Arsenal-Aston Villa: A Season on From the FA Cup Final. A Tale of Two Clubs Fallen From Grace. Time to

…Say goodbye to the 2015-16 campaign and a few players who have served the club well.

Tomas Rosicky, Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini are all out of contract and will surely be leaving the club this summer.  Who else will be going?  Who will join Arsenal and where does the team go from here?  Is there some hope for the future or should it be approached–as I write on this Friday the 13th–with only a sense of doom?

Oh, wait, there is still one last match to be played to close out our season and there’s something, albeit small, for which to play.  Depending on this result and others elsewhere during the traditional ten-at-a-time final fixtures, Arsenal could finish anywhere from league runners-up to fourth.  We will be returning to the Champions league, but will it be into an August qualifier (4th), directly to the group stage (3rd) or wearing the mantle as the top club in North London?

While it’s not a popular sentiment to lift our gaze up from the tops our own shoes, the team we face, Aston Villa, has had it far worse.  They will finish dead last in the league and were relegated to the next tier weeks ago.  Since we faced them in the FA Cup final they have lost their best players and a pair of managers.  They’ve also won just three matches all season and have a goal difference that–like Medusa–is probably best viewed in a mirror: 27 goals scored, 72 conceded.

Many blame their American owner, Randy Lerner, for failing to invest in his club and adequately replace the likes of Fabian Delph and Christian Benteke who moved for sizable transfer fees to Manchester City and Liverpool.  Off-season buys like Jordan Ayew (from Lorient) and Rudy Gestede (from Blackburn Rovers) were unable to fill their shoes and younger players who were expected to step up, notably Scott Sinclair and Jack Grealish, haven’t.  Tim Sherwood, who oversaw their run to the cup final (as well as their 4-nil capitulation in it) only lasted ten weeks before being replaced by former Gunner, Remi Garde.   Under Garde, however, they dropped from 19th place to the very bottom and he too was sacked when their relegation became inevitable.  I had to look it up, but it will be a caretaker manager, Eric Black, putting out a team in Villa’s final Premier League match.

So much for the excitement (or hopefulness) in changing managers, the main thing Arsenal doesn’t do that makes life so frustrating for many Gooners.  Our own guy, Arsene Wenger, knows this all too well after protests in our most recent home match vs Norwich City.  Wenger, in fact, saved the strongest words in his pre-match press conference for those who suggested that he’d been offered a contract extension.  This final outing surely will not be his most triumphant lap of honour.  I would expect plenty of empty seats (again) but also (hopefully) a respectful and appreciative send off for the players who are making their final appearances–as well as for those whom Gunners might want back for the next campaign.

If it could be on top of a victory we will at least secure third place.  If Spurs cannot get at least a draw at just relegated Newcastle, an Arsenal win would mean we finish ahead of our rivals for the 22nd consecutive time.  As such, in addition to the shoe gazing, there could be a glance or two down at spectators’ cell phones.  Only losing the match–plus a Manchester City win at Swansea–would see us fall to a fourth place finish and our Champions League football held up by the need to win a two-legged August qualifier.

So, given that we would like to go out on the front foot and give a little bit back to our home support, Wenger has to juggle a few different elements as he picks his first eleven, his seven subs and those who will only wear street clothes for the occasion.  One guy who probably won’t make it will be Danny Welbeck as he’s just had surgery on the knee he injured last week at Manchester City.  For both his and our sake, we have to hope that Welbeck, one of the brighter lights of the 2nd half of our season, can handle the challenge of another long rehabilitation and get back to fitness once again.   He’ll have company as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also will miss out on the European Championships this summer with knee trouble of his own.  Per Mertesacker’s season is done due to a hamstring strain while Flamini may also miss out with an ankle problem.  That still leaves more than enough bodies.  Here’s my guess at the starters and subs:

