I know you all laughed when you saw the title of my article; if I’m honest, so did I, but despite Arsenal yet again showing that they choke when the pressure intensifies and that defensive fragilities are very much not a thing of the past, has the season been a total washout for Arsene Wenger’s Red and White Army?

I mean, until recently, they were the only club challenging on four fronts and, even though they imploded dramatically, surely being there or thereabouts in four competitions by February is a feat in its own right?

All is not lost for the North London outfit despite increasing frustrations both in the boardroom and amongst the fans.

Pat Rice is an Arsenal legend, as a player and as Arsene Wenger’s assistant manager. It is widely reported that the Irishman will be retiring at the end of this season and even though this will a major loss for the whole club, at least us fans don’t have to see Rice’s rather effeminate sitting position that does no favours for a club supposedly lacking in leaders and ‘real men’.

Nicklas Bendtner is said to be looking for a way out this summer; this is the man who told the world his sob story of having to give up things such as skiing in order to play football, which is why he apparently justifies his enormous salary. Throw that in with the missed opportunity against Barcelona in the second leg, as well as the pink boots episode, and it figures that most Arsenal fans will be glad to see the back of the big Dane.

Theo Walcott has come a long way this season in justifying the reported £10 million paid for him at the age of just 17 and his surprising and controversial inclusion in England’s 2006 World Cup squad. Walcott has been dogged with injuries and inconsistent performances throughout his Arsenal career, but this season has seen the Englishman combine blistering pace with an all round game that has seen him notch 11 goals and 10 assists in all competitions. It has taken a while, but Arsenal fans are beginning to see the Theo Walcott that was promised to them just a few years back.

Wojciech Szczesny and Lukasz Fabianski, apart from being the hardest names to spell in the Premier League, have begun to ease Arsenal fans’ frustrations at Wenger’s decision not to sign a world class keeper in the summer. Fabianski dislodged Almunia from the number one spot and, despite a performance against Newcastle that the fans had come accustomed to, the young Pole has saved them vital points against Wolves, Blackburn and Everton. During the season Fabianski unfortunately suffered through injury, leaving Arsenal only one fit keeper, the 20 year old and fellow Pole Szczesny, whose performances have had the media wondering whether Arsene Wenger has finally solved his long-term goalkeeping crisis. Arsenal fans, for the first time in a while, don’t have too many concerns about the man between the sticks.

Arsenal have always received plaudits for their youth set up and the players it produces, and it is no different this season. Henri Lansbury is currently out on loan with Norwich City, Kyle Bartley is with Rangers establishing himself as a no nonsense defender and Ryo Miyaichi has impressed a great deal on loan at Feyenoord. No doubt all the returning players will looking to break into the first team next season.

Laurent Koscielny was doing a very good job at hindering Arsene Wenger’s record at unearthing unknown talent, after some poor displays at the beginning of the season. What a difference a game makes though, and after an impressive performance against Chelsea, the Frenchman has never looked back (the Carling Cup final aside) and has become a more assured defender, no longer giving Arsenal fans as many jitters when he is on the ball.

Away form is something the Arsenals of recent years knew nothing about, yet this year has seen them become a force on the road, collecting 29 points, the most in the league and 6 ahead of Chelsea and Manchester United. If only they could combine decent home and away form in the same season, they may find themselves going the distance and expanding the trophy cabinet.

Winning the Premier League still isn’t as ridiculous as it sounds; stranger things have happened. Arsenal still have to play Manchester United at home, and who knows? Arsenal fans could be celebrating their 11th league title come May.

A creative midfielder who scores goals, is a joy to watch and is linked with Barcelona; no, I’m not talking about Cesc Fabregas. I’m actually talking about PFA Footballer of the Year runner up, Samir Nasri, who has had a fantastic season for the Gunners, especially early season, with his sublime trickery and eye for goal being a real asset to Arsenal this season. Further to this, Nasri has shown he is more than capable of filling in for Fabregas in the middle of the park should the Spaniard leave, which, as it happens, is probably where some of his best performances have come.

Jack Wilshere, what a season he has had. PFA Young player of the year, full England international and fantastic performances, including against the elite Barcelona team, not bad for a 19 year old. The Englishman has epitomised consistency this season and displayed the mental strength to become a legend of the beautiful game.


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