There are plenty of weeks ahead for season reviews, player appreciation for Super Tom and Mikel Arteta as well as Matthieu Flamini (although the stories on him finishing up with us haven’t quite been vocalised as yet, which does worry me), but that’s not for today. Today is the smallest form of joy that we can take from what has been a truly crazy and horrific season as far as we’re concerned. That small form is St.Totteringhams day.
Whatever you say about our season, our squad, the manager, the board, the apparently divisive atmosphere at the stadium, the clowns on AFTV or even Piers bloody Morgan, the final day of results were particularly fun! We were typically nervy as the game wore on after an initially good start. Nervous against the worst club in the league. That’s been the way of our football. The atmosphere was heavily dictated by goings on at St.James’ Park. Sp*rs were 2-0 down and we were 1-0 up. The fans knew. The players in turn, knew. The atmosphere for a little subdued when it went to 2-1 up north and especially so when Mitrovic got himself sent off. It somehow then went to 3-1 for Newcastle and we managed to score to make it 2-0. The fans started the “it’s happened again…” song, but I did think it was still early. Playing vs 10 men with 10 minutes to play, I still thought there might be a sting in the tail. Or not, as it turned out. It went to 4-1. Then 5. I really couldn’t quite believe it. We were winning 4-0 and they were losing 5-1. A happy happy St.Totteringhams day to one and all! Whatever any other fan Sp*rs or otherwise says to us for celebrating 2nd place are only deflecting from their own terrible seasons thus far. Let’s face it not many of us are going to know too many Leicester fans right? Not until next season anyway.
Many a Sp*rs fan will tell you it doesn’t matter and that CL football is more important. While they may well want to echo the thoughts of their manager, they do care, as do we. It’s a nice way to go into the summer for they players. You can bet it’s these little things that psychologically affect players both at the club and players wanting to join. It’s doesn’t changer too much as we’ve been above them for 20 seasons on the spin but it’s more the fact that if they had finished above us external players may have sat up and too more notice. Us finishing above them is a historical normality and won’t have changed opinions of external players, however them finishing above us would have been more headline worthy news. It would have been noticed a little more. Thankfully it’s not happened and we have a slightly more upbeat jaunt into work this week.
This season however can well and truly get in the bin. As nice as it was to pip Sp*rs to 2nd and with CL football in the bag, it’s a season that reeks of missed opportunities. It’s most definitely a season where an opportunity or in fact multiple opportunities have been spurned. No matter how this last day has gone we have fallen 10 points short of Leicester. I can think of at least 15 points that we’ve well and truly chucked away when better in game management would have seen us walk this league. Swansea at home, Liverpool away, Palace at home, Sp*rs away, Norwich away, West Ham away and Southampton at home. They are all games that we should have won. No question. But bad decisions from players and the manager in game cost us the points. That’s 15 points that would have seen us coast the league. You might even argue that there are 4/5 points that could be arguable. That would at least put us level with Leicester and with rivals that were closer to them they may well have succumbed to pressure in games that they had coped in with ease.
It’s now all about how we act in the summer after seeing the likes of Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini move on. It also seems like Walcott may well be on his way so we will likely be seeing at least 3 coming in according to the boss and potentially a 4th, however that may well be a January signing as we know what Wenger is like. But then again who knows, the last year of his reign may well be a ruthless one. I hope so – but any spending he does will need to keep in mind how his successor will treat those players and whether they match the incoming managers style.
Back to the day itself and it was really nice to see Mikel Arteta get a goal to bow out in style but also a shame to not get to see Rosicky don the Red and White one more time. They have both been brilliant players for us in different ways. If not for injuries Rosicky could truly have been a legend, as it is he will retain a cult hero status with his knack of scoring v Sp*rs. Arteta provided us with much needed stability at a time where our best players were leaving and genuinely helped to keep us afloat in the 2011/12 season. He was in tears at the end of the game and that I think looks to be the end of his association with Arsenal football club. He’s obviously emotional about playing his last game as a player but also he looked like a man saying goodbye. I really hope he is given a role at the club as he seems like a really nice guy and someone who has had a great footballing education. More on those two in the coming weeks…
Lots to chew over with a big summer coming up. I’ll look over the season, Rosicky, Arteta, Flamini & transfers over the next few weeks. This week however is too good a week to start second guessing the manager and eulogising outgoing players.
Let this be a week of celebration.
Have a great one folks.
Follow me on Twitter @MiteshLakhani1.