Greetings, intrepid readers. Glads to have you all on board.
Apologies for the hideously bombastic title. Sometime I feel it’s quite amusing to utilise utterly ridiculous headlines purely because it appears the norm and there are folks who write them seriously. I’m also fully aware that this post is about as vital to your daily routine as a punch directly into the penis/vagina.
Nevertheless, I shall proceed. What follows will not be a traditional review or list of all the homogenous good/bad things that occurred throughout the season. It’s a selection of those moments and others experienced from my perspective. The categories will be similar with the occasional curve ball thrown in for good measure. I hope you enjoy.
Player of the season.
I’m going to select two, each for a half of the season. Up until January, the stand-out contributor is undoubtedly Alexis Sanchez. Our Chilean friend settled into the throes of English football with consummate ease, scoring freely, exciting the crowd and generally daring us to believe. At the time, his price tag from Barcelona looked extremely reasonable. Now it appears an absolute steal. Best thing is – with acclimatisation, he’s only going to get better. He knows his teammates fully and appears over any barriers regarding communication and adaptation.
My second choice is Francis Coquelin. More than a few eyebrows were raised when he returned from Charlton in January, mine included. With options in midfield a little short, I assumed he’d be there to make up the numbers and only be used in the event of an absolute emergency. But he started games and performed admirably, patrolling midfield diligently and breaking up attacks with an efficiency eerily reminiscent of Gilberto Silva. These performances were no flash in the pan and he’s gone from forgotten player to essential cog dramatically quickly and not without reason.
Performance of the season
My initial thought is to say the FA Cup Final. However, I’m going for the 4-1 victory over Liverpool simply because I was there. @JokmanAFC and myself were fortunate enough to get tickets in the North Bank for that game and it was a truly wonderful day. Aside from the exceptional, free-flowing, dominant attacking performance that saw Liverpool put out of sight before half time, it was a thoroughly enjoyable Saturday afternoon with great company, Piebury Corner, excessive shouting and a peculiar 2 mile detour around London because Jok is fu*king useless with directions.
Worst moment of the season
Again, I shall pick two of these. Firstly, the 2-1 defeat at home to Manchester United. This was another game I was fortunate enough to attend, this time with @TheDanielCowan. Loosing the game certainly put me into a state of misery, but the overwhelming memory I have of that day was the poisonous atmosphere leaving the ground. Bitterness and vitriol were in the air and the sense of both was palpable. At one point, an aggressive soul was barging his way through the exiting masses bellowing, “WENGER OUT!” in the hope of persuading some poor, hapless individual into arguing with him. In the stadium, once we went 2-0 down, things started to turn a little nasty and certain elements turned on the team and each other. It was not a nice day to attend a Football match. Mercifully, as with the Liverpool game, the company was superb and Daniel and I met some great folks that day.
My second grotesque entry is losing at White Hart Lane thanks to a Harry Kane brace. I do not rate Harry Kane. I don’t say that because he is a Spurs player, but because he is an average centre forward enjoying a purple patch who is being hyped as the second coming of Christ by our media. It’s bad enough that we lost a game to Spurs when we didn’t really perform, but to lose courtesy of two goals from that gibbering, mindlessly average cretin was excruciating.
Goal of the season
This one is pretty simple. Aaron Ramsey’s absolute rocket of a volley against Galatasaray. In recent weeks, Jack Wilshere and Alexis Sanchez have put their names into contention with their own rocket shots from outside the area, but Aaron wins as far as I’m concerned. When you consider he hits a shot with that much power from that far out using his weaker foot, then it is a strike worthy of winning anything.
Personal moment of the season
There are (again) two of these but I’m going to consider them as one. Writing about Arsenal is something I do because it’s fun and I like entertaining those of you that pop by. The past year has seen my little site produce a few rewards for me and the biggest of those has been the opportunity to sit down and meet some bonafide Arsenal legends. Along with my friends from the Goonersphere Podcast, I was invited to a couple of events.
The first was a screening of the away match with Swansea at The Emirates in which we watched the game, ate free food and got the chance to sit down and interview Ray Parlour. The second saw us head to Grosvenor Casino in Piccadilly Circus for an evening watching Arsenal play away in Galatasaray with Nigel Winterburn and even more free food and drink, which was gratefully accepted.
At both of those events I cemented some existing friendships with shared experience and met some truly wonderful people along the way. Twitter is often maligned as a social media tool but it shouldn’t go without mention that it can provide the opportunity to meet up and enjoy the company of like-minded souls.
I have so many memories of those two days. Perhaps my favourite is Jok hiding in the toilet because he was so nervous about meeting Ray Parlour, his personal hero, and only emerging when Jules Wheeler bravely decided she would head to the male toilets and persuade him to come out.
And those are my thoughts on the 2014/2015 season. There were plenty of ups and downs and I enjoyed every moment of it. The next few weeks are going to be bloody awful with out the sweet smell of competitive football, but I look toward the future with genuine enthusiasm and the hope to meet more good people and enjoy more good moments.
The comments are below. Let me know a few of your thoughts on the season. I’ll look forward to reading them. Tomorrow I’m off to Turkey for a week in the sun and will aim to blog from my iPad if our hotel has decent enough internet connection.
Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.