Good riddance to 2010-2011!

May 23, 2011 21 Comments by Sian

Words, words, everywhere, and not a clue which to use. It’s the end of the rainbow, and the pot of gold is not there. I was adamant at the start of the season there would be one, two, three or four. As the season progressed, I thought just the one would do. Then one stepping stone off one would do. Then, well it’s two stepping stones off a pot of gold but at least it automatically qualifies us for the European pot of gold next season. Then, no. Three steppings stones off a pot of gold and no guarantee of European pots of gold next season either. Yet.

Super.

I think, this season, I’m actually much sadder than last season. Arsenal’s ability to arse things up seems to have endeared us to a lot of other teams’ fans, a bit like a puppy with three legs. Arsenal fans are, understandably, much less willing to cuddle the broken puppy, and unfortunately by the end of the season we have had to accept that that fourth leg ain’t growing back.

Too many things have gone wrong (in the latter part of) this season to be able to point the finger at one thing. It can be argued that the demise started with our Carling Cup final defeat, but then it could also be argued that that time would have been the start of it anyway. Given we’ve been in a similar situation before (in terms of the downhill slide into the summer), I like to think the words of ‘We won’t let this affect us mentally’ weren’t as empty as they seem to have been. Gawd blimey, imagine us having gone to the Camp Nou in the kind of form we’ve been in lately? Christ. Mind you at least the shot RvP got sent off for would have been on target given his own personal form lately.

Yesterday we were at Craven Cottage playing Fulham to round off the season for the second time in two years. Last season we beat them 4-0 at home and the blog went like this:

Another season come and gone, lots of highs and plenty lows. Big wide grins and sad hunched shoulders. Occasions of “YEEEEEEEEES!!! GET IIIIIIIIIIN” and “Oh hell, are you having a laugh?” All for the love of one team and one team alone.

Well that sounds a bit familiar, except that I think the highs this time have been a bit different from the usual. There have been them: Man City away, Spuds away, Chelsea at home, Barcelona at home, Man United at home, etc, etc, but otherwise this season feels more disappointing than any in recent memory.

All the Fulham match reports have been up for hours and I’m only basing my views on the Match of the Day coverage last night (and Twitter refreshes of 30 second intervals during the actual match), so let’s not get into it too much. 2-2, RvP and Theo on the scoresheet for us and Steve Sidwell and… someone else, for them. And the quickest red card in the West for Zoltan Gera.  At least we didn’t let any leads slip! Ahem.

There was far more action in the rest of the league, with an unbelievable battle down the bottom which at one point had Wigan and Wolves joining the Hammers in the Championship before Blackpool (cry a little) and Birmingham (rupture blood vessels laughing) eventually swapped with them and got sucked into relegation as well. The images of Blackpool fans celebrating as they took the lead at Old Trafford had me in tears. I may not know what it’s like to be relegated, but I do know what it’s like to think you’re about to win a match you then go on to throw away. Oh, and Newcastle got Newcastled. Heehee.

Our match was deemed to be of such irrelevance that we were shown after Chelsea’s and Manchester City’s and eventually got just a few minutes’ coverage. Thankfully. I didn’t stick around to hear what they thought of us, because I think we’re pretty unanimous in our agreement that this season has gone about as wrong as that unknown footballer XXXX XXXXX’s dalliance with that very pretty former reality TV contestant (I know we know who she is, but why should we name her and not him?)

Now it’s healing time I guess. We’ve all been put through an emotional spin dry this year with Arsenal promising us so much and giving us so little. The word (words?) ‘deadwood/dead wood’ has/have been bandied about all season and if we don’t hear of people leaving over the next couple of months, our left eyebrow will reach the dizzying heights of poor old Carlo Ancelotti’s. The first name to be talked of as being on his bike is Nicklas Bendtner’s. Regular readers will know how I feel about him and how much this news guts me if true. Judging by comments from people when I mentioned it earlier on Twitter, reinforcing that you’re a Bendtner fan is akin to admitting you like to poke bunnies in their eyes.

But what will be will be. Also, let’s not forget the successes of the Arsenal team who still win trophies: the Arsenal Ladies! The girls beat Bristol Academy 2-0 in the final of the FA Women’s Cup on Saturday. It was a good performance with two cracking goals from Kim Little and Julie Fleeting that went on to affirm that humans in Arsenal kits can still win things. Congratulations to them all, I think women who are good at football are the coolest thing in the world.

I’m sorry this blog isn’t very good if you’ve bothered to get to the end of it, but I promise I will strengthen over the summer. Lots of blogs/fans in general are still seething at what has happened, and fair play to them. Readers often ask why I’m not angrier when bad stuff happens. I do get angry, the man who sits in front of me at the Ems has had a blue back of head thanks to the profanity-tainted air it’s been subjected to all season, but fortunately I usually manage to look at the good stuff before the anger and hurt corrodes my spleen away too much. So I’m still hopeful for next season and I reckon most of us will be by the time August rolls around as well. Ah, forgetfulness. The human mind’s most powerful painkiller.