Subs: Ospina, Chambers, Coquelin, Ozil, Cazorla, Campbell, Walcott

It’s a team that should be enough to get some goals vs a Villa side that we might not see back in the PL for awhile.  I haven’t included the three pictured players even if Wenger hinted that they might feature.  In any other match I don’t think they would make the bench which may indicate why they’re not being offered new contracts.  It doesn’t mean, however, that it isn’t a shame that, of the three, only Flamini played meaningful minutes this season.  His contributions helped the club through the darkest days of the year after injuries to Francis Coquelin and Santi Cazorla (and Arteta) had left our midfield in tatters.  Arteta stabilized our team in earlier seasons (even darker moments, probably) directly after his transfer from Everton and later became a worthy captain.  Rosicky, the little Mozart, is probably the most talented of the three but a player who lost too much time to injury.  In many ways saying goodbye to them could be seen as a true changing of the guard.  The other notable absentee from my subs bench is Kieran Gibbs, a younger player who finally surmounted his own injury issues but might seek more playing opportunities elsewhere this summer.

As always, it’s just my best guess at Wenger’s thinking and others may know more or have ideas of their own.  Please share yours.

With Leicester City proving that money cannot buy you love–or at least the league title–it’s been a tough season for all the big clubs.  Perhaps it’s been even tougher at Arsenal where we came into the season with strong belief in our squad–to the point that Wenger’s only summer buy was goalkeeper Petr Cech.  Early hiccups followed by injuries meant we never truly found our feet.  That we got through the worst of it but then stumbled–repeatedly, and when so much seemed within our grasp– makes it all the tougher to swallow.

As such, we head to the final match-day with much to regret.  That’s football and that’s life.  Sometimes the best laid plans and mountains of hard work do not find us looking down from the loftiest of summits.  Ah well, there’s always next season and, perhaps, it’s the journey rather than the destination that should be the focus of our reflection and even our appreciation.

So, for the final time…

Go on then…

by 17highburyterrace

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67 Responses to Arsenal-Aston Villa: A Season on From the FA Cup Final. A Tale of Two Clubs Fallen From Grace. Time to

  1. retsub1 says:

    Well written 17ht an interesting review, I liked the Medusa comment. I think the season has ended at the right time for us. We have been strumbling along for some time now and I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we didn’t make hard work of Villa on Sunday.. With the 3outgoing midfielders and Danny’s injury, Wenger will have to make a number of new signings in the summer. It will be very interesting to see what he does. Although we are losing 3 midfielders we are still fairly strong in the department. A striker and a centre back would be my priorities but we will see.

    Have spent the past few days reading Sam Alladyces book Big Sam. Interesting comment by his wife during his stay at West Ham… She never went to the stadium, or attended any matches. She did however religiously follow a West Ham blog. The power of blogging huh
    ,
    Interesting to see how Newcastle perform at the weekend. Hopefully they will feel free to play free of pressure.

  2. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hi retsub…Cheers for the comment…

    I agree, nothing easy for this Arsenal but I’m encouraged that Alexis and Giroud were able to combine last weekend and if there’s any club we’ve been able to blitz with regularity in recent seasons it’s been Villa…

    I think there’s a chance that at least a handful of the Toon players will want to make a good showing to try and keep Rafa at the club. With balloon payments (to the relegated clubs) it makes sense for owners to spend on their manager if they believe they can get them to play well in the Championship and bounce right back to the PL. Spurs don’t look quite the same since Dele Alli went out and they’ll miss their workhorse, Dembele, too… That said, they’ve got some good players (Chadli, Mason, probably some others) who haven’t played too much but might be keen to make an impression for next season. Plus, doesn’t Kane need goals to win the metal boot?

    The tougher away win is at Swansea, but that doesn’t affect us–unless we give Villa their 4th win of the season…

    “The power of blogging”…heheheheh…as Henry might say, you know, if he was still coming around… Unfortunately, at Arsenal, it’s mostly like an anchor, I fear…

  3. davydavy says:

    Any chance we could see Santi and Ozil both in the starting line-uo? I’d throw them both in, instead of Jack and Iwobi, with Ramsey moving to the left.

