Final Day Win Ends Season With A Smile


1 – 0 Arshavin (21)
2 – 0 van Persie (26)
3 – 0 Baird (37 o.g.)
4 – 0 Vela (84)

And so the 2009/10 campaign comes to an end. 3rd place in the Premier League was secured and although not the triumph which threatened to materialise, the placing is considerably higher up the table than the squad was given any chance of achieving before the kick-off at Goodison Park last August.

There were many positives about the line-up with Clichy and Arshavin back whilst the bench saw Gibbs and Djourou returning from their long-term injuries. Perhaps it was the final appearance for others, may be not. Either way, opinions will remain divided over the likes of Silvestre with their contributions to this season being less than fondly remembered but deserving of more respect that the minority gave them.

Pre-match suggestions of this being anything but an ordinary end-of-the-season match were wide of the mark. Fulham’s minds were elsewhere but Arsenal set about ensuring that the campaign finished on a relative high, passing and moving well from the kick-off.  This derby was anything but blood and thunder.

For Mark Schwarzer, it was a case of thud and blunder as he miscontrolled the ball, allowing Andrey Arshavin to nip in to steal the ball, beat the Australian and then bury the ball into the net as the halfway mark of the first half approached. It was Arshavin’s first goal since March 30th at Hull. Goalkeepers had a nervy afternoon. Fabianski missed an early punch, giving his detractors more ammunition whilst conveniently ignoring his place as stand-in for the squad, the notion of which identifies him as not yet being ready for the first team on a regular basis.

The lead was doubled five minutes later with Robin van Persie scoring in consecutive games for the first time since October 2009, his first Emirates goal since the crushing of Tottenham, emphasising the costly nature of injuries this season. It was the quintessential Arsenal goal. Sagna released Walcott on the right and his pace took him clear of the defence. Showing a composure which can occasionally go missing, Walcott squared for van Persie. The Dutchman’s shot ricocheted off Schwarzer’s leg onto the bar, van Persie burying the rebound.

A match which seemed to be killed off with the first was sealed with the second as the Fulham resistance crumbled. The third indicated the problems of a makeshift defence, issues that we can readily identify with. Walcott cross from the right, the ball pinged off the calf, knee and ankles of the Fulham back four before Baird stepped in to decisively fire the ball into the net. A pity that he put it into his own net such was the authority of his effort. Good to see though that he had the presence of mind to berate his team-mates for their part in his downfall.

Fulham briefly came to life as the interval approached. Okaka evaded Campbell to shoot whilst Nevland hit the bar with a header but the threat diminished, Roy Hodgson probably certain in his mind that none of the starters yesterday did anything to cause any tinkering on Wednesday night.

Both Arsenal players on the scoresheet had opportunities to increase the lead whilst both sides might have had a penalty on any other day. In the end, another maligned player finished the days efforts, Carlos Vela applied what is now a trademark finish, an exquisite chip over Schwarzer, a reminder to doubters of the unarguable quality the young Mexican possesses.

An season of extreme highs and lows has finished. Trophyless which is ultimately disappointing but with enough promise to be short of despair. At times the football on display was exquisite, a signal to the rest of the world of the capabilities of this squad. On others, the weaknesses were ruthlessly exposed, particularly in the ‘big matches’.

Injuries have ultimately wrecked the campaign. Not just the quantity but because of the personnel involved. Some players are irreplacable, and removing them from the action severely weakened the team on occasion. That the squad fell out of contention, only to haul themselves back after defeats in crucial top four clashes is indicative of the huge mental strength they possess.

That only four points out of a possible twenty four from the fixtures against the rest of the top five shows the steps for improvement next season but also the freakish nature of those encounters this season; I cannot recall a time when results have gone so badly in those matches.

New faces are hinted at arriving before the World Cup starts, I am sure some will have gone by then as well. The quandry for Wenger is how many players he needs to cover should the injury catastrophe strike once more.

The players deserve credit for the improvement on last season, which did happen despite what some will tell you. When they return from summer ventures, the pre-season is the opportunity to work on the faults and enhance the good points.

’til Tomorrow.

330 thoughts on “Final Day Win Ends Season With A Smile

  1. consolsbob says:

    Well, coming from a banker I suppose I have to concede that you would understand excitement Ateeb.

    All those debits and credits, balancing the books, remembering to open on time.

    I can’t make an argument really, can I, being a person of older years and discernment?

  2. consolsbob says:

    Still, to be fair, I can understand why someone from Pakistan would want a cricket match – any cricket match – to be over as soon as possible.

  3. Ateeb says:

    Oh don’t get personal now, Bob. I regret using the words old people in my last post. And I’m not much of a banker to be honest with you, but that’s a story that I can’t reveal here. As for the match, come on, whose got time to watch a 5 day match. Just watch the last 10 overs, or the first 10 overs of that ashes first day. Bret Lee ripping apart all the English batsmen in one good spell. You know how that series mostly goes, I wonder why you guys are so anxiously waiting for it. It’s irrational to me. It’s like someone excited about their own dreadful death.

  4. Zap says:

    We Love You Arsenal……….

    cant wait for the next season aready

  5. consolsbob says:

    Ateeb my Brother!

    Nothing personal. Just a bit of old fashioned ‘in your face’ piss taking. It’s all we less talented posters can do in the face of greater ability!

    I’d say sorry about the banking career but I know that you hated the job.

