After all the melodrama and permutation, the final day of the season came on sunday with 3 fixtures having more significance than the rest because of champions League football at stake. Chelsea needed a win to secure 3rd spot, Arsenal needed a win to secure 4th and maybe 3rd but Spurs needed Arsenal to falter to have a chance at 4th.
Wenger decided not to change the Wigan winning side with Arteta assumingly passing a late fitness test to make the starting 11. The stand-in captain wobbled off mid-way in the 1st half for the Ox to strut his stuff.
A poor 1st half was to emerge with the gunners having no clear cut chance despite Newcastle fielding a 3rd choice retiring Harper to man the post. Newcastle, probably spurred by Ashley’s 1million pounds promise to the back-room staff, caused a lot of problems but failed to make good use of their chances. They showcased their strongest side with Demba Cisse, Guitterez, Guoffran, Ben Arfa and the other french entourage.
When the attackers failed to convert, koscienly positioned himself to rift an acro-goal past hapless harper to send the red half of North London to ecstasy. Walcott had delivered a cross from a free kick and the ball found its way to Koscienly’s path and the boss who had missed a header earlier on wasted no time to fire past the goalie. Koscienly went on to deny Newcastle of chances with his tackling, sliding and bossing :).
I owe Arsenal’s resurgence to Koscienly’s involvement in the defense. His partnership with metersacker has yielded defensive fruits since after that lose to spurs at White Hart Lane. With just a yellow and a red card, He is my Arsenal Player of the Season. Ramsey too should be applauded for his performances. He has improved well enough.
So why we led at st. James Park, Spurs had hard luck against themselves but Bale scored late on to beat 10-man sunderland to send White Hart Lane to ruptures. Well, did they think that Arsenal were losing? I feel for them because AVB has done so much but North London is red. Arsenal finishes above Tottenham for the umpteenth time. I wonder what would be going on in Bale’s mind: Best Player, Best season, Behind Arsenal, Back to Europa League.
While Everton couldn’t hold Chelsea at stamford bridge, Arsenal would make do with the champions League group stage play-offs than play in the less glamorous Europa League that fetchs as much as cash for winning it as for winning a mere group game in the Champions League (€9.6m).
So the 38 series soap opera ends with Arsenal being the 4th placed team on the Log, 3rd best strike force, 2nd best defense, and Best fair play team in England. We can spring forth from this position hoping to chase the Black widow spider and win Silverware by this time 2014.
So Sir Alex Ferguson managed his 1500th game with a 5-5 draw at the Hawthorns. Kudos to Westbrom for the turn around from 4-1.
So all you gunners, Enjoy your St. Totteringham Day(s) and Mind the Gap.