    It would be great to be able to farewell the three midfield greats who are finishing up this weekend – maybe we’ll get Flamini on the bench along with Rosicky and Arteta, with all three coming on for a ten-minute cameo at the end (sentimental I know, but why not?). I’ll miss Arteta, as to me he was our most important and consistent player for years,, probably until Ozil and Sanchez came along, while both Flamini and Rosicky will always be fondly remembered just for their exploits against Spurs.

    I think we’ll smash Villa, maybe by five or six goals, so ending up in a decent league position and hopefully above the Spuds. Then we can turn to strengthening the team and preparing for a real tilt at next years title.

  4. njk84sg says:

    Santi looked good in his last under21 outing against the villans, and although it is good to see him partnering Le Coq, i believe Wenger will go with his trusted lineup of Le Coq and Elneny.

    Ozil coming back in place of Iwobi and Jacko hugging the left or right wing seems just right.

    Nothing much i can say for the rest of the lineup here, as they have been cast in cement.

    Cheers,
    JK

  5. Pony Eye says:

    I’ve never as an Arsenal fan known things to taste so flat. That’s why kudos to HT for this well spiced preview.

    The high point of the moment, possibly, the respect and adoration being given by all to the departing trio of Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini. Rosicky, the midfield maestro whose style and tempo always upped the performance of his mates and the team. Arteta, the quintessential professional, most cerebral, most disciplined. Flamini, tigerish, an indomitable spirit. These three represent the classic symbol of that fraternal spirit in our team. Long may their influence live with the squad. Adios amigos, you’d always be remembered with fondness and it’s so gladdening that the gooner community got it so right here.

    2nd, 3rd or 4th? Let us focus on the one in our hands i.e. 3rd. Win or draw against Aston V and we are there. It doesn’t look a daunting task, but that doesn’t mean we should take the match for granted.

    I expect Ôzil back, and Wilshere in the team at the expense of Iwobi. I believe Wenger will give Santi some playing time from the bench.

    My prediction:

    ———-Cech———-
    Bel–Gab—Kos–Nach
    ——-Eln—-Ramb——
    Alexi—–Jack——Ozil
    ———-Groud———-

  6. Gerry says:

    I think you are reflecting the mood amongst Arsenal supporters, typified by Retsub’s comment ‘…
    the season is ending at the right time’ , and you caught it exceedingly well HT…
    which is why I am a little disappointed with the post. Sorry 😦

    I was hoping to read one of your finest ‘call to arms’ posts, raising the spirits for one last fight?

    There is so much to fight for, both as a club and individually for the players. Wilshere for one will try his best if he is to feature for England in the Euro’s.
    Giroud, if he has recovered from last week’s battering, will want to prove that glimpse of his top form was not a one off.
    If Santi starts, as I think he should, will also want to put the season to bed with a rousing memory to all.
    Cech too, will want a clean sheet this time, after getting some rare criticism. That is if he gets the nod over Ospina?
    There are others who one might expect them to play their usual games; Alexis, Gabriel, Bellerin, Elneny, Monreal, and Koscielny. Damn it! We have a very strong team who should be playing every minute, straining every sinew, for just the chance that we can finish an honourable second?

    Nothing wrong with your line up HT, but I don’t think AW will be that complacent to run out with the same 11. Here are my thoughts:
    ——————————— Ospina——————————
    Bells————Gabby————————Kos———-Nacho
    ——————————— Coquelin—————————-
    ———————–Elneny—————-Cazorla—————-
    ——————————— Wilshere—————————–
    ————————-Alexis————–Giroud——————-

    That should leave an attacking trio with pace to come on, if needed, of Iwobi(for Santi); Theo and Joel(for Alexis and Giroud). Barring further injuries, naturally.

