Well, that’s it. Somehow, someway, Arsenal finished in the top four. But it wasn’t easy, nor was it pretty. The game today was really a microcosm of Arsenal’s season – gritty performance, letting nerves take over when they shouldn’t, flashes of brilliance, steely determination and some head-scratching moments that made you wonder if certain players had ever played the game in their entire lives.
Bottom line, we’re in the Champions League picture, we have a solid core of players, we shouldn’t be losing any big names and we (theoretically) have money to spend. This is the first summer in quite some time that I’m actually excited – one in which I expect more quality to arrive than depart. I’m hope I’m not setting myself up for a spectacular implosion and utter disappointment.
Before we jump into the summer, here are 10 random thoughts from today’s game:
1) The crowd at Cuatro’s today was fantastic. I hope we see this same crowd for EVERY Arsenal game next season.
2) Why does Arsenal get so nervous after scoring a goal? Isn’t that when they should press on the gas even more? It felt like we went from trying to win the game to trying not to lose the game.
3) I’m really glad Theo decided to stay at Arsenal. I think he’s been an important player for us this season. I really want to see him be more fearless next season, though.
4) Ox seems to have regressed this season. I hope he finds his confidence before next season because he’s too massive of a talent to watch whither away.
5) My goodness. What else can we say about Koscielny? Critical plays on both offense and defense today.
6) Ramsey…sigh. How does a player play so incredibly well one second and so brainless the next? Ramsey really needs to find some consistency next season (in a good way, of course).
7) We won 8 of our last 10 games. I predicted we’d win 9, but 8 is pretty damn impressive. But who knew 4th place would be so harried and frantic and come down to the last few minutes of the season after winning 8 of our last 10 games?
8) Arsene Wenger had really sweaty armpits. He must have been as nervous as I felt.
9) Our midfield fell apart after Arteta left. Ok, maybe that’s a bit strong – but Arteta really makes a big difference. He is the unsung hero of this team ins so many ways. I really hope he’s captain next year.
10) I can’t wait! Until August.