This year has been amazing, if i could say. In May, we win the consecutive FA Cup back to back and breaking English Football Association records, as the most successful club in UK to win FA Cup since 1871. We won it against clubs in the best league in the world with total 756 clubs in England. Many young players, has been emerging through reserves and youth to amaze everyone that Arsenal academy really contribute for English Premier League.
Now, the new year is waiting and Arsenal have to prepare for next year, Newcastle’s Steve Mclaren will become the test after New Year’s Eve. Arsenal tipped as English Premier League title champions this year, but can Arsenal cope with it? This is not Arsenal first time for being tipped as EPL champions, the close time when Arsenal topped EPL in 2013/2014 campaign as winter champions but finished 4th when campaign ends. Arsenal have to throw away their cracking mentality and playing fearless against any big teams to realise their chances this year.
Before we see what Arsenal resolution for next year, lets see what Arsenal has been through in 2015, what is their main problem and what Arsenal achieved.
Arsenal – the 2015 year
We bought the devil from Villareal in January 2015, Gabriel Paulista after the emptiness seat who left by Thomas Vermaelen. Gabriel strong performances in his aggressive and control ball really imitate how Koscielny playing. But Per-Koscielny partnership still being Arsene favorites and Gabriel still adapting into Premier League plays. We started new year with loss against Southampton, but retake the moral by winning against Hull City, repeated FA Cup match in 2014.
We have new emerging Francis Coquelin who became berserk against Manchester City. His theme of playing is unique as defensive midfielder, he didn’t control the ball like Arteta or strong discipline like Flamini but he is very aggresive, marking tightly, he tackle like no one else ever doing in Arsenal past 10 years. He knew Arsenal lack of stability in midfield and he gives Arsenal new choice as DM. He became one of the best defensive midfield in Europe after high tackle and cutting possessions statistics. He became Arsenal’s fans new favourites, and i loved how Arsene always trust his luck for believing in Coq despite all Arsenal fans wants to buy someone.
Another we have our Bellerin who established himself, i love how fast he runs back and forth tireless, when we need him to cross he is there, when we don’t have anyone in back four, he came. What a perfect player as wing back, a modern wing back, thanks to Steve Bould who build his fundamental about how to defends. Ospina also coming in after Sczeczny made mistake and conceding a lot of goals. We lost consistency in opening season and Ospina gives us stability for the rest of season.
We won the second FA Cup thanks to our biggest buy Alexis Sanchez from Barcelona who instantly playing beautiful like when he still in Udinese. He really drives Arsenal through a new class again, he really became one of the best for us and playing consistent until the season finished. First we have Mesut Ozil quality who brings hope for Arsenal as Wilshere said he didn’t believe Ozil signed for Arsenal first. And the next, Alexis Sanchez, his spirits and his non-stop training really motivated Arsenal to became stronger. You knew you will became champions when everyone all around you are act like champions. That’s what Arsenal lack of, that’s the thing what missed since 2005, we lost Henry, Viera, Cesc, RvP when we didn’t have any as example.
New season 2015/2016 began and we bring Petr Cech after released by Chelsea. It was a big mistake, as you see right now (We love you Roman) when John Terry told that Petr Cech worth 10 points for us. He is right, this is the first time after his being truthful about Bridge’s scandal and right now he is telling us the truth again. Petr Cech gives us stability as world class goalkeeper which Arsenal really lack of since Wojciech given us hope a little bit. Petr is really in different class and what bring us to here, topped the table (since i wrote this post).
But the injuries haunted us again, usually it would haunted in middle January or in February as busy schedule and deciding moments for Arsenal to achieve something. We lost Rosicky, Cazorla, Welbeck, Wilshere, Coquelin, Walcott, The Ox, Sanchez and Bellerin in December. Hit us heavily ho and brought us down a little bit, but Giroud and Ozil playing really important role for Arsenal. Campbell being first choose after Walcott and the Ox gone in Capital One Cup, and he really great back up player.
But despite Arsenal injuries, Arsenal managed to win against Manchester United, Bayern Munich, Manchester City and all really giving us confidence. But in December the loss of Alexis Sanchez, Coquelin and Cazorla are really being felt in long term for Arsenal right now. In Manchester City, we won, but the next match why we lose in Southampton? we lose because we lose in the physical situation and Arsenal lack of control of the ball. And the result.. 4-0, Arsenal lose at the moment.
