But strangely yesterday before WBA it was almost comparable in relation to anxiety and nerves. Gooner world was in total agreement about how important this game was to us.
This feeling of us choking was almost unbearable - the game went our way thanks to spirit and stand-in keeper Fulop who gave us at least 2 assists. But to be fair you end up where you deserve to be and we deserved third.
Spurs have issues – New CF needed, will the pay for Adebayor. They need a new CBH and a fast wide man to cover Lennon and Bale. A manager rumoured to be at odds with his chairman but they deserve fourth and deserve CL football and I hope they get it. Our real enemy is CFC.
Also in all of this MUFC and CFC are almost being ignored. Say that CFC lose to Bayern which is very possible, suddenly for all their investment one FA Cup is not enough. Both Spurs and Arsenal finished above them and £50m Torres and £25m David Luis were not bought to play in the Europa League.
MUFC the cash cow can recover as they have the ability to make revenue. But they have too many over 32 and too many under 22 and not much in the middle. I actually feel we will finish above them next season if we build upon this.
Apart from the relief my mind has quickly turned to how we can improve. How serious are we about the next step. I think we have made a great step in rebuilding but the final step is there for us.
I don’t like playing fantasy football and talk about signings but I keep repeating myself Arsenal need to step up. The time for watching City, CFC parading trophies while we parade our accounts has been the right move but now we have to realise the benefit that good housekeeping can bring.
Robin Van Persie – He needs to be the ‘Ten’
An absolute hero and a beacon of excellence in the club. I was 99% sure he was staying but something in his demeanour while being interviewed gave me some doubt. His steely glare tells me he is going into battle with the board and Wenger and it’s about Ambition. We cannot do this again, we cannot snatch a credible season from pure ineptitude we suffered all last summer.
We are Arsenal and losing 8-2 at OT is not the Arsenal I know.
Yes we can feel proud of the character shown and some moments like Spurs and City at home not only will stay with me - performances of real quality.
But we need more.
I don’t like playing fantasy football on transfers - but we have to add to this group.
A-list players are needed. We have been excellent financially but 15 years in the CL - more investment needed on the pitch and now. We are not maximising our revenue. Squad sales are obvious and the club seems focussed on doing this and globalising its brand.
On the playing side:
For Arsenal to move forward we need to move RvP back.
Play him in the hole so he can lead this team from the heart of the side. We ask too much of our kids (Ramsey) they should be first off the bench. I would like Podolski to be our CF next season and for Arsenal to invest A-list money for Eden Hazard (below) wide left.
Possible first eleven:
Sagna, Koscielny, Vertonghen, Vermaelen
Walcott, RvP, Hazard
New Keeper, Jenkinson, Djourou, Mertesacker, Santos, Gibbs, Ox, Diaby, Gervinho, Arteta, Ramsey, Rosicky, Afobe, Frimpong , Coquelin, Miyaichi
When you read the above you can still see we are a keeper light and maybe a centre forward although Afobe (below) will in my opinion break through next season. But it’s still light in stature, experience and physicality. Come the moment when medals are handed out we need quality.
I highlighted the money but it’s also the quality. I think Arsenal/Arsene has so much quality that he has acquired at really good prices and or built himself. He deserves huge credit for this. It was him that had Jack Wilshere training with the first team at 15. You would think according to the British press that Owen Coyle brought Wilshere along based on a 4 month loan period at new relegated Bolton.
But now he needs one A-Lister to spark the club. What we saw this season v City and Spurs was a team that ignited us fans. The Emirates really exploded. Imagine if we had Hazard who is a superstar in the making. He fits the mould of high fee but medium Wages and his sell on would still be enormous when he goes to Real Madrid in 3-4 years.
I keep saying it and will keep saying it – Arsenal be as big as you are.
We did not challenge for any trophies for the first time this season and that is not acceptable. We may not of won for a few years but we have had finals and moments where we competed. This season we were not close.
Still I am smiling today, hugely relieved but want us to push on and not waste this opportunity.