Moving Forward by Looking Backward
by Catherine Hauser
The emotional rollercoaster that was the 14/15 season for the Arsenal is likely still fresh in all of our minds. Thankfully ending on a high note with our record-breaking 12th FA trophy, we have been left with an optimistic outlook on our future as we go into the summer transfer window. The rose-colored clarity of optimism also provides the perfect hue to look back on some of this past season’s pivotal moments, and I’ve chosen to do so with some of my favorite quotes.
“It was an OK season, but it was bittersweet. I would have liked to have been in the Champions League final, to have won the Premier League title. I believe we have a bunch of skillful players so to not achieve more is disappointing.” – Alexis Sanchez
When I first read this interview, I went through a range of emotions. Like many others, I felt a scared sense of nervousness. We have taken this player into our hearts and made him one of our own, and he has given us nothing but goal-scoring diligence in return. Was this statement to be read as unhappiness? After the initial thought subsided, I knew then that these were the words of player dedicated to his team. Are we not all a little disappointed that we didn’t put in the proper title challenge we are capable of showing? I know I don’t need to mention the Champions League. These are the words of a player who knows what he can do; and, just as importantly, knows what his teammates are capable of doing. To me, this is one of the most important statements of the season; a rally cry attached to a promise that our next Premiere League title win will be anything but boring, boring Arsenal.
“In hindsight I think I should not have reacted at all, it’s not a way to behave on a football field. I always regret any signs of violence and I apologize, but that’s a part of games where everything is manic. And then we have quite a substantial past.” – Arsene Wenger
In an award race for quotes, this one would certainly win “Understatement of the Year”. Wenger v. Mourinho is something all of us as fans can get behind, and I am sure that the players of both teams understand the complexity that underlies a manager rivalry. The fact that Mourinho now publically considers Arsenal to be a major threat is setting up more than just a derby game. The incident this quote is referring to was bound to happen at some point, but I hope in this next season our class outshines any need for a panicked misunderstanding. Let’s let our footwork do the talking.
“I heard he was saying too many dull things. That was a bomb and it had its desired effect.” – Olivier Giroud
The response to the statement heard round the world. Did Henry’s comment about our beloved and oft criticized Frenchman really get past that “meaty” forehead? It is hard to ignore that the slump in Giroud’s phenomenal form came afterward; but in all honesty, how long was that goal-scoring really going to hold up? Even Sanchez, the Energizer Chilean, hit a slump. Bad timing mixed with coincidence can be devastating to the right person. Personally, I think Henry was wrong. Giroud, however, is the only one who can prove that
“The important thing is for us to concentrate on our game as we are already doing. I think in the English league, the most difficult match is the next one.” – David Ospina
“I think players who play this position don’t want the spotlight. They like to do their job and then they leave the bling-bling for other players.” – Francis Coquelin
At the beginning of the season, none of us would have thought we’d be mentioning the names Ospina and Coquelin as much as we are now, let alone in such a well-favored light. Ospina broke through as Coquelin emerged from nothing. With talk of buying new players for these positions over the summer, we have to wonder whether or not the money would be better spent elsewhere. I am all for strengthening the squad, and I do worry about the eventual injury Coquelin will face (no pun to his poor nose intended); but to not give these men their rightfully earned starting spots in this squad does not sit well with me. We have the summer to see how any newly acquired gold is panned out, but if Coquelin is cast aside like pyrite, this will be one highly disappointed blogger.
I would like to keep my rose-colored glasses on long enough to leave you with a quote from a player who has come under fire the entirety of his Arsenal career. If his undeniable talent and unimaginable skill still are not enough to impress you, then this should be your one reason why Mesut Ozil ranks among the world’s best: He believes in us.
“My best moment was the first game back after my injury against Stoke. The fans cheered a lot when I was brought on. That was a brilliant feeling and helped me a lot. From then on, I understood: no matter what happened, the club and the fans are always with me.” – Mesut Ozil
Written by Catherine Hauser. Contact her at @coygoonersgirl.