And last night, at last we have won our last home match for this year against Bournemouth with Gabriel Paulista and Mesut Ozil goals respectively.We playing really slow after 4 fresh players coming in, Kieran Gibbs for Monreal, Gabriel for Kos, Ox for Campbell and the key is Chambers in for Flamini. Chambers rarely get the ball because he is still adapted in the games as this is the first time he is in starting line up. Walcott and Giroud missing a lot of chances, but thanks for Gabriel goal Arsenal came back playing comfortably.
We won it, thanks all because Mesut Ozil really drives Arsenal to win this time, he package Arsenal both goals with his 16th assists in EPL, involved in 21 goals for Arsenal this season. Mesut Ozil has been proven and told us that class is permanent, his flawless passing time, his seer vision , dictating and communicate for Arsenal attack formation which built all around him. Arsene always told us that Mesut are the players who always playing the perfect note. And last night he involved for almost Arsenal key passing and goals.
After we got Cazorla and Wilshere not in the squad, we hoping someone who comfortably control the ball. Ozil usually if Cazorla are in midfield, his role is playing deadly finishing passes and drive in to crossing. And last night he had a different role, his playing back and forth to keeping the ball, control it, finish it. He really became Arsenal ace after almost 3 years adapting Arsenal plays and Arsenal player’s method playing. Arsenal really have a reborn Bergkamp in their squad, Mesut fitted in that role, he truly amazing.
But slowly start for Arsenal really bad for next match, Southampton match really affect Arsenal as Arsenal weakest link are against physical tactics and pressure. Arsenal 4 players who replacing a lot of players which being playing a lot is good refresh for the squad. And i hope this will bring Arsenal fresh tactics for the next match. But Debuchy not coming in, dissapointed me, he really deserved playing in Bournemouth. He is not injured, he wants to prove, and Arsene knew he could be the next Monreal if we could give him a chance too.
We knew we will lost it when a lot of mistake happens, Per Mertesacker became the weakest link last two match. We missed the control, we lose, we missed the concentration, we lose, that’s Arsenal weakest link. We lost Alexis Sanchez , Coquelin and Cazorla as i believe this three are one of the main fundamental for Arsenal. So, we really want all of them coming back soon to fights what we lacks of.
Arsenal : the new age Resolution
We truly are the new Arsenal, 3 world class player really give boost for Arsenal confidence and mentality as whole team. Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez changing Arsenal attacking development and defense stability. But the nostalgic problem emerging in Southampton, and we really didn’t want it came when we will meet Barcelona in February and the rest of fixtures.
This January is the chance for Arsenal to buy new players in midfield as Rosicky, Flamini, Arteta and Cazorla are not in their prime age. If i could choose players for the replacement, i would bring Lars Bender, William Carvalho and Mohamed Elneny. Bender are good in controlling the ball like Arteta, William Carvalho is very good as Coquelin i believe and Elneny would given us choice if we want him play as midfielder or on the wing. Or Arsene could bring Isco or another big name for giving boost in middle race for champions.
We could see Coquelin and Bellerin developed as first team player and sidelined senior player such as Debuchy and Arteta. We had Bielik, Kamara, Gedion and Crowley as the next midfielder for Arsenal in future. Iwobi, Campbell , Jeff Rene-Adelaide and Chuba Akpom would answer challenge upfront which dominating by Walcott, Sanchez and Giroud. And waiting Walcott developed as Thierry Henry replacement really could happen next year. Who knew?
As Arsenal fans, we really waiting the chance to see us winning the premier league after 2003 as the last EPL title. We are waiting for a long time and this year could be the year and must be this year for win it. Arsenal are forward in new future path as champions, we wanted this season as an answer for all the mocking Arsenal had. We had to win it, we must win it. And win pass through quarter final in UCL to established Arsenal as one of fearsome club in Europe. Arsenal vision are brings Arsenal to that highest level in Europe and bring answer for every single rivals out there, that this is the fearless new Arsenal. The New Age of Arsenal.
Anzala Ryanto is author of this post and right now focused as freelance sports journo on Indonesia, USA and UK. @anzalariveris