It’s the eve of another new year. As the clock strikes midnight later this evening and 2016 swiftly becomes a memory, we welcome in a 2017 filled with possibility, hope, change, great fortune and success for Arsenal.
Well, that’s what we’ll be hoping for. The beauty of NYE is that, all the faux-celebrations aside, it does represent new beginnings and possibilities. I’d rather focus on the good that could happen during 2017 than sit around waiting for the bad to happen just so I can say, “I told you so”.
Who knows what might occur? We live in a footballing universe capable of producing something remarkable when it’s least expected. Look at Leicester’s title glory, for example. If that can happen in our lifetime, then anything can. Arsenal for the Champions League in 2017? Why the f*ck not!
Anyway, folks. The purpose of today’s entry is to review my favourite and least appreciated memories of the soon-to-be previous year. I’ll not put them in any particular order, nor will I utilise all the obligatory categories you’d encounter reading one of these reviews, of which I assume there will be many today.
Favourite blogs of 2016
I actually was, once upon a time, very prolific as a blogger. This was a few years back but during that time I’d write pretty much every day. Throughout 2016 I’ve been short of time and dropped off the grid, so to speak. But two guys I’m friends with always write good stuff that I invariably peruse whilst taking a sh*t (best to time check up on blogs).
So if you’re unfamiliar with Dan Betts’ work on The Hot Stepanovs or Daniel Cowan’s sites Goonersphere and North London Is Red, check them out. All bias aside, they’re both exceptionally good as writers and never short of humour and fun. They’re also both total c*nts, mind you…
Favourite goal of 2016
For sheer euphoria, I’m going to have to go with Danny Welbeck’s winner against Leicester. It was one of those moments all the hairs stand up on your arms and the back of the neck. ‘Tingling’ is how I’d describe the sensation, tingling coupled with an incredible urge to show affection to the nearest human being. Or the urge to express your emotions through the majesty of street dance. You get the idea.
Dipsh*t opinion of 2016.
I’m going to give a special mention to myself here, as I was one of those advocating the sale of Walcott during the summer. Theo’s form and performances have picked up and continued to be of a high standard, and the goals have returned too. I was totally wrong. However, the award has to go to a caller on TalkSport I discussed a few days ago. Saying Arsene Wenger is the worst manager in Arsenal’s history is either attention-seeking, inflammatory dross or the dumbest f*cking opinion I’ve ever heard. I’m pretty sure it was the latter, meaning there’s a actually person out there capable of thinking it up and believing it…
Worst haircut of 2016
It’s a straight race between Mohamed Elneny and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain with Aaron Ramsey’s blonde moment trailing as a distant 3rd.
Funniest moment of 2016 that has absolutely no relevance to Arsenal at all.
I’m adding this category to share with you this clip from the film ‘Keanu’. I watched it over the Christmas period and laughed a whole hell of a lot. Pay particular attention to the delivery of “Whassup, Mother*cker” toward the end of the video. I do love Key and Peele.
Best signing of 2016
Going to go with Shkodran Mustafi. We’ve bought in the likes of Xhaka and Perez who both look extremely useful additions to the team, but Mustafi has settled into his position alongside Koscielny with consulate ease. We look far more secure at the back when the both of them play together. The £35m we paid to Valencia looks an absolute steal by comparison to some of the fees paid for defenders *coughs* John Stones *coughs*.
Worst performance of 2016
The 3-2 defeat at Old Trafford at the front end of the year. Our performance this season in the same fixture wasn’t great, but the loss that day was against a United team as weak as I can ever recall. They were there for the taking and we should have battered them. Instead, we conspired to produce the kind of listless, insipid display that sends so many of our fans perilously close to nervous breakdown. When we’re bad, we’re f*cking awful.
Best performance of 2016
Beating Chelsea 3-0. Not simply because it was against a big rival, but because it was the perfect example of what the current Arsenal team can do with the right motivation and frame of mind. That day we pressed aggressively as a team, counter-attacked rapidly as a team and defended as a team. Amongst many individual highlights – Ozil sending Kante back to the Stone Age before exchanging passes with Sanchez to score – it was a brilliant team display and one that still gives me hope for what we can accomplish.
And those are my highlights and lowlights. The comments section is a handy place for you guys to share some of yours. if you’re out enjoying the party atmosphere later then I’ll wish you and enjoyable time. I’m working all day. I’ll be back to preview the game against Palace tomorrow. Until that time, and as always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.