End of Season Review

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End of Season Review

Post by Mario on Tue May 21, 2013 11:39 pm

Arsenal player of the season: Santi Cazorla - He played every PL game, he scored and he assisted and even when he wasn't at his best he was always a joy to watch. Technically he is superb. Has more fight in him than his physique would suggest and I can just imagine that he will be even better next season with a year under his belt.

Koscielny and Mertesacker were excellent in defence, although there was a 6 week period around the New Year when Per's form dropped quite a bit, but I can't look past a player who was involved almost every week.

Flop of the season: I think Vermaelen going from captain, even if some disputed it, to being rightfully benched was a pretty big drop. And I can't see how he can get back into the team unless there are injuries as we look so much better since. Bacary Sagna and Szczesny also had a pretty disappointing seasons and should be looking over their shoulder.

Game of the season: Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham. There weren't exactly many contenders here due to our poor record against the top 6, although from Bayern away onwards our form was excellent, but in terms of excitement and joy then there was only one contender.

Disappointment of the season: Losing to Bradford and Blackburn were very low points. Both those cups were there for the taking if we approached them in the right manner but we didn't (imagine we showed our end of season fight in those games?) Ifs and buts etc. Not competing for the title was pretty much a given going into the season but those cup defeats hurt because quite a few of the better teams were already out by that point.

Unexpected bonus of the season: Carl Jenkinson's form was mostly very good, away to Bayern I thought he was brilliant, and it's something I didn't expect at the start of the season. Signing Monreal was another boost in that at least it meant we got shot of Andre Santos and we now have two good left backs in the squad. And Aaron Ramsey. Found his way into the team and in his natural position and his energy and work rate was crucial during the final weeks of the season and I just hope he can push on even further next season.


Overall, we can't say it was a great season, we achieved the bare minimum. Going into the season we lost RVP, we were mid-table up until the New Year and as mentioned above we had a poor record against the top 6 (1 win all season against them) and poor cup defeats. But since Bayern Munich we adapted, Wenger adapted with help from Steve Bould, and built the side from the back. I have to say that on paper we played many teams at exactly the right time with a week's rest in between each game but to turn it around still shows great character.

Wenger dropped two first teamers which couldn't have been easy, offered more protection to the defence from midfield and results started to flow. Our attacking play suffered a bit, but then again our attack was pretty impotent earlier in the season with plenty of games finishing with zero goals in the For column or chances created, but the difference was that since March we were keeping clean sheets, staying organised, tighter between defence and midfield with the forwards also helping out and all we needed was 1 goal and the game was won. In games that we created little we were still clinical enough to take that 1 opening that was needed. It made for VERY nervy end of games (WBA, Fulham, QPR, Newcastle) but for the most part we looked pretty solid. And beating Tottenham in the final game after being 7 points behind, by which point I thought we wouldn't catch them as I couldn't see how we would go on such a great run, is always a great feeling and them celebrating a 'ghost goal' makes it even better.

We can now just hope for a few more quality additions to the squad both in attack and elsewhere and for Wenger to stick with the same defensive organisation going into next season. His early sides had great attackers and we played excellent football but we won titles with a very good defence to allow those players to play the free-flowing football and the penny may have dropped since the Tottenham game that we have to go back to that.

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Wed May 22, 2013 8:54 am

Agree with your selections of best, low lights and highlights.

For so many seasons, we have said just a couple of additions and we can challenge. This season, everyone seems a bit more optimistic that this will actually happen. I hope we are right. It is also good that there is not speculation hanging over us of one of our best players leaving.

Regarding Vermaelen, he doesn't necessarily need to be in the starting XI to still be very important. In a successful season, you can play over 50 or more games. Even if he is not first choice he can play over 30 games. It would be better to keep him rather than the risk of relying on a new player.

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Mario on Wed May 22, 2013 8:30 pm

I imagine we'll be looking at a new defensive player with Djourou unlikely to return anyway (we were linked with Winston Reid of West Ham yesterday) but to sell Vermaelen would need maybe another and an international quality defender to boot. I don't see that happening in one transfer window. It'd also be pretty ruthless of Wenger to get rid and Vermaelen would be pretty weak mentally to want out.