    You’re still wrong about cricket though.

  6. DukeGoonem says:

    sorry ateeb but test cricket is still cricket in its greatest form. only men (or women i suppose today as they like to get their ore in everything now) with brains can understand the art of patience and skill that comes with test cricket. twenty20 whilst exciting will never replace the good old fashioned test match.

  7. Ateeb says:

    Lolz, Just pulling your leg, Bob. I’ve got little interest in cricket left over. The occasional match now and then. Whose going to beat the Aussies this time around?

  8. trugunn says:


    fuck off if you have nothing good to say about africa. you are not impressing any one…

  9. Frank says:

    My second wife was an anthropologist. Fucking cow said she found me very interesting. Always measuring my bits and the angles between them. Very disconcerting…used to put me off my stride.

  10. Queen of Suburbia says:

    I came across my first anthropologist a few weeks ago. Very clever man, two PHD’s the other in art history.

    Rather full of himself i thought and his shoes were remarkably squeaky. Found myself thinking that he’d be very easy to track and kill.

  11. Ole Gunner says:

    Watching the Fulham game again. Why do they zoom into Fabianski every time he’s been involved. more trial by media.

  12. Poliziano says:

    A subject for charlatans, in my opinion. Full of half-baked theories. Very little rigour. At least measuring people’s bits could be scientific. Perhaps Mrs Frank had read some of those books by Karl Popper.

  13. Bradys right foot says:

    Enjoyed the season guys and girls, ultimately left disappointed as I believe injuries were the real story of our season not the media narrative created to reinforce a widely held bias against Arsenal and Wenger that our squad lacks depth, nonsense. We do have a good squad, 3rd is proof of that considering a plague of injuries.

    Anyway this is the time of year I put the keyboard down and log off. I can do without the silly season and endless transfer lies. August and the first home game can’t come quick enough to all the left footers out there have a good summer and to the doomers, Just fuck off.

  14. ZimPaul says:

    What an odd little message by TruGunn. I generally answer odd little messages by saying come to Africa please before making comment.

    About 50,000 years ago, nothing to be in awe of really, homo-sapiens began to populate the globe migrating out of Africa, reaching the Americas finally at the end of the last ice age 13,000 years ago and its southern tip perhaps 9,000 years ago.

    An appreciation of great span of time in our long pre-history, and the ever-migrating transience of human existence as it adapted from environment to environment over centuries are concepts tightly woven into African cultures and myths.

    Along comes the industrial revolution followed a century a two later by information age and the spectre of controlling and even god forbid ‘measuring’ time, which everyone knows is elastic, and the physicists will prove this, to units and bits and bytes. No, Africans are generally not impressed by this dumbed down idea of time. A thousand years, now that’s what I call “time” on its true canvass of millenia upon millenia, transince and change. A robotic minute only makes sense if you allow yourself to be completely spontaneous, which is not as easy as it sounds, as we are such the result of social engineering these days.

    Time much longer than rope, so said the slaves, meaning “time” is bigger than the rope that binds.

    That’s all I meant.

  15. ZimPaul says:

    On which note CBob is correct about test cricket. 20-20, yikes. It’s not exactly cricket, although it is I suppose welcome in a way. I don’t rate it.

    I really like Ray Price, or “Razor” as Taibu (behind the wicket) calls him. In his best year, he was the second best 50-over spin bowler in the world, at least as far as wickets to runs are concerned. He’s a nice man too, and returned home to assist the team which we appreciate.

  16. Frank says:

    Bye, Bradys Right Foot. Enjoy the Summer…er..assuming you are in the Northern Hemisphere.

  17. Muppet says:

    Have a great summer Bradys Right Foot.

    Totally echo your comments.

    The doomers who turned up for the Shareholders Q&A who openly criticised Wenger and called for fans to stand up and boo can go and fuck themselves.

    Online Gooner’s Kevin Witcher or whatever has name is can go and fuck himself.

  18. Poliziano says:

    Well then. We can look forward to a summer of self-fucking.

  19. Poliziano says:

    All we need now is a team of anthropologists to study it.

  20. Frank says:

    Is the next shareholders meeting next Monday evening, 17th May. Ivan Gazidis is holding court is he not?

  21. Ole Gunner says:

    Ivan Gazidis said Arsenal suffered twice as many injuries as Chelsea in 09/10. Fewest injuries usually wins the league according to my own limited research with data from 3 seasons.

  22. arsenehollis says:

    I don’t get why so many people on here detest the Summer transfer circus.

    The rumours are often stupid, the way people get hooked on second rate cloggers from West Ham to, and the 19 in 74 out stuff is garbage.

    But, this is all part of getting excitted for next season. It means that we can stop wondering about last year, which is a good thing now.

    Personally, I love the nonsense of getting linked with someone we played two years ago, who didn’t stand out and spent the whole fo last year on loan. Everything says he is shite, but who knows, maybe he is the next Vieira?

    This is all part of dreaming about next season and how it will all go right and we will again have the trophies to prove what we all already know: this is by far the greatest team the world has ever seen.

  23. arsenehollis says:

    Ol – assuming you were a challenger anyway. Burnley weren’t winning dick this year injuries or not.

    It may though be better to be lucky than be the best though.

  24. Ole Gunner says:

    I hate transfer nonsense. Especially that newspapers would publish what they know to be nonsense.

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