RECORD: W19 D11 L8
VERDICT: Another season gone, another empty trophy cabinet. However, Arsenal did take a step forward reaching the Carling Cup final, only to be beaten by Birmingham 2-1. It was a funny season for Arsenal, one that saw the title slip out from Arsene Wegner’s grasp at such a crucial time in the season. In fact, the title could have been at the Emirates by March had Arsenal played the classy football they are capable of. Unfortunately for those fans (and us Liverpool fans), it didn’t happen. A sense of urgency began to grow at the end of the season with many fans calling for an end to Wegner’s reign, however the players continue to back him. It wasn’t a terrible season though, with Arsenal still maintaining a Champions League place, beating Barcelona at home, and seeing the youth policy begin to come through. Jack Wilshere was the standout player of the season in my opinion, and a summer’s break will do him a world of good.
HIGH POINT: Though the Gunners came so close to seeing their youth pick up the club’s first trophy in quite some time, the fact that Jack Wilshere was such an integral part of the squad show’s what Arsenal (and England) have in store for season’s to come. The return of Aaron “Rambo” Ramsey put a smile on all of England, a year after the young Welshman’s career was nearly ended playing the game he loves. Scoring the winner against United gave Arsenal a bit of bragging rights, though it proved in vain. Arsenal’s youth policy is beginning to pull through.
LOW POINT: It’s a no brainer for the common football fan; Arsenal lost the title. January and February saw Arsenal take a firm lead in the title race, only to fizzle out and drop silly points away from home (and even some in London.) Arsenal’s low point could be hit this summer should a certain Spainard head home.
SUMMER PREVIEW: Arsene Wegner and Arsenal are heading in to by far their most crucial summer to date. Normally Arsenal have not been a threat to the big gun’s spending-wise, but this summer could be different. Wegner has expressed his desire to spend big in an attempt to challenge Manchester United for the throne and sustain a challenge on all fronts. An even bigger challenge, however, may be keeping ahold of Arsenal’s key men, most of all Cesc Fabregas. It’s no secret that the midfielder want’s a return to his boyhood club someday, though Fabregas also believes that trophies can be won at Arsenal. With talks set to begin with Samir Nasri and Manchester United, Arsenal will have their hands full convincing their stars that the future is bright at the Emirates.
2011-2012 CAMPAIGN PREDICTIONS: 5th. This is a tricky one because of the possible transfers of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. If Arsenal lose their midfield maestro’s, Arsenal’s creativity goes down the drain. Jack Wilshere and Aaron Ramsey are too young to carry a team, but they can develop over the next few season’s into a star midfield. It’s going to be a nerve-racking summer for Arsenal fans worldwide.