It’s been another emotional season, largely for the worse part, but let’s not forget the sometimes funny, sometimes lovely, sometimes unbelievably good parts this team has brought us as well.

Let’s not forget the Jacks and the Aarons and the Nasris and the Wojciechs that served us so well at different times. Be thankful for the utter brilliance of our uncharacteristically concrete-ankled Dutchman and his record-making scorefest in 2011 (now level with Ronaldo and King Thierry in most ever post-January 1st to end of season goals). The return of the Elusive Laser-Eyed Belgian Boy. The reliable friend that is Sagna. I’m not saying this in defence of the team who have consistently fallen short, I’m saying it as a reminder that, if you look at these moments and factors in isolation, football can still be the sweetest thing in the world.

Happy End of Season everyone. Grab yourselves a lilo and heavily alcoholic drink. Here’s hoping for an interesting summer.  x

21 Comments

  1. Daniel
    2228 days ago

    Thank God for you. You are the Jack Wilshere of my internet.

    I look forward to another season reading your blog, because it’s been one of the best things to come out of Arsenal… for… wait a minute, Mr Wenger’s on the line.

    Yes, Arsene?

    “well… yes… it is true perhaps we felt little bit tired as the season progressed. We gave everything and perhaps fell short in big games, which set us back. We are still young and perhaps a bit naive in certain areas of the pitch in… crucial moments. mentally, we have shown character but sometimes we lost our way and I undertsna dthe frustration of the fans.

    In terms of the fans, I have been particularly pleased with See-An…errrr…”

    ~~~~ you mean Sian? Sharn… ~~~~

    “yes, of course. She has stuck with the team through it all. I saw her in Barcelona, she was very excited and maybe little bit upset at the end, but she still remained focused and positive. That is just a small example of what she brought to the table this season.”

    ~~~ So, are you hoping to extend her contract, Arsene? ~~~

    “Well, yes, of course. She will have time to reflect during the summer. I believe she’s off to Ibiza but we will certainly hope to sit down after that. She has mental strength, character and is small and slight… perfect for this team.”

    That will be all.

    Thanks again x

    ps. I really should be doing some work at this point.
    pps. Up The Arsenal

    Reply

    • Sian
      2228 days ago

      It’s got to the point now where I get an email notification saying ‘Comment by Daniel’ and I’m like ‘Woooo!’. You are the Bacary Sagna of comments: consistently ace! But with better hair, naturellement. Thanks for your contribution to my blog-related smiles this season. x

      Reply

      • Daniel
        2228 days ago

        :D

        Wow, thanks!!! I’ll take that. You’re the Jack because you always come out good (funnier than him though, much funnier) even after a bad result, always head held high and trying 100% to make the most of it.

        You’re a brilliant writer too x

        Reply

  2. El Greco
    2228 days ago

    Thanks for your end of season blog, Sian.
    And just for the record let it be said this blog did not ommit the name of Ryan Giggs because of some restraining order!

    Yes, a disappointing season that promised much and delivered less than ‘expected’. Why the inverted commas?
    Well it all depends on whose expectations need to be satisfied.
    I mean, Arsene Wenger’s definition of success was “to achieve the maximum you can do with the players you have available” – 8 April.
    Furthermore “our target was to build a new stadium without dropping from the top (I take it he meant top 4). We knew it would be a difficult period for 4 or 5 years, so we had to make a decision on how to stay at the top with less money” – 22 April.
    Seems to me that Arsene and Arsenal FC have achieved their expectations. What’s more, Arsenal FC is assured of a 60k crowd per home game and, with a further 40k waiting on the sidelines, finanacial success, at least, is assured.
    Now what about the silverware? Oh, that’s the just fans’ expection:-)

    Reply

  3. AdeGooner
    2228 days ago

    Another season has come and gone, one that started with little expectation and then blossomed into the frenzy of an anticipated quadruple but then collapsed disappointingly – prematurely like the…errr…8====D of a one-minute man. (pardon my lurid representation).

    In all, I still believe in AW’s policy but I only pray he would acknowledge the areas of weakness and improve on them accordingly. I think he has more knowledge about soccer 100 times than I could ever aspire to understand – so no need to suggest what to do, who to let go, who to buy etc (I have a feeling he might not get to see this comment anyway). Here’s to hoping he sees the obvious.

    Cheers to a long soccer-less summer.

    Reply

  4. Steve goonersb
    2228 days ago

    Great blog Sian You are always positive about arsenal which I love! Really feel gutted about this season and what we could of won! But you are right some great moments to! Super jack against barca and a quite brilliant atmosphere at the emirates that night! Also everton at home and how the crowd got behind the team after the offside goal! Two nights at the emirates I will never forget! Roll on next season

    Reply

  5. Uncle Mike
    2228 days ago

    If Arsenal’s performance had been as good as your writing, you would have had much better things to write about.