That said, his form has been on the decline ever since his first season here. Obviously he had the serious injury in his 2nd year and then to come back from that would have been difficult, but he is quite often at fault for goals with his positioning and maybe a spell out of the team is the best thing for him.


Arseblog News did a review of each player:

Defence: http://news.arseblog.com/2013/05/ratings-of-the-season-part-1-defence/
Midfield: http://news.arseblog.com/2013/05/ratings-of-the-season-part-2-midfield/
Attack: http://news.arseblog.com/2013/05/ratings-of-a-season-part-3-attack/

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Mike York on Thu May 23, 2013 8:34 pm

I agree with all the highs and lows you mentioned too. For unexpected bonus of the season I'd also add two more possible things - (1) We seem better from set pieces this year. (2) How good the defence looked with Per/Kos at the heart of it but that maybe wasn't unexpected, just a bonus. I think only Man City conceded fewer than us in the league this year? Maybe Steve Bould really did have an effect afterall. That's definately something to build on.

As long as Arsenal get 4th spot or above I'm content. I never expect us to surpass Utd, City or Chelsea considering how much more they spend on wages and transfer fees. If we win a trophy as well as coming 4th it will be a big bonus but as long as we get 4th I'm content. So for me it wasn't really a bad season, or a good one, just an average one which had highs and lows. The fact our great run came after AVB mentioned our negative spiral was pretty funny though. Cheers AVB.

We didn't really have a star man we relied up like we have in the past (Cesc, RvP etc) but we still scored the 3rd most goals in the league and I don't like to sound like a Wenger cliche but the team spirit really did look good this season. They all seem happy to play for Arsenal and from the outside looking in it doesn't seem as if there are any big egos in the squad. We have older reliable heads on the pitch like Per and Arteta, Cazorla was one of the best midfielders in the league in his first season, Giroud has given us another more direct option in attack we haven't had in a while and Theo looked more lethal this season than he has before. With a few good additions this summer the team can win something.

I agree with Gary Neville too - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IjfyvR2IZEg - and think Wenger knows and has known for a while that this summer will be the time to push us to the next level. With the other big clubs changing managers it is a good chance.

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Aseem Bajpai on Thu May 23, 2013 11:25 pm

A very fair assessment I think, summarises our season pretty well, if anything Walcott could have got a bit of a mention as well. As for the next season, thankfully, for once we don’t look like losing out on one of our key players, Sagna may be, but he has not been that influential this season anyways, if we can strengthen our squad with a few quality signings, it should put us in a position to challenge for the title. However, we have seen underwhelming activity in the transfer window all too often lately to be confident that it’ll be any different this time around despite assurances from the board and manager; seeing is believing I guess.

I’d hope Vermaelen stays, but there are rumours that he might not (only the Sun though), I quite like him as a player for his grit and leadership ability but he has been too error prone this season and in view of how well the current CB partnership is doing, it might be tough for him to regain his place and he might consider moving to ensure playing regular football at this stage of his career. I think we need to sign a CB regardless of his future with us, the kind we sign might depend on that. This and another couple of signings in other areas should hold us in good stead next season.

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Michael Foster on Fri May 24, 2013 12:30 am

To be fair we know how well TV can play....I don't really see defence being a major problem unless we can ship out a load of the dead wood and only then draft in some one different...

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by dbruce5 on Fri May 31, 2013 9:38 am

Goal of the season video up on Arsenal.com

http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/goal-of-the-season-vote-now

I forgot about that coventry game. Two great goals. I would have to go for Podolski vs. Montpelier. Also Giroud provided that 1-2 over the top 3 times in that video. Beautiful link up play.

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Jonathan Prendergast on Fri May 31, 2013 12:00 pm

No particular stand out. Many great goals. I like Podolski's long ranger against Coventry, and Gibbs' goal is excellent too.

But probably have to agree with you, that Podolski v Montpellier is the best due to power and crispness of the striker, and the team play to make it happen.

