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All good things inevitably come to an end. The world was treated to an electrifying season finale of the Premier League. Arsenal had a fairly glorious season. With the trophy drought still the elephant in the room, they however concluded the season in a joyous mood having secured a Champions League spot in the expense of their rivals Tottenham.
A sole goal put in the back of the net by Koscielny in the second half was all they needed and by the final whistle, both players and all the travelling fans broke into celebration and dance in the pitch and the stands of St. James Park. Critics and football pundits would have argued that top four finish wasn’t something to be excited about but to the Arsenal, it portrayed a sign of optimism that had been lacking in the whole campaign whereby Wenger’s future was questioned by discontented fans.
The season had been marked the highs and lows. Disappointing cup exits in the name of being knocked out from the FA and Carling Cup by second tier teams; Bradford FC and Blackburn Rovers consecutively. Gunners were demoralized and they knew the only way to redeem themselves was to fight off with Europe’s elite in the Champions League.
However, a 4-1 thrashing at the Emirates by Bayern Munich was a massive blow below the belt. The football gods still had a card up in their sleeves as Arsenal almost overturned the aggregate score in the return match at the Allianz Arena. A 3-0 win over the Bavarians was about to be engraved in the history books but unfortunately not enough to take them into the next stage. Heartbroken but still happy that they restored their fans’ support and bowed out as heroes.
Arsenal had lost the war but not the battle. Spots for Europe’s biggest league were still up for grabs. Their local rivals put up a fight challenging them since they were off pace in the 5th place. Pundits were fully convinced that Tottenham would eventually finish above the gunners after the infamous defeat in the North London Derby orchestrated by the mercurial Gareth Bale. Nevertheless, ever since that match, Arsenal went on a wonderful streak of eight victories in ten matches finishing the league in an 11-unbeaten run.
Summer signings Santi Cazorla, Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski have been a revelation. The campaign ended with four different players to have scored double figures. The sale of Robin van Persie rocked the club but it was the likes of them and the resilience of Walcott and Wilshere who filled the void of the summer departures.
Following the new sponsorship partnership with giant sports manufacture, Puma, of an estimated £30 million per year, Wenger has the funds to strengthen the squad for the 2013-2014 season that will kick off on August 19. He has at least £130 million stashed in the bank ready to be splashed during the transfer market. Sports tabloids have already started linking players to Arsenal; Stevan Jovetic, Wayne Rooney and Ashley Williams are the most recently speculated.
The summer is here and the players will travel to Asia for their usual pre-season followed by the annual Emirates Cup challenge. The Arsenal faithful are looking optimistic that this is the moment Arsene will spend big on more quality acquisitions.
Written by David Mwandawiro
Follow David on Twitter @ThatguyDavy
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