    A footballer named “Fleeting” socred. I like it. I guess this means we can’t tell the male Gunners, “You play like a GIRL!” The Arsenal Ladies would be offended!

    Reply

    • Uncle Mike
      2228 days ago

      I mean “scored.” Sorry for the typo. My fingers were offside.

      Reply

  6. IrishGooner
    2228 days ago

    you are an unreal writer!!! U gotta be studing journalism or something?? your going places!! Top blog love it

    Reply

  7. Irishgray
    2228 days ago

    Dam it Sian!!! There I have been wallowing in self-pity and then I go and read your blog and you start to pick me up straight away. Quite a talent!!! Have you ever considered giving the team a talking too at halftime? I do think this was the worst season under AW. I mean like you said we beat BBB and then lose to Birmingham!!!! Anyways, just wanted to say thanks for the blog, will pop in from tome to time over the summer, but in all honesty will be glad of the break after watching the boys these last few weeks. Have a great summer Sian, hope you and yours are well and fingers crossed this time next year we will be celebrating as champions :)

    Reply

  8. North Bank Lew
    2228 days ago

    ” football can still be the sweetest thing in the world.” Let’s not forget that indeed, and thank you Sian for being a constant ray of light in the gathering gloom of this season.

    Football may be the sweetest thing, but rather like my lab puppy, who is also very sweet, Arsenal have been peeing on their own patch of late, which can be VERY frustrating.

    Considering the world didn’t end the other day, at least we can look forward to next season and – as you say – an interesting summer.

    Be good.

    Reply

  9. Jimmy
    2228 days ago

    Great writing Sian, love your blog and love your relentless positivity – so needed this season!
    *whispers* I too will miss Bendtner if he goes. *coughs shamefully*
    Its been a while since a season has ended on such a note of disappointment. Normally we have enough ahead of us – new young players destined to break through/good end of season form/players returning from injury/certainty that other clubs are going to mess it up – that I flit through June and July in a state of optimistic bliss, sure that next season its going to be us again. This time I’m just hoping that we’ll get to August without any calamitous departures or otherwise ridiculous shenanigans.
    But I am inspired by your confidence – things CAN be better next season. The possibilities that existed right up to (sigh) the carling cup final will be back on the table, and yes, United are getting old and a bit rubbish really, Chelsea will explode in a maelstrom of instability, Man City will spend tonnes on overpriced, over-hyped players who will make no difference and we will still finish above Spurs. Yes. Roll on August.

    Reply

    • Sian
      2183 days ago

      Hi Jimmy, thanks for your comment and sorry for the delay! No news on Bendtner so far… keeping fingers quietly crossed.

      Reply

  10. Gunner Neilson
    2227 days ago

    Hi Sian,
    Thanks for a great season of blog. Always read, even if I don’t always comment! I agree with all the other comments…that you have been exceptionally positive.
    I also appreciate the little cameos but we need to change something. Can’t go through another season like this.
    How come our boys are knackered if they play 3 consecutive games while a top Bolton player has, apparently, only missed one Premiership game in 3 seasons??
    One last rant…I still stick with my mid-season suggestion that we get rid of Almunia, Eboue, Denilson, Rozicky, Bendner (sorry Sian) and Arshavin. I’d go as far to add Theo to that list. That would bring in lots of cash to buy some names over 5 feet tall and who have a bit of backbone. Until we do that we won’t win anything. The current team have been together long enough to have melded into a winning unit.
    The summer (hopefully) will be interesting!!
    In the meantime, enjoy a well earned rest. Already looking forward to next season!! 4 bits of silverware up for grabs!!

    Reply

    • El Greco
      2227 days ago

      Hey, Gunner Neilson, I totally agree with your list of ‘dead wood’, though I would include Diaby on the list.

      cheers…

      Reply

    • Sian
      2183 days ago

      Thanks for your comment ‘Gunner Neilson’ (still love this name) and sorry for delay. Summer has been too dull to write about. See you at some point in the season I assume!

      Reply

  11. theo van Nasrigas
    2227 days ago

    A great wrap-up and good riddance indeed! It’s time to put on my own boots and get out there on the pitch, but I’ll be checking your blog all summer long.

    Here’ hoping you bring your writing chops, style and wit to some positive news and progress. (Whatever that really means – maybe that’s a subject itself).

    Cheers,

    Theodora

    Reply

  12. Alan
    2227 days ago

    Just one wish for next season – that Arsenal can come even close to the consistently high standard of your blog writing, Siany.

    Reply

  13. Girl Gunner
    2225 days ago

    Hey sian! i’m so glad i’v had your blog to come to, cause its like dissapointment, sian’s blog, then :) or happiness then sian’s blog then :D so thanks….

    This season has been interestin….now looking forward to next season….

    Hope yall have a fun summer!!!!…God blessxoxo

    Reply

  14. Nitesh
    2210 days ago

    First time here, and must say i loved it !! :D
    Enjoy your summer. :)

    Reply

  15. arsenal fc
    2202 days ago

    Bring on next season

    Reply

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