I do still maintain the belief that Arsenal have done very well this season. To be without our chief centre back Thomas Vermaelen for all but 3 games of the season has been a massive blow and I think he would have made a massive difference this season, especially today, the Tottenham games, the Newcastle games and the cup final.
I think we've done a lot better than Chelsea would have done had they been without Terry. Lets face it, they fell apart when he was out for a game or two back in November. And the same goes for Man Utd and Vidic.
I think it's certain that we would have more points had Vermaelen not been injured for so long. It's probably the hardest position to cope with the loss of your best player in that position too. Johan Djourou has been very impressive this season and, despite making a few mistakes, Koscielny has been quite impressive too, to say it's his first season in the Premier League and he's had some outstanding games such as the Barcelona home game. But he has not been quite good enough to make the loss of Vermaelen minimal. He's a good player but not as good as Vermaelen and the truth is we've missed him massively this season. There's no shame in that, I doubt anyone on Match of the Day or Sky Sports News or in the papers or press will endeavour to point this out though, they'll be too busy laying into Arsenal to do that.
I sat in the upper tier at the Reebok Stadium today in the Arsenal section and saw my team looking comfortable at the back. Djourou and Koscielny played well, Sagna was as solid as ever, Szczesny gave another performance worthy of a MOTM award and Clichy was solid. The midfield did their bit in that department too. Yet this all seemed to evaporate when Bolton got a corner, as it often has in the past with Arsenal. It's like there is a magic spell cast over the ball when it comes into contact with that little quadrant of grass in the corner of the pitch and it becomes a magnet to the goal. I said to my Dad as we walked out of the ground that I can't understand how this happens. Djourou and Koscielny got the better of Davies time and time again, looked comfortable and dealt with everything thrown at them in the air well. Yet when they got corners, two times out of three or four I think, our aerial prowess seemed to disappear and our weakness on set pieces cost us again. They should work on this a lot more than they must be doing at the moment. I'd like to think they will work on it time and time again on the training ground and that they will get it sorted for next season. Fingers crossed anyway!
So, in conclusion another trophy- less season is in little doubt now. But lets put things into perspective, things could be a lot worse. We're not in danger of relegation, it's not even like we're scrapping for fourth. Not yet anyway! It looks like Chelsea are going to beat us to second which is a crime as we've been above them for most of the season and we're a better team than them and it's looked for a while like we would restore out 'Chiefs of London' status after years of finishing below Chelsea. But like I said, it could be a lot worse.