2008/2009 Season Reviews – The Optimist

Over the next week or two, I will be publishing three different points of view regarding Arsenal’s performance over the 2008/2009 season.

For this purpose, I have enlisted the help of my two good friends, Elric Heslop (“The Optimist”) and Mark Finnigan (“The Realist”). I, of course, am “The Pessimist”. I am lucky that I sit near two people at Arsenal who can offset my natural cynicism and put across their points of view which often, if not always, differ from mine. There’s nothing like a healthy debate.

My miserable viewpoint will be published on here soon, followed by the neutral’s favourite – Mister Finnigan – but for now, here is The Optimist’s view on our season:-

There’s been much talk of the Arsenal’s failure to yet again secure any silverware this season and at times there seems to be a dark cloud looming over the Emirates. All things considered, I for one think we had a fantastic season.

There were talks during the pre-season build-up that the Arsenal will fail to finish in the top four and that in fact Spurs will take our fourth spot. Despite a mid-season blip in form, we surpassed all expectations and our young side put together an impressive 20 game+ unbeaten run, finishing fourth in the league and reaching the semi-finals of the FA Cup & Champions League.

That in itself is fairly impressive, however when you consider the run of injuries incurred throughout the season, it makes it all the more impressive. With Flamini and Hleb gone, and with Rosicky injured for the entire season, it left Wenger with several gaps to fill in midfield. He bought in Nasri and opted to give Denilson & Song a chance. Unfortunately Theo, Fabregas, Diaby and Walcott all got injured. The difference really came with the acquisition of Arshavin who really looks a fantastic player. Providing we can avoid injuries next year, an attacking midfield force consisting of Arshavin, Fabregas, Rosicky or Walcott (even Wilshere?) makes for a mouth-watering prospect. The return of Eduardo and Rosicky will be like gaining two new World Class signings. All we’ll need is to sign a powerful defensive midfielder and perhaps a centre half to improve our defensive ability.

By all accounts, Liverpool have had a fantastic season, they finished second in the Premier League. We finished fourth and reached two semi-finals – arguably we in fact had the better season. Besides, Spurs, the team to dislodge us out of the top four were very lucky to avoid relegation. The sun is about to shine on our football club again as I am convinced that next season will see us end our silverware drought.

Elric Heslop – “The Optimist”