What is better? A good start or a good end to the season?

This season has been a stark contrast to last. Last season our end of season collapse was becoming an “Arsenal thing”, and from the lofty heights of fighting for the league, we plummeted to fourth in the table.

This season however, we were 17th after 6 games and with 8 games to go, we’ve catapulted ourselves into 3rd. We’re now clear of both Sp*rs and Chelsea and we’re favourites for 3rd.

So what is better? A good start to the season and a faltering end? Or a bad start and a good ending? Well, the real answer is neither… a good start and a good end are what we need. But that’s cheating, because it wasn’t one of the choices! In reality it matters where you are in the moment in time, where do you enjoy the success – at the beginning means you have hope for the season, but at the end means you are in the “here and now”.

We’re in the “here and now”, now… and it’s good. 7 wins out of 7, who can ask for more? Well, 15 out of 15 (i.e. win the next 8)… but in reality, it’s a good feeling to be finishing so well. The team are starting to gel very positively and the future seems bright.

Le Boss knows the difference first hand between third and fourth…

“We have come through a very difficult period. We have learnt from that and must keep our feet on the ground and focus on the next game. It makes a massive difference [to finish in third] because fourth place is a qualifier and third place is really the Champions League.  I would prefer not [to have to qualify], as would everybody, but if we have to do it, we do it. And don’t forget, it’s after the Euros so we might not have all of our players.”

I’ve definitely enjoyed the return of Rosicky – the emergence of young Oxlade Chamerlain – and the odd defying return to form of Theo Walcott. It’s amazing, three players who are really on top of their game. Mikel Arteta has slotted into midfield as if he has been at the Arsenal all his life.

PS, Happy Birthday Mikel!!

The future holds what we want it to. We’ve been in this position before. A good end to the season, a hope that we may strengthen in summer. Rumours of signings already, murmurs from the manager about next season.

Will it really be any different? Who knows. But, we do have an excellent platform to move ahead with. Our first XI is really something special now – even the back five. And with Wilshere to come back in too, we’ll be even stronger. So what do we need to do in summer?

Well… first of all, get rid of dead wood. Players like Almunia, Squillaci, Chamakh and sorry to say it, but Benayoun, are a little past it in terms of playing for the Arsenal. Secondly, improve the strength in depth. Players like Park Chu Young, Chamakh etc, just don’t cut it. If a player like Van Persie or Song gets injured then we are left with gaping holes, poor players coming in and an unbalanced team.

Arsene made one vital statement yesterday:

“We want Podolski here and if we can find world-class players, we will.”

The potential signing of Podolski is a step in the right direction, for sure; but we do not need to stop there. Back up for Song, back up for the central defensive area, a better goalkeeper in case Szcznesy gets injured and a world class winger… and hey presto, you’ve got yourself a title winning, champions league winning team.

All that is left to say is “Happy Monday”… a week off for the team, time to relax and enjoy…

  • ArseFan101

    Great article Dev!

    There is an air of positiveness around the club again, which is awesome. Definitely prefer the strong end, as we finish on positive note – which can be taken into the next season!

  • SpeedDemon

    Happy 30th Birthday to Arteta!!

  • Berth

    Dev good stuff. Happy days are back. For my money if we can get Podolski and M villa we can be good for dominating the league like in the past but it still depends on how well Players like coqulen, Ryo, Campbell and co will fare.

  • Nick

    I really wish Wenger hadn’t mentioned Podolski. I mean, it’s hard to imagine in the internet age that other aren’t taking a look at Lukas as well, but this will really get their ears to stand up and take notice. Everyone knows Arsenal have the best scouting and eye for future talent so every move we make is watched with both envy and interest. Given the shite state Chelsea are in it wouldn’t suprise me at all to see them float in and backdoor us whenever possible. THough word is they are considering a mega bid for Ronaldo and Higuain from Real Madrid. Sorry Blues…. Ronaldo will not play for the joke that is Chelsea football. Higuain might for a huge payday and a regular starting spot, Real might take Torres on a swap for that deal.

    I think if we do sign Podolski it can mean only good things, but I’d rather it were just announced that we signed him and have done with it. Surely he can see that we mean business and are a team to be reckoned with next season (barring injuries of course). We’re definitely on the up. Getting to the point of this article, I’d much rather have a strong finish than a strong start. Manure always start slow then end up winning the title. Rudyard Kipling wrote it best: “If you can keep your wits about you while all others are losing theirs, and blaming you. . . . The world will be yours and everything in it, what’s more, you’ll be a man, my son.” Through this season we’ve shown that without the huge effect injuries played on our squad early & the unsettled start thanks to Na$ri and Fabregas leaving played that we can play with and beat anyone. The strong start Spuds had has wained and their true colors are showing, thanks in no small part to the vacant England position ‘Arry is salivating over. He’s like a man up for parole, lol.

    As of now it’s only up to us. Arsenal have everything in their own hands now. They’re playing dynamite football. Everyone is back to form (except Gervinho) & fitness (except Diaby & Jack but they are both expected) and if we can keep our preferred 11 playing till the season ends we definitely have 3rd place. To me it’s more palatable than watching our team be in first rounding January an collapsing to finish 4th.

  • SpeedDemon

    @ Nick:
    Good call – but do you think he would have mentioned him if he wasn’t already kind of in the bag or he thought mentioning him would help whatever cause he was trying to do?

  • SpeedDemon

    @ Berth:
    Dominating? First, let’s try and win the damn thing!!

  • Nick

    @SpeedDemon- lets hope! But stranger things have happened. I do hope this is more of a confidence booster from Wenger towards Podolski in showing him we do really want him and that he will play (not sit the bench ala Park & Chamakh). You could honestly see some type of hesitation on Podolski’s part given the formation we play. I’m sure it will all get ironed out and he’ll be a Gunner next season.

  • Berth

    well @ Speeddemon we can dominate with Wenger inn the helm because his done it before

  • CON-MAN

    its always about how you finish! man utd are a perfect example of that! id take a bad start and a good finish

    as for depth, cannot co-sign that point enough. Wenger seemed to get it last season letting denilson, vela, bendtner, arshavin go on loan and i think now he needs to just go full on and let them go.

    Id like to see Miyachi get a run of games next season, complimented by a back up for song and scezzers like you mentioned