Season Review 2006-07 22 May, 2007Posted by lasagnechef in Champions League, Cup Games, Premiership.
Well, 4th again…we’re not getting any worse…but we want to do a lot better than that. We never threatened in the cups, apart from the reserves who did very well indeed in the Carling Cup, and should’ve won it. But that means it’s another trophy-less season, two in a row. Shadowed by the whole Highbury 1913-2006 thing, a Champions League Final and the first season at the new stadium it’s been kept fairly quiet but on paper we’ve won fuck all. The 2005 FA Cup win seems a long time ago now and another barren season and we will not be happy.
In the very beginning, Gooners’ were getting a little worried about our lack of signings. It became increasingly clear that Arsene had no intentions of doing much in the transfer window, then on deadline day it all happened. Cygan left but he wasn’t going to be missed and the two lads who everyone thought would leave, Cole and Reyes, jumped ship and we got Baptista and Gallas. Now at the time this seemed like great business. Two great names and big talents and maybe they could add that little bit extra Arsenal needed. Ok, we lost a few players but I strongly believed we’d come out of it with more talent.
Also that summer we signed Rosicky and lost Bergkamp. The Dutchman’s testimonial was very emotional and really kicked off the season and opened the new stadium in style. The jaw-dropping Ashburton Grove really inspired Arsenal fans and they definitely thought we could make a push for the title.
However it wasn’t to be, the season started off as it was to continue by going a goal down…looking back, 1-1 against Aston Villa at home is terrible…and we lost the next game to Man City but because it was the start of the season, there wasn’t really much panic. With no decent result yet in the Premiership, an early visit to the champions elect Manchester United was all we wanted. However we won 1-0 thanks to Adebayor and that was when people really started believing.
We were incredibly unlucky with injuries this season. Gallas who I was quite exited about was injured for a very long time and Thierry Henry who’d just snubbed Barca and signed a new deal had most of the season out. When he did play, he wasn’t at his best either, but somehow he scored 12 goals. I’m exited to see what Titi we will see next year. Robin Van Persie was brilliant this year but again, he had terrible luck with injuries. I’m pretty confident he’ll be our biggest goal threat next season. There are literally one or two players who had a completely injury free season. If it had been different then maybe we wouldn’t be in 4th, but who knows, but that’s football for you.
I said throughout the season, our problem was sloppy goals conceded and too many missed chances. We lost to Sheffield United, West Ham, Everton, Fulham, Man City…yet we beat Man United and Liverpool. We need to get more up for the smaller games and play just the same every game. We gave some crap performances and it was incredibly frustrating to be an Arsenal fan. Next season they must tighten up at the back, not concede stupid goals and play their heart out every game, even if it is against West Brom. Also, the strikers and midfielders need to have a bit of shooting practice and learn not to panic in front of goal. Next season we will have Henry, Van Persie, Adebayor, Walcott and Bendtner all fighting for a place in the team and I’m quite exited about how that’s going to turn out.
Wenger’s not been very active of late in the Transfer window and he’s always stood by his current squad. Arsene has said for a long time now that if we have a fully fit squad, then we don’t need any signings. I mean look at those strikers above, any team in the world would love to have the option of selecting those players. At the back we have Toure and Gallas who are strong defenders plus Senderos and Djourou who can do a very job but remember they are still young. Talking about it now, we do have a good squad, just look at those names, but it’s all about how they perform on the pitch. Midfield is the one area we need to buy in my opinion. Well I think we could do with another wing-back but I know we won’t get one so I’m not gonna even go there. We have so many central midfield players but we lack a decent, proper winger. We have Rosicky and Hleb who are the first choice players at the moment but they were both central midfielders before coming here and can’t be expected to do the business out wide.
Ah I’m rambling now, back to the season. So yeah, after Man United things looked on the up but towards the end of the year we went through a bad patch and started dropping points everywhere. Wenger said wouldn’t be any signings in the January sales, which was disappointing but oh well. We started getting things back on track in 2007, I do remember saying ‘we’re unbeaten this year’ and we all wondered how long it would last. At the end of February/beginning of March we had very important games in all competitions coming up…and we lost them all. Our season was over; it was a really hard time for Arsenal fans.
An exiting trip to Cardiff ended in disappointment and 3 days later we were out of the FA Cup. However I think the biggest loss to take was the Champions League, especially after doing so well the previous year. We were handed the easiest draw possible in PSV, but we we’re knocked out. We lost 1-0 away and had it all to do at the Grove. We came so close but it wasn’t good enough, we needed a goal so badly that night Wenger brought on an obviously unfit Henry who hurt himself so bad that was him finished for the season.
So yeah, by March it was all over, nothing to play for. An unfamiliar position for Gooners. The only thing worth playing for was the possibility of an unbeaten first season at Ashburton Grove, but that was ended by West Ham of all teams in April. After that we only had a couple of games to look forward to, Tottenham away and the visit of Ashley Cole’s Chelsea. In the end the money-grabbing twat chickened out of the game but our one-all draw meant we took Chelsea’s title away and it was very sweet.
We nearly jumped Liverpool and into 3rd on the last day of the season but Baptista’s missed penalty at Portsmouth meant we could only manage a draw making us 4th only on goal difference.
Overall it’s just been a very average season. There were a few highlights: Cardiff obviously, even though we lost it was a great day and I still think we were the better team. ’2-0 and you fucked it up’ was good. Beating Man United at home in the last minute of extra time was amazing. The cup results at Anfield were brilliant and being there for the FA Cup one was something special for me. And generally just exploring the new stadium and getting to grips with it being our new home has been very different. I suppose 4th isn’t so bad, Any worse and I would be fuming, any better and I would’ve been quite pleased. The FA Cup and Champions Leauge were disappointments but oh well, it was fun before we got knocked out. Next season I am looking for an improvement, winning a cup competition would do just nicely. The Premiership (or Premier League whatever it’s called now)? Well I reckon 3rd or 4th again right now but I can’t really say until August after seeing what happens in the transfer window. But the key to United’s success was consitancy, and not letting in sloppy goals. Lets just try doing that.
Well that was my attempt at a season review. It’s really not very good at all but it’s the first one I’ve done. Thanks for reading anyway. I haven’t really gone into depth on individuals; I’m going to do this as separate posts over the summer. It’ll give me something to do.