Arsenal Season Review 2010/2011
Posted on June 14th, 2011 at 7:26 PM
The 2010/2011 premier league season has been one with highs and many lows for all Gunners out there, this post will look back at those events and try to determine whether we've learnt from the mistakes that have been made in order to be able to move forward next season as the new logo to mark 125 years suggests!
To start off with I have to recap on my proudest moment of the season, I'm sure almost everyone will agree but it just has to be beating Barcelona 2-1 in the first leg of the Champions League knock out stage. The stadium that night was incredible, from the light shows pre kick off to the support and reaction after we battled to level up and then take the lead, everything was perfect! I just wish every game at the Emirates Stadium was like that and I don't think we'd ever lose!
Sadly the next recap has to be the low point of the season .. this moment was 89 minutes into the Carling Cup final. It still amazes me to watch that error again, So close yet so far!
If you consider the above two points then it pretty much sums up the season as a whole, when we perform well we are undeniably one of, if not the best team in the world, our attacking football has once again been sublime in places yet the defence has been .... hmm, I'll let you decide on an appropriate word there.
In my opinion certain players are not strong enough for their positions be it ability or in some cases mentality wise, it's very frustrating as an Arsenal fan to watch us be so close to success yet just seemingly throw it all away at key moments in the season. At points we just need players to stay calm, keep their heads and just do the right thing without panicking, here's a few examples:
Almunia vs West Brom - Wasn't good enough
Diaby vs Newcastle - Stupid avoidable second booking
Eboue vs Liverpool - Needles penalty in the dieing seconds
Koscielny vs Birmingham - Unknown !?
What we need to decide is where does the blame lie? Are a small amount of the players just not up to it and know this themselves hence lacking the confidence to be able to stay calm? Is it due to player control from the captain? Tactics via the manager? or unease brought about by the crowd? maybe you could even state that as these errors come from defensive players we need to keep the ball further up the pitch, score more and not have such nervy scorelines late on ... but we did that at Newcastle when we were 4-0 up at half-time right?
Who I don't thinks up to it..
I respect other peoples opinions on players and am certainly one to forgive and forget but to see change next season I think these players have had their time at the club and should now move on:
1. Nicklas Bendtner
- At times Bendtner has been a useful player proving vital goals but at other times he's just not been good enough and missed chances that would have changed the season, an instance of this would be the away leg to Barcelona, Bendtner scores and Arsenal go through on away goals. There's no point paying his wages for him to sit on the bench every game for 70 minutes then come on and blast the ball into row Z. Another reason to back up this departure is he recently publicly said he wants to leave, enough, go.
2. Tomas Rosicky
- A player who I've loved in the past but I just no longer think can provide for us at the highest level.
- Well, instead of giving a reason as to why he should go maybe you should give me one that justifies him staying .. another player to publicly state their desire to leave.
4. Manuel Almunia
- Has been a decent keeper in the past but prone to costly errors and mistakes, getting on in age now and we have better in reserve.
The next possible few have if's attached to them, so if a scenario happened then they should leave ..
5. Sebastien Squillaci
- Overall his first season at the club has been okay but he's not one you'd put into the starting 11 by choice due to his extreme lack of pace. If
we are to sign defenders such as Gary Cahill and/or Chris Samba then he's not needed.
6. Carlos Vela
- I like Vela but just not seen anything this season that's proved to me he's worth a place in the starting 11 or that he can come on and change matches? Also didn't play much football while away on loan ..
That's it I think, some may say why don't you want Eboue or Diaby out but I think if played in the correct positions at the correct time they can both be good players and I'd rather the others go way ahead of these.
Who to sign?
If you follow me on twitter @thorpeAFC
then you'll have already seen some of my desired purchases to take us to that next level, some are realistic and some aren't which is why it's speculation and I'm not the Arsenal manager.
Karim Benzema - We need a proven goalscorer alongside Robin Van Persie and Benzema has proven he is just that, if Real Madrid want to sell him then we should be on his heels.
Franck Ribery - I think Ribery would sort out some of those head down moments and is a player that always puts in 100%, granted he could be very tricky/expensive to sign but French players haven't done too badly in our team in the past ..
Eden Hazard - Seems like a very talented player but would he just be using the club as a stepping stone for a move to Barcelona? Certainly would be a good attacking option to have at the club but still quite young.
Gervinho - I don't know too much about this player but as I write this it seems he's moving a lot closer to becoming our second signing in this transfer window!
Defenders - I know we need to sign defender/s but knowing which would suite our style of play best is most certainly an issue, lots of names have been linked such as: Chris Samba, Phil Jagielka, Leyton Baines, Gary Cahill but little information on if or how close we are to signing any of them is very varied!
Players to keep!
There's two names for this section, both midfielder, one Spanish and one French .. Yes I mean Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri. To keep the team on track to success I think it's vital that both of these players commit to the club for a few more seasons.
Personally I think Cesc Fabregas will be here for one or two more seasons, two would allow him a testimonial and he could then go home to Barcelona at the age of 26/27 and finish his career where he began. No one would complain then because he's given more than his fair share of commitment to the club and will have hopefully guided us to success by that time.
Samir Nasri I also think will sign on for a while yet, he's spoken this season about his love of the fans chants for him and I can't see him moving anywhere except for Spain where I think he'd struggle to get into the starting 11 of either Barcelona or Real Madrid. Hopefully we can get his contract sorted and keep him at the club.
With the stress the fans have been put through this season it's acceptable that frustration is at very high levels but we should all remember that in the long run the club is on track in the correct style and manner, sure we've missed out on a few trophies in the last few seasons but we have the best stadium in the Premier League and are now doing great financially, consider that when the clubs debt is eventually paid off then lot's of money will be available for the club and we'll be self sustained and profitable without the need of foreign investment! Ticket prices may have slightly increased but as Ivan Gazidis rightly pointed out, so has the cost of living and most other things, the country is recovering from a recession so money is tight but it'll be worth it. Stick with the club and provide Arsenal with your support in the hard times and the success will return!
One thing I strongly disagree with on the fan opinion side of things is the dismissal of Arsene Wenger, some feel he's lost it and doesn't deserve to be at the club.. those people aren't Arsenal fans and know nothing about the club. Arsene has brought so much in his time and put everything he has into Arsenal, if anything we should be proud to have him.
Twitter's thoughts upon the season
Broken dreams once again!! -@TonyTCClark
Two-thirds magnificent, one-third shambolic & unfortunate. Just like the Newcastle 4-4 game. -@TheSquidBoyLike
A bag of sweets, sadly we just ate all the good ones early on -@TheArsenalRev
At the moment the future is bright, players will come and go but die hard Gunners will always be there and will always support because that's our purpose, so I hope to see you all at the Emirates Cup next month!
'Arsenal till I die'
Written by Dan
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