    Just remember the sub plots here, especially in the light of the news on the Beeb’s Gossip column that AW only has £54m transfer budget, and will have to sell before he buys? Which is the worst possible way to go into the TW of course. Once you have sold players you are in a sellers market, as they know you need players, so the price goes up. Of course, in all probability, there is a sub plot about this rather precise figure of £54m, and that is to say to clubs where we want to buy ‘We are restricted with our cash’ ….? Note; This is a Koenke thing, not an AW driven model. Not exactly giving him a final send off season is it?

    Back to the sub plot of the team above.
    If AW has seen a weakness in Cech, it may pay to keep our Number 2 sweet for next season?
    If we are ‘buying’ Ozil’s services for £200k a week, and the TW budget is tight, then just may be Alexis will be the one to supplement it …. BUT! Only if he has given AW strong indication that he does want to move …?
    Coquelin’s position might come under pressure if that is where some of the budget goes this summer.
    Ramsey is probably another who could supplement the budget, especially if Alexis is kept? He would fetch a bigger price than Gibbs for example. But as I have said before, selling Gibbs makes no sense to me. There is no pressing need to change the LB situation for the coming season, unless AW is replacing Monreal … But why?
    Walcott and or Campbell are like to make way if a new striker/scoring MF comes in. The latter would not affect our ‘home grown’ list, but Walcott has not proved himself to be consistent, even when fit?
    Wilshere’s fitness may also be tested today, but I cannot see more than one of the above leaving if Alexis goes. We shall see?

    That is a preview of the summer to come …

    In the meantime, I suppose a double figure scoreline is a bit out of the question, but I expect the team I have named to be the one that will get us closest to reducing that goal difference target?
    Score early, score often, don’t ease off. That is my message!!!
    Cheers,
    Gerry

  7. TotalArsenal says:

    You left the best till last, Seventeenho (even if it has Gerry disappointed 😂 )….

    Great ode to the away flying RAF, supported by PEs and Davydavys fine comments. Your line up is spot on of course and let’s hope we’ll score early and then quickly again to settle the match, nerves and supporters.

    I reckon the Barcodes might give the Spuddies a game but cannot see them win, although you never know. Do we want to finish second though? It seems a poisoned chalice this season… Second is the first loser and all that, as the press blame the runner up more for losing out that the Oilers and MU combined….

    CoyGs make us proud and finish the season in style! 💣💣💣💣⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️🍾🍾🍾🍾

  8. allezkev says:

    Great post 17tino, I’ve really enjoyed your contributions this season, not sure at all about the starting XI, but I guess that’s a good thing with plenty of choice and many different options. For me I’d like to see Rosicky on the bench, probably instead of Campbell, with the chance a last hurrah in front of the fans.

    A fit Rosicky for the last 10 years, what could that have achieved for us?

    PE I can go back a long way and I also am struggling to remember similar circumstances when there has been such a flat feeling around the club, a good point you make.
    After all we’ve outperformed Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea, yet the feeling of a golden opportunity missed sours the achievement of a top three finish. We should have been a top one and many cannot shake off that feeling of regret.

    We face a summer of misinformation, the mangers future, the war chest, all the usual transfer rumour garbage.

    Personally I’m looking forward to Euro 2016.

  9. retsub1 says:

    just watched the ladies win the F A cup. They have definitely got better and tougher over the years. A Thierry Henry goal to win it as well

  10. henrychan says:

    Hi all..
    So.. it will be the last game.. for our season and for our great three midfielders.. Rosicky, Arteta and Flamini..
    If the result isn’t our top priority anymore.. I think playing all of them together.. at least for 20 minutes.. will be a great way to respect them all..
    Villa won’t play any hard game anymore.. And our three great midfielders aren’t that bad to beaten easily by Villa..

