Diary Of An Arsenal Fan: Finally, This Is Our Season!

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This is a must-read for fans of the English football club Arsenal and also haters who think they have no chance at winning this season’s trophies.

Am certain some rival fans will laugh out loud and describe this piece as perhaps a tall dream from a silly fan.Yes. You can call me that, but quite frankly, I feel its just that time to cheer about something as an Arsenal fan of over 14 years!

Its no longer news that Arsenal Football Club of England popularly called ‘Gunners’ have not won a single silverware(some rival fans even say not even a plastic cup) in the last 8 years, the last being our FA Cup triumph in 2005!

What however makes it worse is the way fans of close rivals, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City and other elite clubs in Europe who have won at least a trophy within that period of Arsenal’s drought rub it in on our face each time an opportunity presents itself.

The triumph of relegated Wigan Athletic FC and Swansea City FC at the FA Cup and Capital One Cup last season respectively was embarrassing to say the least especially with the manner Arsenal crashed out at both competitions to lower division sides, Bradford City and Blackburn Rovers!

Saturday, August 18, 2013, when the current season kicked off, unfortunately a shocking home defeat by Aston Villa was enough for some of our “enemies” to yet again predict another season of DOOM!

Indeed, a lot of Arsenal fans, like me, felt the same way after that very game. Worst still was the defiant nature the coach, Arsene Wenger had put up against strengthening the squad and bringing in new players to add flair to the team.

Perhaps, for once, our rivals fans helped with their tantrums thrown at Wenger and the team that has seen them recover from that opening defeat to occupy fourth spot(We won’t surely finish fourth) on the league table after just 3 games. Hey, we’re above Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspurs on that table!

But the last one week has perhaps left me with a strong optimism that it might, yes, it just might be our year to bring back the memories of our best years(2001-2005)!

But why in the world will I be so optimistic after only 3 games? First, the week started with a hard fought 1-0 win over North London rivals, Tottenham Hotspurs at the Emirates on Sunday against all odds.

Football pundits had predicted a white wash of Arsenal considering the fact that Tottenham Hotspurs had spent a whooping £107million bringing in eight quality players in exchange for Gareth Bale, while Arsenal on the contrary brought in two players on FREE transfer and sold/loan out 12 players(95 percent bench warmers though) within May and August 2013!

“Only a foolish manager will do that”my friend and colleague, Akinwunmi had raged after the shocking loss to Aston Villa.

But Arsenal proved beyond doubt that team work, understanding and football sense wins you games than expensive players!

If Sunday’s victory was sweet, Monday’s transfer market deadline surely sprung up some events that not only shocked Arsenal fans but the footballing world! Finally Arsene Wenger put his stingy nature aside and splashed the cash landing Germany’s star midfielder, Mesut Ozil fromReal Madrid for a club record fee of £42million!

I can still hear some rivals fans say, “Will Ozil play in defence, midfield and attack at the same time”? Well, the answer is a predictable NO! But what is certain is that Ozil will swell the options of Arsenal’s attacking flair from the middle.

Little wonder, Chelsea Manager, Jose Mourinho confessed that he stopped Demba Ba from going on loan to Arsenal as Ozil’s arrival at the Emirates plus Ba will put Arsenal ahead of the pack in the English Premier League.

Manchester United Manager, David Moyes also made attempts to price Mesut Ozil away from Arsenal. The saving grace was that Ozil had his mind made up to join Arsenal and the fee was right for all parties concerned!

Tottenham Hotspurs owner, Daniel Levy was also reported to have delayed Gareth Bale’s arrival at Real Madrid to deny Arsenal the chance of landing either Benzema, Di Maria or Ozil before the deadline day!

The fact that no Arsenal first team player from last season left for another club during the transfer window is also heart warming and has thus seen the team play quality football yet again. Certainly if the team is spared further injuries(with Podolski & Oxlade Chamberlain out till Christmas), welcoming Diaby, Thomas Vermaelen and Mikel Arteta next month will be cheering news for Arsenal fans.

My Verdict:

Take it or leave it, Arsenal will win at least one trophy this season. Yes, they will. I said so. Maybe not the UEFA Champions League, but they’re surely have a go at the EPL, FA Cup and Capital One Cup trophies. Let’s go Gunners!  Cheers.

Ekene Okoro
@ekenegold

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