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Thursday Cannon Fodder: adios, 2020

Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

Qantas Boeing 737 Pilot Dresses As Santa Claus To Spread Festive Cheer Photo by James D. Morgan/Getty Images

Good morning TSF! Y’all don’t need me to tell you that 2020 was a pretty crappy year. But if you’re reading this, you’ve (nearly) made it through. Well done!

As we are wont to do each time we mark a successful trip around the sun, I’m going to look back and try to pick out a few highlights from 2020. For Arsenal, it’s pretty easy to pick the “moment of the year” or “thing of the year” or whatever the heck you want to call it: winning the FA Cup.

And then Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang promptly dropping it. Silverware is silverware, and Arsenal’s 14 FA Cup wins are the most of any other club. That’s nothing to sneeze at. Beating Manchester City in the semifinal and Chelsea in the final was nice and earning a spot in this season’s Europa League was really important for the club.

As for goal of the year, I’m sure I’m forgetting a few, but for me, it’s gotta be Aubameyang’s opener against Manchester City in the FA Cup semifinal. The Gunners scored a few goals in 2020 that saw more passes and more players involved, but the stage and the opponent push that particular one to the top. It was also a shining example of what had, at least for a time, become a “typical” Arsenal goal — ball worked out of the back, often including a touch by the keeper, 10+ passes to move it quickly up the pitch, and finishing on the break. See e.g., Aubameyang against Liverpool, ranked #4 in the club’s video. The club ranked the Aubameyang FA Cup goal 7th for the season in it’s Top 10 Arsenal Goals of 2020 video.

Arsenal picked that Gabriel Martinelli goal against Chelsea as the goal of the year, and I can’t blame them. It was really, really close for me between the two. It’s hard to believe that was this year, but yeah, it was!

Looking back on a more personal side, I’m pretty proud of becoming TSF’s Site Manager way back in January/February. It’s been a good deal of work, but it’s been a lot of fun.

That said, I’m most proud just of having made it through the year. You’ll likely see and hear about all the things that people have done with their quarantine time, and you’ll be tempted to compare your own achievements and accomplishments.

Don’t. You’ve done really well to navigate this shitkicker of a year and to make it to December 31st. Whatever you chose to do to get by, great job. You did it; you got by. We’ve got some number of trying months ahead of us still, but there is light at the end of the tunnel. You’ve gotten this far; you’ll make it through the end.

When the clock strikes midnight and you raise a toast to 2021 and a better year ahead, toast yourself as well. You deserve it.

Please feel free to share your favorite Arsenal moments from 2020 and / or any personal accomplishments that you’re particularly proud of. And I mean it — “I’m here” is more than good enough.