So the season’s over, and it ended with nils all round.
Had we gone away and romped it 5-0 I might have felt robbed given we’ve rarely done that in a season that promised much, delivered less, but still ended in the top four.
I was out and about in my waterproofs, foregoing listening to the game or grabbing it off some buffering internet stream, and my general lack of interest seems to have been mirrored by the team itself. We began with six defenders on the pitch and five substitutes plonked in from the reserves.
It’s been a season of maturing for some players, underachievement for others, general team-wide inconsistency, and though we coasted into fourth and could have grabbed third at the death, ultimately, it will go down as a disappointing one.
Our expectation bar is set very high, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but it does mean that a season in which we ended up reaching the Champions League for the tenth consecutive season and were pipped in the league cup final despite playing a ludicrously young side will be remembered as a bad one.
I suppose it can be looked at in another light: it’s only been two years without a trophy, and during that ‘fallow’ period we reached the European Cup final for the first time in our history, and the league cup final too.
There’s plenty of time amid the forthcoming three months of silly rumours for a proper breakdown of the players, but it’s safe to say that while some have improved – Hoyte, Fabregas, Diaby, Denilson, Gilberto, Clichy, Adebayor and Almunia in particular – too many of our squad, for one reason or another, have simply not done so.
Contrary to Wenger’s casual statements on there being little movement, I expect four or five players to leave and I wouldn’t be surprised if a similar number came in.
And before I forget, you all have a fruitful summer too.