The Premier League 2011/2012 season breathed its last breath. What an utterly mental season. 1st beat 2nd 6-1, 2nd beat 3rd 8-2, 3rd beat 4th 5-2 and 4th beat 5th 5-0. Delight in the blue half of Manchester, despair in Sunderland, relief for QPR, disaster for Bolton, disappointment for Spurs and Newcastle although I’m sure the latter are overjoyed with their performance and seem very excited to play European football next season. And then there’s Arsenal.
I emerged from the Hawthorns utterly devoid of any fingernails, feeling as if I had just stepped off a nine-month rollercoaster unsure of my ultimate safety. There were twists, turns, highs, lows, climbs, falls, ups, downs and absolutely no indication of where we would end up.
It would be foolish to claim this season as a successful one, but I think it’s one we should bookmark and look back on, to learn from, to not repeat the same mistakes again, but to also be proud that through adversity, we actually finished one place higher than last season and the much important automatic Champions League qualification in the bag. A time to reflect on the positives and negatives and make sure we are in a better place to do better things next season.
You cannot look past Robin Van Persie for Arsenal player of the year, but that’s exactly what I’m going to do and award my utter meaningless Player of the Year award to…..Laurent Koscielny.
Much is made of Graham Carr’s scouting at Newcastle but can anyone really say that Hatem Ben Arfa was unheard of? Yohan Cabaye? Demba Ba? Papiss Cisse? – Getting them to Newcastle is very impressive but it’s mad to suggest they were unknown quantities. But here’s a story.
Koscielny has only been a centre back for 5 years, and only made the change when he was sold to 3rd Division side Tours in 2007. Two fairly personally successfully years before he finally made the grade and moved to Lorient in Ligue 1 in 2009. He only played one season in Ligue 1 before his £8m move to Arsenal.
From 3rd Division and a new position to The Champions League and selection for a major tournament in 5 years and has been a massive part of Arsenal’s season – by far the most improved player this season and in my eyes, the most important. Fitting that he scored “The £45m Goal” as well.
To wrap, thank you for following and interacting throughout the season, but I have never been so pleased to see a campaign finish as much as this one. I’m off to rest.