Thursday, 23 May 2013

Season Review 2012/2013 - I'm Just Glad It's Over.

So it's all done for another year, and somehow we've managed to thread the eye of a needle and finish 4th, it's been a fabulous end to an ordinary year if that makes sense. The form we've shown since the second leg Bayern game has been nothing short of champion material, winning at Sunderland, West Brom and Fulham by the odd goal with a player sent-off, the desire and focus shown will absolutely help us next season to be able to push on but I'm here to talk about the season and a few awards etc. Standard end of season stuff.

We started with 2 0-0's and the comments about missing Robin Van Persie started, I still maintain Sunderland were the worst side we've played all season and normally a point at Stoke is considered good but the media had us lurching into crisis already. It wasn't until the 3rd game at Anfield until we hit the stride, one of the best performances of the season combined with Podolski and Cazorla breaking the ducks made for a very happy Sunday, only to be clouded in some parts by Robin Van Persie's hat-trick at Southampton. We meandered through the next few, winning in Montpellier after thrashing Southampton 6-1 before the two games against top 4 rivals Manchester City and Chelsea. Thomas Vermaelen was ruled out on the morning of the City game and it was the first insight to the Koscielny/Mertesacker partnership that was to prove prevalent later in the season, it was a tough battling draw that we could of got more out of. Chelsea was a meek performance in comparison (Vermaelen recalled) which saw us lose for the first time this season to two badly defended set-pieces. Couple of decent victories at home to Olympiakos and away to West Ham saw us bounce back but we weren't really playing well, and surely that would catch up soon.....

And boy did it. I'd say from the 20th October to the 4th December was the longest period supporting Arsenal in my life (in my mind) - Our record was something like 4 wins in 12 games, defeat to Norwich after flying (FLYING!) to the game, humilation against Schalke at home but sandwiched in their like an old friend was a 5-2 derby drubbing against Spurs, complete with comedy Adebayor sending off. Saturday 1st December rolled around and I can remember it clear as day, the day I thought it may all end for Arsene, a 2-0 home defeat to Swansea left some of the most vitrolic memories from other supporters that I've ever witnessed, I wasn't sure Arsene would survive without walking away and I wasn't even sure it was a bad thing him walking away but hindsight has proven that it would of been very bad.

January actually really wasn't much fun either following a good rest of December (excluding Bradford), we lurched from draws at Southampton to a empathic defeat at home to Man City and a 2-2 draw with Liverpool at home coming back from 2-0 down.

The "threading of the needle" started on a cold Saturday afternoon with a Lukas Podolski deflected free-kick against Stoke and was followed by yet another 1-0 in the North-East where Bacary Sagna was drafted into centre half and Carl Jenkinson was sent off, the spirit and confidence were getting there only to be knocked down again with defeats at home to Bayern in the CL and Blackburn in the Cup.

The second North London derby of the season was supposed to be the pivotal one with Spurs in the form of their lives, having only lost 2 of the previous 23 games and they prevailed 2-1 after 2 schoolboy defensive errors within 5 minutes, to all and sundry the race for 4th had been done and dusted, the "Power Shift" columns had been drafted, Arsene Wenger's managerial obits had been written & the only thing left was for the rest of the season to play out and these to be published.......

We're still waiting for them to be published.....

From that Tottenham game we never lost again, we conceded only 1 goal from open play and narrowly missed out on overturning a 3-1 deficit in the Allianz, winning 2-0 but failing on away goals, results were ground out, men were made and it left us feeling a little confused. All I could of hoped for after the Tottenham defeat is that we made a fist of it and the 4-1 win over Wigan at least ensured it went to the final day of the season with qualification in our own hands, if something were to go wrong we would have the knowledge it was us who threw it away, we weren't on the end of a mobile phone refreshing apps every 5 seconds or cheering phantom goals. If Arsenal won, it was done.

The rest is history, from the bleakest night now suddenly breaks into a bright dawn, the Gazidis-powered FFP dream and marketing dream is pulling into focus, Champions League football has been secured and with the instability around the Premier League, many Arsenal fans think this is the year we make strides forward. We truly are at the crossroads where the next decade could be defined for our football club and I would like to personally thank everyone who reads this, everyone who says nice things, nasty things or indifferent things. It's been my pleasure and I can't wait to do it again.

Awards Guff.

Player of the Season - Santi Cazorla - Only Per Mertesacker is worthy of mention in this category.

Goal of The Season - Laurent Koscielny vs Newcastle - Because without it, we'd all be emigrating.

Game of The Season - Arsenal 7-5 - I'd seen enough in this game to know I'd seen too much.

I'll be back over the summer with the usual stuff. Thanks for Reading.

No comments:

Post a Comment