    So.. First we play our usuall team except Arteta to replace Elneny or Ramsey.. If thing goes well.. We can put Rosicky for Oziel and Flamini for Elneny/Ramsey/Arteta.. We won’t lost our strength.. We still will beat Villa by two or three goals.. hehehe..

    Farewell Captain America.. oh sorry Arteta.. hehehe.. Little Mozzart and Flamini the beast.. We will missed you all.. Wish You All the best..

  11. 17highburyterrace says:

    ‘Morning boys… Cheers for the comments… It’s been a tough season with lots of ups and downs but it’s been an honor (honour?) being charged with the match previews here… Cheers TA for filling in for me on those couple (Swansea away, Crystal Palace home) where I was on the move and couldn’t quite muster the effort…

    More specifically, I like Davy’s line-up with both Santi and Ozil better than my suggested group and there are good shouts for including at least Sicky and Arteta and trying to give them a run-out… It could be harsh on players who might get left off the bench (Gibbs, Chambers, Campbell) in order to squeeze them on to it, however…

    Line-ups should be out pretty soon…

    For those already having their heads spun around by transfer gossip, I see zero reference (repetition of headlines) about any limits on transfer budgets but plenty of suggestions that either Xhaka or Kante (or both) are just about done deals…and that Alexis and JW are off to join the Pep-a-lution up at ManCity… In my humble opinion it seems best just to wait until these things are announced rather than trying to play Sherlock, but, obviously, some seem to enjoy it… Yes, I’m talking to you, GL… 😀

  12. 17highburyterrace says:

    Here in the States the Arsenal match is being shown on the Science Fiction channel… 😀

    Line-ups:

    Arsenal: Cech, Bellerin, Gabriel, Koscielny, Monreal, Coquelin, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil, Alexis, Giroud. Subs: Ospina, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Elneny, Campbell, Iwobi

    Aston Villa: Bunn, Lyden, Lescott, Toner, Cissoko, Sanchez, Westwood, Gana, Bacuna, Sinclair, Ayew. Subs: Guzan, Richards, Adama, Gil, Hepburn-Murphy, Gestede, Grealish

  13. 17highburyterrace says:

    So…Davy gets his Santi + Ozil, and TA gets all 3 he wrote about a couple of weeks ago–those two plus Jack… Does it line up as a 4-1-4-1 with Le Coq as the DM and Giroud as the #9? Or maybe it’s a 4-1-3-2… Probably Santi hangs back with his Coq in our more standard 4-2-3-1

    No matter how you cut it, I like it…A LOT…

    Of the oldsters, only Arteta gets to wear the kit…

  14. Pony Eye says:

    Love our line up that includes Santi, Jack, and le Coq at the expense of Rambo, Eln and Iwobi.

  15. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hey PE… i thought I might be the only one around… In Britain, they maybe have to go down to the pub or find the match on the radio, I’m guessing…

  16. 17highburyterrace says:

    Delay at Old Trafford… Honour Guard for Ranieri and Leicester City at Chelsea but Mourinho (still collecting his contract…) doesn’t have to be there…

    And we’re off…

  17. 17highburyterrace says:

    Nice Goal!!! Nacho to wide open Giroud for the header…

  18. allezkev says:

    45 minute delay at OT…

    That’s handy, if you need to know what you have to do after your immediate competitor (City) have played…

    Conspiracy maybe…?

  19. allezkev says:

    Abandoned at OT…

    Bomb alert…

  20. allezkev says:

    Newcastle 1-0

  21. 17highburyterrace says:

    Cheers for the info, kev… the scifi channel doesn’t show the other scores up in the corner as the “main” channels tend to do…

  22. allezkev says:

    Newcastle 2-0

  23. 17highburyterrace says:

    Wowsa… We could use a 2nd as we just had a bit of a let off in front of our goal…

  24. allezkev says:

    Man City 1-1

  25. 17highburyterrace says:

    In bonus coverage we see Swansea go level on a deflected FK…

    Fun stuff all around but it would be nice to see Arsenal get a couple more…

  26. henrychan says:

    I think we should go for Wijnaldum.. A great man in a wrong club..
    Why we never look to Eredivisie since Van Persie..??
    Can you imagined that.. the saint is still there.. We will celebrate our St.Toteringham day tonight.. Cheer up guys.. hahaha..

