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2013 draws to an end

December 31, 2013

So as 2013 draws to a close, what do I see it from an Arsenal perspective?

Well for me, it was a pretty decent year all things considering. The calendar year table (No – there are no trophies) shows if anything we were nothing if not consistent.  A very good second half of the 2012-13 season saw us pip Spurs to 4th place ( No – there are no trophies). Down side – we lost at home to Blackburn in the FA Cup and went out on away goals to Bayern Munich in the Champions league.

The first half of 2013-14 has Arsenal topping the table (No – there are no trophies) as we go into 2014. It has also seen us qualify from the group of death in the Champions League to meet up with Bayern Munich (again) in the knock out stages in Feb/March

The results (all comps) ended up with this record over the calendar year.

P55 W34 D10 L11 F90 A47

Last summer no players left Arsenal that the club did not want to see leave. Özil came in along with Flamini and both have made a huge impact on the side so far this season. We have also managed injuries well. Podolski, Theo and Oxo were the main long-term injuries, therefore at times losing a lot of the width in the squad.

As I type it seems our injury jinx is starting to bite. Nine players either out of doubtful for the match against Cardiff

The defence that took loads of stick over the last few years from all sides, TV Experts. Journo’s and even our supporters have been pretty much rock solid & I understand the combination of Mertersacker & Koscielny have not lost a game in which they played the full 90 minutes since January 2012. They are both doing this while not even picking up bookings. Currently we have conceded 18 goals in 19 matches the league and nine of them were in two matches.

Szczesny is quickly becoming a top, top keeper, even though he does make the odd mistake, which right now he does seem to have luck on his side in getting away with them. Liverpool & Newcastle. Still he is young in terms of keepers and will learn.

We have an abundance of talent in midfield and can cope reasonably well with a few injuries. Against Newcastle Özil & Ramsey were missing and will still took the points, playing ugly if you wish, but at times we are often told needs must. You can’t have it both ways.

I for one feel Giroud gets a lot of stick which is unfair. The guy battles every game and never stops running. He has done basically what is asked of him so far, save hitting the 20 goal mark as many would like him too, holds the ball up well and is a handful for any defence. I think I read Giroud has played thirty-two games this season, not bad when you consider the two Merseyside clubs have played 42 between them.

Often Giroud is the first line of defence in games, which then goes back right throughout the team to the keeper. I would say a lot of our team work defending has the Steve Bould mark all over it.

Like many others, though I feel Giroud is very good at what he does I would still prefer if Arsene went out and brought a killer striker. I look at out midfield and wonder why any striker would not want to play in front of that lot. Surely a top, top striker could net 40+ a season for Arsenal with our creativity.

This current squad is playing for each other, battling when the need arises, playing quality football when the right has been earned. This squad of Arsenal players are not flakey, they may lose a game, go a run of three/four without a win, but they are not going to collapse. Will we win silverware? Who knows . The smart money has to be on Man City/Chelsea for the league, let’s not kid ourselves money talks and they can talk the loudest. However, if Arsenal can get that killer striker it’s gonna be a close run thing. I have always said – I do not expect silverware, I hope for it. What I do expect is a club as big as Arsenal, my team, to at least be challenging for silverware.

Highlights – I have enjoyed away trips with my Son to Brighton, Fulham, Palace & Cardiff in which we won them all. In fact going to any Arsenal football match with my Son is a highlight.

Beating West Ham 5-1 that spell after half-time. Followed by coming back from 2-0 down at home to Liverpool when Giroud & Walcott scored to make it 2-2 and we should have gone onto win. Beating Bayern in Munchen, no matter what the situation, that was a good victory and more than anything probably pushed us forward to where we are now.

The 4-1 home win over Wigan followed by the 1-1 away win at Newcastle that stopped Spurs in their tracks yet again from qualifying for the Champions League. Yet another home win over Spurs albeit only 1-0 this time. Jacks goal against Norwich, in fact all five goals were very good. Seeing Ramsey come good, showing what a player he can be, scoring some important and cracking goals after all the stick he took. Özil signing for Arsenal and even better Flamini coming back, doing the hard work and giving us steel. Koscielny becoming a monster of a defender and making such a good partnership with the BFG. The smile that Santi Cazorla plays with that matches his style of play. What a joy it is to watch the little fella.

Shout out to for Arsene Wenger who has taken a lot of flack. Stubborn as hell, does it his way & can be very annoying at times. However, it looks like this time he could be on the verge of creating a new team to properly challenge for honours.

Have a Happy New Year all.

Cheers

@harlowgooner

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