Well well well…Back in March, we put ourselves in a position to finish Top 4, comfortably…Then we screwed up against lower teams such as Palace, Southampton and Brighton…and then put ourselves back into contention with wins against Chelsea, Utd and West Ham…We were in the driving seat with 3 games to play. There was one game NOT TO LOSE: The Spuds game and we lost it, convincingly too for various reasons but mostly due to our own performance…We are still in the driving seat by then…Then came yesterday’s game, a must WIN game and again, what a poor performance from the first to the last minute and a game that cemented Pepe’s departure (he was abysmal) – the team did not show up, players did not show up except maybe Ramsdale and Saka…So it is a familiar AFC feeling, one that is so infuriating whereby we are so close to something very nice and we can’t finish the job. We need to strengthen our squad with players that can lift the team when needed, bring that resilience and also that energy…Really, a game to forget…
But let us put things into context again, the season is better than expected with a Top 5 finish and a young promising squad. This summer will be huge for us. Europa League will also help us attract some good caliber players but not the best caliber players…Let us see…All teams will strengthen again this summer and we have new competition in Newcastle too so…
For more context, here is Maxwell’s comment:
H! HINDSIGHT. WHAT A WONDERFUL ATTRIBUTE.
I’m with Rocky, but first a bit of CONTEXT.
Back last August, what were your predictions for Arsenal’s season? What were the predominant predictions?
After three games at the beginning of September, try to remember the same question.
After the transfer window, ‘overpaying for White’, ‘bringing in an iffy goalkeeper’, ‘taking on an unrated Japanese fullback’, gambling on young unknowns, where did you have Arsenal by now (May 2022)?
Now we come to January, and the transfer window that mass hindsight today is branding a disaster. Well, to be fair, it was widely criticised at the time. But the management was clear, there were players they wanted, but for whatever reason they weren’t available. The club were not prepared to bring in players just to make up the numbers – a strategy of previous years which had been equally criticised by the (so-called) fan base – and admitted that by waiting for the summer, they were taking a risk with injuries and tiredness in such a small squad. The injuries tolled. Young, still-developing bodies grew tired.
We’re all miserable today, and it’s exacerbated by the crowing from up the road (I firmly believe if it were Leicester or Burnley about to trump us, we wouldn’t be feeling so bleak). There have been spells throughout the season where the team spectacularly underperformed, so it wouldn’t surprise me if last night carries through to Sunday against Everton.
However, one aspect of fielding such a callow team has not been explored. Repeatedly, they have faced shocking treatment by referees. Thursday against the chickens was another example, but as is frequently the case for Arsenal players, they have been on the end of many poor decisions, and much unmediated violence. Young, inexperienced minds can take such unfairness much more to heart, as anyone who has had children can attest, than more cynical older heads.
If you look at the sudden drops in competitiveness through the season, how often do they start with a spectacular injustice – a penalty given, a penalty not given, two yellow cards in five seconds, a yellow card for multiple offences at the first foul committed, a stamp on a face, a kick in the back of the legs, raking studs.
Despite this, and all of the above, we’re going to finish fifth. Who knew?
Let’s celebrate that.