Today I welcome back a good friend to ‘1nildown2oneup’ James Wareing for a blog that truly needs no explanation. James has selected and written about his personal top 5 highs as a Gooner in 2012. I have added the videos, photos and a few gags, Now it is over to you guys to agree, disagree and add the comments. Please follow James and his Saturday twitter Arsenal quiz at @JamesArsenal1
2012 was a typically tumultuous one for Arsenal. Perhaps un-discernible from previous seasons the same patterns emerged leaving fans frustrated with an apparent lack of ambition. Despite winning the infamous ‘Arsène Wenger trophy’ for a top four finish Arsenal failed to add to their trophy cabinet leaving some fans calling for the manager’s head. Yet again big names were sold on for profits and contract disputes still remain. But, in spite of this doom and gloom, there have been some memories to savour and here are the best of them.
The Return of the King
Having scored 226 goals in 8 illustrious years at Arsenal gaining himself immortality, legendary status and even his own statute Thierry returned to Arsenal. Having left 5 years previously for the fame and glory of Barcelona and then the riches of the MLS Henry was allowed to train with Arsenal to maintain his fitness in the MLS off season. Arsène must have seen the magic that saw him win 5 trophies with Arsenal and a two month loan was agreed. This, of course, was met with much excitement from Arsenal fans, and indeed all football fans, and his 2nd debut was to be in the FA Cup third round clash with Leeds.
Henry was introduced with around 20 minutes remaining and with the game still goalless the prospect of a replay at Elland Road was looming. But with 13 minutes remaining, and with only his fifth touch, Henry collected Song’s pass before rolling back the years with a beautifully composed finish. The Emirates erupted and I would be lying if I said I did not have a tear in my eye. The King had returned.
Enjoy the moment again……….
Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham
Arsenal went into the match with Tottenham holding an un-precedented 10 point lead over their North London Rivals. Spurs were certainly ion top and their fans were revelling in their surprising success prompting their advice to us to ‘Mind the gap’. Having endured a torrid January Arsenal were reaching a defining point in their season and in the race for the top four. The stakes were high and Arsenal were out to avenge their 2-1 defeat earlier in the season but all did not start well.
What followed in the second half will be a memory that will be cherished by all Arsenal fans and a result that would propel Arsenal towards 3rd place. A goal from Rosicky and two from Walcott left Spurs reeling and ultimately signaled their capitulation in form. Now the jokes were on them.
They fought back though and Andre Santos’ strike brought the scores level at 2-2. Then ensued another calamity from Fulop who failed to clear Van Persie’s corner allowing Koscielny to poke the ball in giving Arsenal the lead. In typical Arsenal fashion the closing minutes were frenetic and worrying as Gibbs made what may have been a vital goal saving tackle. Even Wenger could not bear the tension and he provided one of the most enduring images of the season as he buried himself in Pat Rice’s lap, unable to watch any longer. It was a fitting end to Pat Rice’s illustrious career at the club and once again Champions League football was secured albeit in dramatic style.
Enjoy our final day victory to secure 3rd spot and ultimately Champions League certainty
To enjoy it in full check out a compilation of the best moments out together by the wonderful @CulannDavies
Winless in three games Arsenal faced a key visit from Spurs to the Emirates. The famed ‘Bould effect’ seemed to have faded and defensive solidity seemed to be a thing of the past. Despite only losing once at the hands of Tottenham at home in 19 years they knew this would be tough. Things appeared to be getting worse when ‘you know who’ poked Tottenham into the league after Mertesacker’s lapse of judgement. However in the 18th minute Adebayor flew into a high tackle on Cazorla. His madness prompted elation from the Arsenal fans as he was sent off.
From here the game changed and Arsenal were in the ascendancy. A thumping header from Mertesacker, his first goal for Arsenal, and goals from Podolski and Giroud turned the match around for Arsenal giving them a 3-1 lead. Arsenal proceeded to dominate the match and despite a consolation effort from Bale prevailed to win 5-2. Again the jokes were on Tottenham.
So there you have it. Thanks to James for this excellent summary of the highlights of 2012. Of course he wrote this before yesterday’s 10 goal thriller v Newcastle but perhaps that is more of a pointer to what is to come in 2013. Let’s hope so.
Happy New year to all my readers and thanks again to James for ending what has been a superb first year for this fledgling site. See you next year! Dave.
Until next time thanks for reading.
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