WTTGT Writer: Tashan Deniran-Alleyne
It may have been a terrible end to the season for the Arsenal, but fans can look back on the campaign and reflect on some positive highlights.
Here are ten moments for Gunners’ fans to reflect back on.
10. The emergence of Wojciech Szczęsny
Before the season started, Arsène Wenger was linked with a new goalkeeper and came close to buying Mark Schwarzer from Fulham; but he didn’t, and the rest is now history.
The big pole made his Premiership debut against Manchester United in December ’10, and after an injury to his fellow countryman, Lukasz Fabianski, Szczęsny became the number one for the rest of the season. The youngster was ultimately one of few players to emerge with any credit from a poor season.
9. Arsène Wenger taking the Carling Cup seriously
In previous years, the Arsenal manager has looked upon this competition as an opportunity to field his promising youngsters, but last season, he decided to take it more seriously with a strong team named throughout the competition. It seems Arsène realised that the Gunners needed to win a trophy, and fast.
8. The return of young Aaron Ramsey
February 2010, saw young Welshman, Aaron Ramsey suffer a horrific leg break against Stoke City. After making his recovery in late 2010, he had two loan spells in the Championship. First with Nottingham Forest and then with his boyhood club, Cardiff City.
Later in the year he made his return to the Arsenal first-team against Manchester United in the F.A. Cup; he grabbed the winner against the same opposition in the Premiership fixture at the start of May.
7. The 1000th Premier League goal under Arsène Wenger
To score 1000 goals is a great achievement for any football club, but to do it under one manager is astonishing in the modern game. The 1000th goal was also a reward for Arsenal’s sexy attacking style of football. September 11th 2010 against Bolton saw an unlikely source, Alex Song seal that special moment.
6. Samir Nasri solo goals against Fulham
He may not be every Gooner’s favourite player at the present moment, but the quality of his two strikes against Fulham was truly amazing as he single-handedly bagged all three crucial points for Arsenal. The Frenchman showed quick feet and brilliant agility in tight spaces to score on both occasions.
5. The rise of Jack Wilshere
Before the season had even begun, young Jack was linked with a return on loan to Bolton, but after making his England debut Wenger showed faith in him by keeping him in the team for the whole season.
This resulted in him becoming an important part of Arsenal’s midfield. In arguably his best performance of the season against F.C Barcelona [in the Champions League], he held his own against the midfield maestros of Xavi Hernández and Andrés Iniesta. Credit where credit is due, Jack was fantastic over the two legs.
4. Reaching the Carling Cup Final
Had the trophy been won [by Arsenal] it would have been a different end to the title run-in. Nobody would be feeling so negative right now and Wenger wouldn’t be subject to suggestions that he should leave.
Nobody can deny though the electric atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium when Arsenal booked their place in the Carling Cup Final. After trailing to Ipswich 1-0 from the first leg, Nicklas Bendtner calmed the Gunners’ nerves before Laurent Koscienly raised the roof, and finally the captain [Fabregas] sealed the victory late on giving fans the hope that their barren run of trophies was about to end… if only eh?
3. Big performances at the Emirates
Chelsea, Manchester United and Barcelona all fell at the home of Arsenal. When the Gunners have needed to, they’ve been able to raise their game against the really big teams. If they had been able to match their terrific home form in their away games, then we could have been looking at a team who had ended their six trophy-less seasons.
2. Robin van Persie
If only the Dutchman could stay fit for the whole season, then who knows? After missing the first half of the season with an ankle injury picked up on international duty, his form from the turn of year was truly amazing. He set a new record of scoring in nine successive away games as he tried valiantly to keep Arsenal in the title race.
If he can stay fit next season then Arsenal will hopefully have a great chance of winning that illusive trophy.
1. Arshavin’s Goal against FC Barcelona
If Laurent Koscienly’s goal against Ipswich raised the roof, then Andrei’s goal simply blew it off the top of the stadium. After trailing the Spanish Champions for the majority of the game, Van Persie’s fierce strike levelled the game before just five minutes later, Arshavin’s low strike in the corner of the net sent the home fans into ecstascy following a stunning counter-attack.
It was Arsenal’s greatest ever win at the Emirates to-date, and surely the best moment of the season.