  27. 17highburyterrace says:

    Stan Kroenke, not in fancy dress, seems to have upgraded his (fake) hair…

    Wow…Nice volley from Ozil almost finds the streaking head of Alexis… Ooh Giroud holds off the left footed shot but the pass is too close to the keeper for Jack…

  28. 17highburyterrace says:

    Spurs get one back…

    Lots of delay in our match as Lescott first then his sub, Micah Richards need treatment… Plenty of ET, I guess…

  29. 17highburyterrace says:

    Looks like Toon are down to 10, Mitrovic, the red card specialist, sent off…

  30. allezkev says:

    Newcastle down to 10 men I’m hearing.

  31. 17highburyterrace says:

    Penalty for Newcastle!!! Wijnaldum scores it…. 3-1

  32. allezkev says:

    Newcastle 3-1

  33. allezkev says:

    Meanwhile Arsenal are making a right meal out of putting Villa away…

  34. 17highburyterrace says:

    Ozil to Giroud… 2-nil… and a pile on with Rosicky and Arteta….

  35. 17highburyterrace says:

    Hat trick for the man with the beard…

  36. henrychan says:

    Yes.. the saint is already down from heaven.. to celebrate our great day.. St.Toteringham day.. hahaha..

  37. 17highburyterrace says:

    Sissoko just wide on the break at St. James…

  38. allezkev says:

    Newcastle 4-1 😃

  39. 17highburyterrace says:

    4-1 Toonies….

    We left it late, but St. Totteringham’s Day has come!!!!!

  40. allezkev says:

    Newcastle 5-1 😃😃

  41. 17highburyterrace says:

    A reveler has taken the pitch and has to be removed…

    Meanwhile, it’s now 5-1 at St. James….

  42. 17highburyterrace says:

    ARTETA—off the bar then the keeper… 4-nil

  43. 17highburyterrace says:

    Anyone for a trot up the 7 Sisters?…

  44. 17highburyterrace says:

    Shoot…They’ve cut away from our celebrations to show So’ton-CP…

    Emirates as happy as it’s been since….?

  45. allezkev says:

    Petr Cech, I think he’s won the Golden Gloves for the season…

  46. allezkev says:

    Ok, I’m off to have some lasagne… 😉

  47. TotalArsenal says:

    Happy St Totteringham’s Day – Sweeter than ever. The Spuddiesnever let you down!

    Ollie….. You got to love him.

    More later.

  48. 17highburyterrace says:

    Now they’re showing Stoke-WHU… Charlie Adam at least as fat as the guys with no shirts up in Newcastle…

  49. 17highburyterrace says:

    Well, it looks like the television is covering the bomb scare…so I’ll have to go to the interweb for St. T day celebrations…

  50. njk84sg says:

    Manu** match postponement scares me.

    Here on live tv they mention security issues.

    However good to see an upswing of pace after Elneny came on. And the 3 points and thank Benitez for helping us.

    Happy St Totteringham day to all.

    However, gutted at the scenes at manu**.

    JK

  51. FMJ14 says:

    Yesssssssss lads!!! It’s happened again! Fantastic feeling haha!! Great way to end the season 😎

  52. retsub1 says:

    Tottenham hotspur its happened again!!!!!
    Funny old season but its ended on a high note. As Kev suggested Lasagne for everyone tonight
    Oh boy don’t you just feel for those Spurs supporters

  53. henrychan says:

    Happy St.Totteringham’s Day guys.. We did it again.. and again.. hahaha..
    Are we better than last season..?? Hard to say.. but we do moving forward.. How many years had we ever been at second place..??
    Sad to say farewell to our Captain Arteta, Rosicky and Flamini.. but life must goes on.. some go some in.. that’s the rule.. hehehe.. Wish You All the best..

