arsenal and Wigan needing to win for different reasons. Arsene Wenger made just one change, with Gibbs coming in for Monreal and the young England international did brilliantly against one of Wigan's main threats Callum Mcmanaman.
Arsenal made a great start and looked like they were going to blow Wigan out of the water.
As the season comes to a close, I feel it may be time to give your Arsenal player ratings for the season (I don't want to think about tomorrow's game to be honest!) It's been a funny old season, with some players starting poorly and improving, some just not performing and some playing very well. Others have been wildly inconsistent.
Tottenham nabbed a last minute winner against Stoke yesterday to keep themselves in with a chance of nicking the last Champions League position from Arsenal, and believe that Wigan are in the perfect frame of mind to cause an upset at the Emirates tomorrow evening.
Wigan may have won the FA Cup, but now they are fighting for their Premiership survival, and the Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas thinks that they are primed and ready for tomorrow.
To borrow a phrase from the retiring Alex Ferguson, it really is squeaky bum time for Arsenal. Tottenham got yet another result they barely deserved at Stoke today, which means that the Gunners are now sitting outside the Champions League places in fifth position.
Spurs now have 69 points, two more than Arsenal, so we absolutely must beat Wigan Athletic at the Emirates on Tuesday.
Wigan won the FA Cup for the first time in their history yesterday (take that Ca$hri!) but their manager, Roberto Martinez, will not allow the players to celebrate just yet as they have another Cup Final coming up on Tuesday against Arsenal. Nothing less than three points will be enough to save the Latics from relegation, and Martinez is making sure his team stays focused by ordering to turn up for an iced bath tomorrow morning!
So in the end, as our goalkeeping seer Wojciech Szczesny predicted, the Spuds didn't have the quality to overcome a Chelsea side at Stamford Bridge for the first time in 23 years although a few Arsenal hearts must have been beating extra fast when Bale, who had been kept quiet for most of the match, lined up to take that edge-of-the-box free kick deep into injury time.
Sunderland and Stoke draw is good news for Arsenal by FD
This is a particularly unpredictable end of season at the bottom of the Premiership. Recent results have dragged teams who probably considered themselves out of danger only a few weeks ago back into relegation contention, and tonight's share of the points between Sunderland and Stoke City didn't help to make the situation any clearer.
It is an often used adage in the world of football that goalkeepers have to be a little bit crazy, and the Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny can certainly tick that box on his c.v. You have to love him, though, because he often comes out with things that most other players would not dream of saying, whether they think it or not.
While watching Arsenal's game with QPR I was amazed at the criticism the team was receiving from Gooners on Twitter and Facebook. Such was the extent of negativity that many seemed less confident of us finishing in the top 4 then they were before the game kicked off at Loftus Road.
It seems that things are conspiring against Arsenal and their challenge for a top four finish in the Premier League. The Gunners are doing their bit, with six wins and two draws from the last eight league games, but results elsewhere keep going against us and we are running out of time.
Tottenham have got seven points from the last three games, when it looked like they would get nothing out of any of them for most of the games.
In the second half of the season, many Arsenal fans were clamouring for Lukas Podolski to be given more time on the pitch, then when he was finally reinstated to the starting XI, the calls started for him to be given the chance to replace Giroud as the out-and-out centre-forward.
Now the fans have finally got what they want but, but after two matches as the main striker, suddenly Podolski is making Giroud seem like he is a natural goalscorer!
One match nearer, and it doesn't get any easier. After an uncomfortable evening watching Arsenal hold on for a crucial victory against QPR, thoughts turn to our next game when Wigan visit the Emirates.
At this stage of the season, it's all about getting the points, so I'm not going to get too concerned about performances.
Arsene Wenger had warned his Arsenal players to expect a good performance from QPR after they were relegated last week and he was certainly proved right. He felt that his Gunners handled it well, though, and they got the result which was hugely important. After being awful for most of the season, QPR gave it a real go, especially in the second half.
Arsenal may have gone into this game thinking that their north London rivals had dropped points and left the way clear for a top four finish, because the spuds' game kicked off half an hour late. Maddeningly, though, Gareth Bale rescued his average team again with a late winner out of nothing. Whether the Arsenal players knew this or not is unclear, but we started with purpose and got ahead straight away.
Everybody concerned with Arsenal Football Club is concentrating on one thing at the moment, finishing in the top four ahead of Tottenham or Chelsea, or preferably both. This will make it a good finish to another disappointing campaign, though, and it is just not good enough for the fans or the players.
It will not surprise many Arsenal fans that Alex Ferguson complained that his Manchester United players did not get fair treatment from the referee at the Emirates yesterday. Fergie complained that Phil Dowd had treated the teams differently, especially when it came to giving yellow cards, but Arsene Wenger saw things differently.
Arsenal right back Bacary Sagna has spent the majority of his career with the Gunners, after signing from Ligue 1 side Auxerre back in 2007. In those 6 years Sagna has managed to make 175 league appearances, scoring just 3 goals. In his first years he competed with Emmanuel Eboue to nail down the Right Back position, however it was quickly seen who the better player was and Sagna soon managed to make a stance and become Arsenal's regular Right Back.
The Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny can count himself lucky that he got his starting place back from Lukascz Fabianski. It was only the rib injury to his Polish international team mate that let Szczesny back in. He could have been in the same situation as the Gunners captain Thomas Vermaelen, who has played just once since the derby defeat by Tottenham and that was because Per Mertesacker was suspended.
Arsenal went flying into a 1-0 lead after just 2 minutes of yesterday's game against Man United but a moment of madness from Bacary Sagna gave Robin Van Persie the chance to peg us back and set up a nervous second half.
Arsene Wenger thinks that the penalty ruined the flow of Arsenal's game.
Theo Walcott has been far from his best in an Arsenal shirt recently and has come on for a lot of criticism from the fans and the media, but he was much better today. He took his goal well and was lively and dangerous all through the game. Many felt that he was not a big game player but he proved them wrong today.
Arsenal knew the huge importance of this game against Manchester United and may have been aware that Chelsea were beating Swansea in the earlier kick off. The players had to suffer the indignity of having to clap the former captain and turncoat Robin van Persie and his team mates on to the pitch. Wenger will have told them to use that feeling to their advantage in the game, and it could not have started much better.
Any Gooner who watched Arsenal struggle against 10 man Fulham at Craven Cottage may be surprised at the staistics, especially the one that shows that the Gunners registered an astonishing 90 percent pass success rate, with 84 percent of their final third passes finding the target as well. Arsenal also made nearly three times as many passes as Fulham in the game.
Arsenal's defence isn't as bad as it's made out to be and is not the reason we are struggling by KJ
The general consensus amongst most football fans is that Arsenal are a good attacking side that are average at best at defending. That would be correct considering how over the last 5 seasons, our goals conceded at the end of each season has steadily increased:
2008/2009: 38 2009/2010: 41 2010/2011: 43 2011/2012: 49 2012/2013: 35 (with 4 games to play)
As you can see, we've conceded more and more goals as the seasons have gone by but this season seems to be the one that bucks the trend.
Arsenal fans should be used to having our hearts in our mouths towards the end of just about every game since Christmas, but with so much at stake yesterday's game at Newcastle was even nervier than most. Laurent Koscielny's goal calmed us all a little, but we still had to suffer right to the end of the 90 minutes.
Arsene Wenger watched his side finally come good in the second half against Wigan last night, but he thinks the game was much closer than Arsenal's winning margin suggests. He said after the game: "We had a quick start and a strong start for the first 20 minutes. We were really dominating and after that we became a bit conservative and pushed forward less and allowed Wigan back in the game.