Been a while but it seems that Post Season Depression kicked in and I was essentially unable to motivate myself to post anything since season close.
The first thing I would like to do is congratulate Ian from Guyana who won the GoonerVerse Fantasy Football League and has already received his prize. Well done and hope he can be challenged by even more people next year.
So where do I start? It is a bit difficult to have a natural starting point as I have been away for so long so perhaps much of what I write has been said/blogged before, but of course it will have the unique GoonerVerse perspective and style.
We finished third in the end which has caused much debate in whether the season has been a success or not. The way football is evolving it is actually a much deeper debate then many people give it credit for.
How would you feel if you were a Liverpool fan this season? Winning the League Cup and being in the FA Cup final is something many Arsenal fans would kill for at the moment but would you honestly exchange our league position that goes with it and the income that comes with that?
Then you have Arsenal fans saying money isn’t a trophy and we need to win trophies to keep our best players. But that in itself is surely a double edged sword. The way football is, can you honestly name a top player that would consider playing at a club without Champions League football? Also in direct response to money not being a trophy; many of these fans also claim we need to throw lots and lots of money into the squad to win trophies. So whilst money is not important because trophies are more important than a third place finish but at the same time we need lots of money to win trophies is surely a perversely contradicting view by even the meekest forms of measurement.
I am not advocating one against the other I am just saying that the confusion amongst fans is so prevalent, how can we truly measure the success of this season? Well we can look at this season vs. last season. No trophies in either season.
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Manchester City 38 28 5 5 93 29 64 89
2 Manchester Utd 38 28 5 5 89 33 56 89
3 Arsenal 38 21 7 10 74 49 25 70
4 Tottenham 38 20 9 9 66 41 25 69
Pos Team P W D L F A +/- Pts
1 Manchester Utd 38 23 11 4 78 37 41 80
2 Chelsea 38 21 8 9 69 33 36 71
3 Manchester City 38 21 8 9 60 33 27 71
4 Arsenal 38 19 11 8 72 43 29 68
There are two things that are immediately clear that we finished higher than last season and also that we got more points. So immediately you can see that despite all the heart ache this season, progress has certainly been made.
We also won two more games then last season which is crucial as I am of the opinion that a draw these days in the fast changing premiership is just as detrimental to the club’s chances as a loss. However by the same token we suffered two more losses which outline one of our many problems this season. We were at times this season just too easy to beat regardless of the quality of opposition. People this season also say we are not the creative force we were going forward and we have struggled to score but I would say that we have scored more goals than last season and in fact this side has scored more goals than the incomparable invincible team of 03/04(we scored 73 goals that season). So as you can see there has been progress and there is certain potential to really use this squad and expand on it to get to that next level.
But the news is not all good. It will come as no surprise to anyone who has watched Arsenal this season to know that defensively we have been very shaky at times. We conceded 49 goals this season which is more than last season but crucially 20 goals more than Man City which in terms of proportion is huge. I suppose we had a couple of freak results which are unlikely to be repeated but they did happen so we cannot discount them.
Some may point to the defence but I think it more of an issue for the entire team. Song whilst may have got an eye for a looped through ball has often neglected other responsibilities throughout the season which may have led to conceding more goals then we should have. Don’t get me wrong as I don’t believe he is the only problem, far from it. He is just perhaps the most obvious to point out.
So, on the surface it is a failure of a season as we FAILED to win anything yet again but given the context of the season I can’t help but feel a little bit positive about how we stumbled over the line. We IMPROVED our position over last year and IMPROVED our point’s total.
A lot has been said of Van Persie staying or not and I think it is important we do our utmost to sign him on and sign another two or three players of top quality to challenge. I really believe we can then challenge. It is the same as last season in that regard, keep the good players, get rid of the deadwood and sign 2/3 players to improve the team. We all know how last summer went, here’s to hoping some lessons have been learnt.