  54. retsub1 says:

    Strangely quiet on here considering we achieved St Totteringham day. I think many see it as a relief as opposed to a success.. Just for fun I trawled around some enemy blogs tonight. It’s amazing that a couple of weeks back Spurs were the best thing since sliced bread. They are now being totally rubbished by their own fans. Loris in particular is taking a lot of flack. Watford maintain premoership status, reach the cup semi final and unload their manager. I am guessing that the only teams who have anything to crow about are Leicester, Bournemouth and possibly Palace. Funny old game

  55. 17highburyterrace says:

    Personally, I’m hoping TA does a match report…I don’t want to start criticizing before he gets the positives out there… 🙂

    Is it a funny old game, retsub, or just not quite enough pleasure to go around?… The Watford sacking is incredible really… Both Pochettino and Koeman were fairly fortunate to avoid the sack in the autumn…

    And then there’s Arsenal… After the fun stuff at our rival’s expense it will be about no trophies and thus a step backward…or at least Groundhog’s day, etc.

    For me, since I only stumbled onto Arsenal when we lived there at my screen-name in 2006, this is our highest league finish since I’ve been following and I see nothing but improvement, although it was quite a setback when we lost both Cesc and Nasri in the same summer. We have the 4th highest wage bill in England so any finish above that level, IMO, should be seen as overachieving. Leicester, of course, did something very special, so, while we beat the Manc Clubs and Chelsea we will still come away frustrated… AW has it right…too many dropped points in those situations where we expected things to be easy. On the plus side, we got the full 6 points against the league champions…

    As such, we should (italics) have less work to do in the off-season than those who finished below us and be well positioned for next season. Still, whatever work is (more italics) done, won’t be enough–to have the league won before it starts–which, I think, in truth, is what most (or at least the loudest) Gooners want… Somehow, we have to embrace the uncertainty and actually enjoy the competition…

    Too big an ask, I fear, but look how much fun it is when the underdog (surely we were just that today for celebrating the St.’s day…) scenario plays out…:D

  56. njk84sg says:

    Yes retsub1,

    Most of us see it as a relief. A huge one at that.

    Us winning 4-0 brought back memories of the FA cup final, which we were given a scare by the Villians but they could do nothing about our final 3 goals.

    The shocking one is how the spuds mamage to have a torrid game at the back, which the keeper can lament it for a lack of cover.

    For the Arsenal vs Villians game my MoTM is Nacho. His timely intervention prevents them from levelling, while it is good to see Mikel scoring (came out in the end as an assist), which is fitting of his career as a scoring mid.

    Plenty of wasted chances as usual, and the introduction of Elneny for a tired Jacko did the trick.

    Santi is the person we have been missing so much this season. His performance is terrific, and could easily have been the catalyst that decides our season. Sadly it is too late.

    Anyway, the light at the end of the tunnel bodes well for everyone and we are sure to see new faces, but as Wenger’s philosophy goes, we will see fresh faces rather than bringing in tried and tested solutions.

    Good end to a topsy turvy season,
    JK

  57. oz gunner says:

    hahahahahahahahaahahahaha Tottenham. I’m off to get banned from some sites.

    nanananananan GIROUD!!!!

  58. Admir says:

    Happy St Totteringham’s Day! 🙂 🙂 😀

    It seems my decision to avoid all “Wenger out”-talk until the end of the season has paid off. 🙂

    We ended up second! That’s a big one! Yes, it’s worse than winning the league but beats the rest of the league including both Manchester clubs, Chelsea, Spuds and Liverpool.

