Proud of the boys

Inever expected The Arsenal to win the league.

Not before the season begin. Not when we roped the league at the World Cup break. Not when we went 8 points clear. Not ever.

The Premier League is the hardest league to win in the world. There is no more competitive league.

Manchester City are the most expensive assembled champions the game has ever seen. They have won 4 of the last 5 league titles, and will likely make it 5 from 6. They are also on the cusp of the treble.

So it is no shame to finish second behind them. And the fact we have stayed a neck above them for so long is something we should all be incredibly proud of.

Since we returned from the World Cup, I always stated I expect us to get between 84 & 87 points. And that 84 would see us finish second whilst 87 could see us win it if Manchester City’s form does not dramatically improve.

City’s form has dramatically improved, and that 87 will unlikely be enough to secure us our first league title in 19 years. It will turn out that we need 92-93 points.

I am disappointed that we probably won’t win the title this year, but I will not let it get me down.

It is easy to forget where we were 12 months ago and how much we have improved. And will keep improving.

We have a young team, a young squad, and a young manager. It is now important that we keep these lads together. And learn and build.

This season reminds me a bit of 2007/08. Not in the way we capitulated (1 win in 9 games saw us drop from 1st to 3rd then), but in the exciting talent we have.

After the 2007/08 season, with the players we had, we should have kicked on. But we didn’t.

The financial restraints of the new ground kicked in and we could not keep our best young players.

Manchester City appeared with the oil barrels of gold and lured away firstly Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure, then Gaël Clichy and Samir Nasri. Cesc Fabregas joined Barcelona, as did Alex Song. And then Man U took Robin van Persie.

2007/08 should have been the start of something special at Arsenal. But it ended up being that sides peak. Players left for money and success elsewhere and all pretty much got it.

We are a different club now. We can pay the higher wages – although we can still probably do little if Real Madrid or Manchester City came in for one of our players.

This season needs to be the start of something, and not the peak.

Gabriel Martinelli is here for the long term. Bukayo Saka and William Saliba need new contract. As does Martin Odegaard and Aaron Ramsdale.

Gabriel Magalhães, Ben White, Olexsandr Zinchenko and Gabriel Jesus are also not going anywhere.

That is a core of 9 players all with at least 5-6 years of playing at the top. Some have much more in them. We keep them all, and build on them, and we will continue challenging for the title.

Declan Rice will hugely improve the team and squad. As will signing a new right sided central defender and further attacking options. We do that this summer whilst keeping the core players and we go again next season.

Mikel Arteta is a smart man. He will analyse this season. What went right, what went wrong. And he will himself improve. And the players will continue improving as well.

Our target this season was top 4. That is now pretty much secured. Finishing above Tottenham is also a certainty.

But we want more than just top 4, more than just celebrating finishing above Tottenham. We want trophies, league titles.

Everyone will learn from this season. And I include the fans in the learning process too. And next year we will be even better.




7 thoughts on “Proud of the boys

  1. billtysonaa801c802d

    Finally, a grown up take on where we are.
    I’ve been saying to friends that not winning the league this season might well be the best thing to happen. Imagine how hungry, almost angry, they’ll be next season.
    Looking forward to that and simply being in the race again, at last!!
    PS, I hope we do win it this season. I’m set to make 2k from bets 😁😁😁


    1. Rob

      I totally agree with this article and view. The team also plays some really exciting beautiful football again. They young and can learn and improve.
      The only but I have is that this is an amazing opportunity as next year other clubs like Liverpool and United will be stronger and we will also have Chelsea that should improve as well as Newcastle. Not that the team can’t do this again but it would be a shame to miss out with such a good opportunity this season


  2. Johnno

    Decent article, agree with most of it (especially about keeping the team together) but I wouldn`t throw the towel in so easily. We`re still in good position and this group of players are capable of giving anyone a game. Bring on City on Wednesday, I`m looking forward to it. Every other team in the country (bar Citeh) would swap places with us.
    Up The Arse.


  3. Me

    Finishing eighth and then fifth and now likely 1st/2nd.
    That is progress to me and some top signings in defensive positions – particularly Declan Rice and a top-class centre back and a left back to replace Tierney if he leaves and we will be there.
    No matter how bad our recent form has been, the butt of all footballing jokes always seems to be Spurs.


  4. David T Boyle

    I was waiting for the excuses , young team ,Harland is early twenties ,40 plus goals. This so called PROCESS should be over now ,4 years ,1 trophy ,half a billion spent, no plan b, no in game management, terrible subs let’s get a proper manager to take us to the next level



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