It happened again.
Arsenal preserve their Better Than Tottenham Hotspur streak with some last day heroics. Well, maybe that's grandiose because they pretty well showed up, put four goals past hapless Villa and walked away with the spoils. It was not vintage, occasionally scrambly, but overall a solid victory which is all you can ask for on the final day of the season. And then Spurs and Newcastle did their part.
North London is Red! Another year of looking down on our rivals is always something fun. The match ups this year went two draws in the league and a Flamini-fueled League Cup Victory. All Spurs had left was to finally finish above Arsenal by picking up three points in their final four games. They managed two. Arsenal did their part taking 7 of their last 9 points in a final run that had a little more to be proud off while wearing the Red and White.
Olivier Giroud finds his form. A hattrick for the French striker will likely serve him well going into the summer campaigns. One could be frustrated with his lack of production in the last few months but, damn, it's it nice to see that goofy grin? He may not be first choice for long but for now he looks like a leading man and I guess that'll do.
I had a fun time. No really, did anyone not have a fun time? Do you remember that feeling? This season has been a real slog. Questions of players usefulness, consistency and Wenger's leadership have hounded us pretty well all season. Champions League stumbles, gong show games against Chelsea, points thrown away by a side who couldn't score. Only Mesut Ozil seemed to cover himself in glory in the first half and then even his production dried up. This has been a team that has been hard to cheer for at times and performances that pushed me towards a WengerOut stance.
But yesterday? Oh did I ever have so much fun. Jokes, goals, an Arsenal in control and a rival collapsing. It felt like a holiday celebration fitting of St Tott's. It reminded me why I love sport. Sometimes, everything works out and you're just smiling and can put aside everything else. Yes, this season has been disappointing. But they can't take yesterday away from us. They can't take St Totteringham's Day away from us. Take it Szczesny!
Farewell, Captain Good-Hair. Mikel Arteta played his final minutes for Arsenal. He came in and was looked at as a stop gap for the team, lacking a midfield general. Mikel reformed it instead and returned Arsenal to a force. An injury ended his most promising campaign and health was an issue ever since. Yet, under his watch, Arsenal ended their trophy drought and let us dream more was to come. It would be nice to have him a part of the team as they continue to reform but his legs are clearly done. It was fitting to have him play the final minutes and score the final goal under his captaincy (dubious goal panel be damned). It brought most of us to tears. Thank you, Arteta.
Farewell, Little Mozart. Tomas Rosicky feels more like a cult hero for the Gooners. Undeniably gifted, it really feels like his tenure here was better than it actually was. Another career cut short by inconsistent health but his moments were some of the best. Especially against Spurs. Wish we could have seen more but time marches on. At least he got his honour guard. All the best with your future, Rosicky.
Farewell, Meathead. What? No one calls Matheiu Flamini "Meathead"? Surely, that's his nickname. Look at him; Ozil would totally call him Meathead. Flamini came into the squad (again) to do a job there was no one left to do. He did it adequately and since then we've been plagued with thoughts that he's still got it. He really doesn't but he surely had his madcap, out-of-position moments. Love him, hate him, be completely confused by him, there was no one like Flamini. And he was ours. It is sad he didn't find himself on the pitch, somewhere, to receive one more yellow card but that's just how the two-footers fall. Onward, Flamini and go well... ON YOUR FEET PLEASE!
25 minutes up a man to find a goal to clinch 2nd place... they conceded three. The league wouldn't be the same without Spurs. And, hey, it's not all bad for them. One of the youngest teams in the league ended up third and put in their historically best Premier League performance since, I think, they won it back in the 60s. All credit to the team they built. But as one of their fans said, "Participate in a two horse race for the title and we finish third."