    We continued our streak of big victories against Aston Villa. They haven’t scored against us since Benteke’s goal that turned out to be a consolation one in our 2:1 victory in 2013-14. After that one, we have played five times against them: 3:0, 5:0, 4:0, 2:0 and 4:0. Alexis played his first league match against Aston Villa today. He missed just three league games last season and two of those were against Villa.

    Tottenham’s choke was amazing though. 😀 They lost twice to Newcastle this season and it was their first defeat with more than a one-goal margin. They couldn’t pick worse time to implode but, fortunately, they did it. 🙂

    Now, after climbing from 4th to 3rd and from 3rd to 2nd, there is one step left next season…

  59. davydavy says:

    Wow, what a wonderful last weekend of the season – on Saturday the Arsenal Ladies team beats Chelsea in the FA Cup Final, and then on Sunday we smash Villa while Spurs do what only Spurs can do to let us celebrate our special day. I can hardly believe my eyes!

    Really good season on the end. Up to number two in the league, and I can see a trend given that in the last three seasons we have finished fourth, third, now second… Having Leicester at the top of the league is very satisfying, and I’m sure it is our turn next. There’s plenty of joy elsewhere in the table too, with Spurs providing their own unique brand of comedy for a season finale, and both Chelsea and Man United meandering well off the pace and out of the top four.

    Everything is looking good for the new season, and we might even have some reinforcements arriving this summer at last! Go the Arsenal!

  60. j b says:

    Wow. Wow. I am stunned. What a beautiful day!

    I’m a newbie, an American fan of the Gunners for a whole three seasons (since I visited a friend in North London and then newly found that local team on our American television). These past two years, the FA Cups have been great. We’ve had cause to celebrate, and we’ve had beautiful play to enjoy. We’ve also had some disappointments. This year, we had an interesting season, ups and downs, maybe like too many others (that I didn’t know).

    But the most important thing is to beat our rival, to come out ahead of Tottenham, to beat the Spurs and be ahead of them on the table.

    This year, it was not to be. They were doing well, weren’t so “Spursy” for a while. We were slipping. But, it happened! Maybe not deserved, maybe not easy, but the points don’t lie. So here we are at St Totteringham’s Day.

    And the irony [after a costly dry spell?] of Giroud’s hat-trick and the surprise of Arteta’s shot at the end were almost too good not to be fiction.

    Happy St Totteringham’s Day!!

    Wow. Maybe I’m new to this League, but — hey, this is great stuff.

    COYG!!

  61. retsub1 says:

    Oz gunner, love it, if you do get banned would love to see the link. Wore my Arsenal shirt walking the dog this morning, didn’t make me very popular.

  62. njk84sg says:

    Retsub1, did you stay in the area where spuds are flourishing? (No offense intended)

    Admir, I remember vaguely you were trying hard not to cross the Wenger-out line.
    But only barely.
    The other one or two were trashing the team around but its good learning from that experience that this blog is about passionate fans, some maybe footballers (abeit Amateur football or even higher), and that we are quite a close knitted bunch.

    And yes Ozgunner, do get yourself banned from those spuds blogs and its fun to poke at spuds fans. However, bear in mind that they have been second for much of the season, so it is very painful to them for losing second spot. And on the final day. And to a team already relegated. And to Benitez. And against 10 man. And losing 5-1. I could go on, but I fear for my life as I have some friends who are spuds fans.

    Cheers,
    JK

  63. TotalArsenal says:

    Welcome j b 😄

    Indeed a fictional final day.

    Please visit again.

  64. geoffchase says:

    TA

    You’ve mail I believe

    — An aging lurker

  65. retsub1 says:

    J K. I am South East of London, but there are s smattering of Spurs supporters in the area. Amongst the dog walking community I am seriously outnumbered. I did consider painting the dog (he is already white) but he wouldn’t keep still

  66. njk84sg says:

    Retsub1, as your dog’s already white it would not have made any difference to paint him (unless he is white and red).

    TA, review? Or you need more time to do it considering the movie-like turn of events?

    Cheers,
    JK

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