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Re: End of Season Review

Post by Mike York on Mon Jun 10, 2013 8:37 pm

Top 10 Arsenal Celebrations of the Season 2012-2013

Arsenal scored a total of 107 goals in all competitions this season. Here are the 10 most memorable goal celebrations.

10. Andriy Arshavin vs Coventry City, Emirates Stadium, League Cup 3rd Round, 27th September 2012, W 6-1

It was a well taken goal by the Russian midfielder, chesting the ball down and firing it past the keeper; and he showed his delight with a warm ‘heart’ shaped celebration. It would turn out to be his last goal in an Arsenal shirt.

9. Theo Walcott and Lukas Podolski vs West Ham United, Emirates Stadium, Premier League, 23rd January 2013, W 5-1

Just 2 days after signing his new contract, Walcott scored Arsenal’s goal in the 2-1 loss at Chelsea. But, he was on the winning end in the 5-1 win over West Ham, and he celebrated the goal with the provider of the assist, Lukas Podolski as they imitated a contract signing.

8. Olivier Giroud vs Tottenham Hotspur, Emirates Stadium, Premier League, 17th November 2012, W 5-2

Arsenal had just taken the lead in the North London derby, through a hobbling effort from Podolski, and Giroud made it 3-1 with a swipe of his foot. He ran right to the fans, and did an Usain Bolt like celebration.

7. Laurent Koscielny vs Newcastle United, St. James Park, Premier League, 19th May 2013, W 1-0

Probably the most crucial goal of the season. With 52 minutes gone on the clock, Laurent Koscielny scored the only goal of the game with an acrobatic effort and celebrated with his thumb in his mouth, and a little dance in front of the Toon faithful.

6. Olivier Giroud vs West Ham United, Upton Park, Premier League, 6th October 2013, W 3-1

It was the Frenchman’s first league goal and he celebrated running to the creator of the goal, Lukas Podolski. The German, however, didn’t look too keen, as Giroud attempted to plant a French kiss, as he had done to Mathieu Debuchy, after scoring his first international goal.

5. Kieran Gibbs vs Swansea, Liberty Stadium, FA Cup 3rd Round, 6th January 2013, D 2-2

It was a powerful goal from left-back Kieran Gibbs and he celebrated by running right towards the Arsenal fans. Lukas Podolski even had a picture of himself taken with an Arsenal winter cap.

4. Olivier Giroud vs Brighton and Hove Albion, FA Cup 4th Round, 26th January 2013, W 3-2

Lots of wonderful joyous faces among the Arsenal support, as goalscorer Olivier Giroud goes into the support after scoring his goal.

3. Jack Wilshere vs Swansea, Emirates Stadium, FA Cup 3rd Round Replay, 16th January 2013, W 1-0

A passionate celebration after an intense and hard-fought FA Cup replay win over Swansea, in the 87th minute by Jack Wilshere.

2. Jack Wilshere vs Montpellier, Emirates Stadium, Champions League, 21st November 2012, W 2-0

This was Wilshere’s first goal for the club, since his strike against Aston Villa on November 27th 2010, and he showed his delight at having scoring it, by running straight to the corner flag, before being crowded by his teammates.

=1. Per Mertesacker vs Tottenham Hotspur, Emirates Stadium, Premier League, 17th November 2012, W 5-2

No words to describe this one really. After nearly breaking the back of the net with his header, Per Mertesacker did the fastest sprint of his life, with clenched fists and a roar to go with it. Tied on first with the next on the list.

=1. The Team vs Manchester City, Etihad Stadium, Premier League, 23rd September 2012, D 1-1

The most beautiful celebration of the season. Despite dominating the champions in their own backyard, Arsenal had failed to find the equalizing goal. When they did, it came through Laurent Koscielny, and he ran right in front of the travelling support, to be instantly met by a pileup of Arsenal players and players going bonkers!

http://blazingcannons.wordpress.com/2013/06/09/top-10-arsenal-celebrations-of-the-season-2012-2013/

The link has a picture for each one.


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