Arsenal in 2011: The Defining Moments.
First up, allow me to wish everyone of you a prosperous and fulfilled new year.
Last year was defining in every aspect of the word, it was a terrific 365 days and if we look back on all that went down, you will agree with me that it was pretty difficult reaching this position on the first day of the new year.
2011 gave us our best chance yet to end our trophy drought, it is without doubt Arsene Wenger’s most trying year since he joined the club. As much as it served up our worst start to an EPL season, 2011 saw the emergence of another Arsenal hero!
This post seeks to share my best and worst moments of an amazing year for football.
2011 was a year of “if onlys”, a year of ruing missed chances and wishing we had just a little more luck. Quite a number of moments could easily pass as my worst game of 2011; the 4-3 loss at Blackburn, the 4-4 draw at Newcastle, the 2-0 loss to United in the FA Cup, a game United lined up with 7 defenders!
The summer departure of Fabregas, the 1-1 draw with L’pool at the Emirates, the 3-3 draw at Shite Hart Lane, the 8-2 loss at Old Trafford are also moments I will like to forget very quickly. But none hurts as much as the loss to Birmingham in the Carling Cup final.
That was the height of it, as we practically gifted Birmingham the trophy. That loss brought tears to my eyes and made me believe for some time that we were under some sort of spell.
Away from the doom and gloom; 2011 also served us some of football’s most beautiful moments.
Vermaelen extended his Arsenal contract, a very big boost to the club. Did I mention the emergence of another Arsenal hero?
Yes! RVP came into his own in 2011, banging in 35 goals in 36 league games all around the country; that name sent shivers down the spine of defenders all year long.
At the end he came up short of Alan Shearer’s record by a single goal having played 6 less games than the English legend. 2011, the year of RVP100!
We witnessed some great moments on the pitch too; the 1-0 win against United at the Emirates, the big win in Udinese which put us in the Champions League, and an even bigger win at Marseille which all but ensured qualification into the knockout stages of the same competition.
While the 3-5 win at Stamford Bridge will be remembered for years, as it confirmed our resurgence this season, no game in 2011 gave me as much joy and pride as the 2-1 win against Barcelona.
I rank that game on par with, or probably higher than other magical nights like the historical victories in Madrid, Villareal and Milan.
I saw the Barcelona game in a pub and I really cannot accurately describe how I felt as Arshavin struck the ball past a helpless Valdes. All I know is that I walked out of that pub half naked!
So there you have it, my memories of 2011. You can tell it has been energy sapping for me as I’m sure it has been for you. Why not share your special moments with me? Something I missed out on perhaps.
Here is to hoping 2012 turns out to be a year of far more positives than negatives, the birth of another hero, and finally a trophy to cap!
Have a great start to the new year, play safe and keep it goonerish!
See you in the comments!