It wasn’t a nice feeling at all to finally know that Arsenal won’t be in the Champions League next season but looking back at the whole season did we really deserve it?
It will be the first time in my life that Arsenal won’t be in it and the Europa League will be a strange and new experience for me. I do think though that we shouldn’t take it too seriously and I wouldn’t mind if we went out straight away in the group and focused on the league.
The last two winners of the Premier League (Leicester and Chelsea) haven’t had any European football to worry about and I don’t think this is a coincidence. Liverpool who finished above us by 1 point in 4th also didn’t have any European football and I think this is a massive reason why they were ahead of us.
I don’t think they would have had any chance had they been involved in more games which leads to injuries and fatigue but Arsenal also have to have a hard look at themselves this season.
We have underperformed in too many games overall against teams we should be beating (Watford, West Brom and Palace to name a few) and the whole Wenger and the fans situation really hasn’t helped which Wenger himself has admitted. The players must have been affected by it and the contract issue with Özil and Sanchez was and still is an added worry. Things really do need to get sorted out at Arsenal but when will it happen?
So the final game of the season was against Everton who had nothing to play for in 7th place so they are joining us next season in the Europa League. A lot of fans were obviously looking out for the other scores hoping Liverpool would slip up but it wasn’t to be.
Wenger stuck to the same formation once again that has worked very well and captain Koscielny was back in the team again along with Ramsey.
You could tell the Arsenal players were really up for it straight away as we started very well and got an early lead through Bellerin. It came after a good move and then Welbeck amazingly mis-kicked an open goal from a few yards out but it fell to Bellerin who slotted it in.
It was the start we needed and we completely dominated the first 15 minutes until Koscielny got sent off. From where I was sitting it looked a bit harsh and maybe only a yellow but the referee showed him a red straight away and after seeing replays he was probably right. After appealing the decision it now means he can’t play in the FA Cup Final and will also miss the first two games of next season in his 3 match ban. A massive blow for us but how big of a miss will he be?
So after the decision the game completely changed into Everton’s favour as we went to four at the back. Barkley also came on for Everton as they looked to attack more and pounce on our lack of a player. But surprisingly we stayed strong at the back and were the team to get the next goal through who else but Alexis Sanchez.
It was a strange goal as Sanchez’s shot luckily fell to Welbeck who pulled it back for Sanchez to pass into the net. I think the Everton players stopped playing as they thought Welbeck was offside but it was a goal and we now had a 2 goal led to hold onto with 10 men.
Everton then could have scored a few times through Barkley and Lukaku who was a constant menace throughout with his strength and power. Surely he has to leave for a Champions League team this summer?
As half time approached news spread that Liverpool had taken the lead so our game was now pointless but we had to keep going in case a miracle happened. Unfortunately though for us Liverpool doubled their lead early on in the second half and so surely it meant our top four hopes were over.
Things weren’t good in our game as well as firstly Gabriel, who was playing really well, got badly injured and eventually stretchered off, Williams should have got a second yellow and then they got a penalty when Holding unfortunately handballed it in the box. Lukaku obviously scored his 25th goal of the season from the spot and to make matters worse Liverpool got a third goal!
The Arsenal fans then started chanting but not at Wenger this time but owner Stan Kroenke. A lot of fans think he is the main problem at Arsenal and even if we do get a new manager nothing will change if he’s still there. Will Usmanov take over from him?
The fans were also angry with Valencia who had been exaggerating every tackle all game including Koscileny’s red card and he was greeted with a lot of boos when he came off. Substitute Iwobi should have killed the game off twice for us but missed as Everton could have easily got an equaliser.
Fortunately for us though Ramsey added our third to win us the game after he brilliantly bended the ball into the top right corner but it didn’t mean anything as Liverpool had done their job and we finished in 5th. It is the first time since the 1995/96 season and the first time in Wenger’s reign. Surely he can’t end like this?
Next up for us is the FA Cup final against champions Chelsea today and what a game it should be. It will be very tough but anything can happen in the FA Cup and we have been successful at Wembley recently so who knows.
What will happen in the final? Will it be Wenger’s last game either way? Can we end this long enduring season on a high with a trophy?