Top 5 Arsenal Highlights for the year 2012

 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

"he may be cast in bronze but he is still capable of producing Golden moments."
“He may be cast in bronze but he is still capable of producing Golden moments.”

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……….

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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.

Spurs looked to be on course for their first back-to-back league wins over Arsenal for 86 years as an early goal from Louis Saha and Emmanuel Adebayor’s penalty saw them into a 2-0 lead. As it stood this would have given them a surely in-surmountable 13 point league lead. However the game quickly turned and goals from Sagna and Van Persie shocked Tottenham to leave the score 2-2 at half time.
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.
Just look what it meant to TR7 - Best picture of season?
Just look what it meant to TR7 – Best picture of season?
Last day of the season
Last gasp Kozza secures 3rd Spot
Last gasp Kozza secures 3rd Spot
Winless in their last four including a shock 3-3 draw against Norwich Arsenal headed into the last day of the season knowing a win would guarantee third spot. With Chelsea into the Champions League final 3rd place could have been the last Champions League spot and a win was vital. Arsenal went to West Brom in what would be Pat Rice’s last game while Spurs hosted Fulham.
All started well when Benayoun pounced on Fulop’s error to give us the lead within 5 minutes. However what should have been a routine victory from then on was anything but. West Brom poured forward and deservedly equalised through Shane Long before Dorrans put them into a shock lead. Meanwhile Tottenham were leading Fulham and, as it stood, Arsenal would be in fourth.
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

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Jack’s Back
See you later Esteban! Jacks’ back!
After around 17 months away from the game and countless heart-breaking setbacks Jack Wilshere was finally able to return. A favourite with the fans, Jack had shown great promise and maturity in his performances, most notably against Barcelona, before injury curtailed a year of his career. His return was much anticipated by fans and on returning he was compared to a new £30m signing.  He certainly lived up to that and his performances since returning have been exceptional and just what the club needed. His return came against QPR where he put in a dynamic performance that brought the memories flooding back. His commitment to the club is un-paralleled and, although it may occasionally get the better of him, it has won the hearts of the fans. He scored his first goal since returning from injury against Montpellier with a lovely chipped finish that sent the crowd into raptures. Jack’s back, and he is here to stay.

To enjoy it in full check out a compilation of the best moments out together by the wonderful @CulannDavies


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Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham Déjà vu
Deja Vu made sweeter with Adebayor and Gallas this time!!
Deja Vu made sweeter with Adebayor and Gallas on scoreboard this time!!

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.
Happy New Year and thanks for 2012
Happy New Year and thanks for 2012

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.

Like what you read? Agree/disagree? Leave a comment below or follow me or comment on this blog on Twitter –


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  1. Pingback: Arsenal News
  2. Thank you,ur write up was educative and emmotional,I wil be looking foword to reading more from u.Arsenal 4 life.

  3. My fave still has to be Thierry returning. He’s my favourite player and the goal was right in front of me at our end of the ground, to which he ran past us all with his eyes nearly bulging out of their sockets. It was amazing stuff and I couldn’t believe it. The wife even sky plus’d the game so I could relive it when I got home. Even now as I write its making me smile again 🙂

    1. That would undoubtedly have been top had we prevailed in that match. That could have been a very special evening.

  4. Very good read! Great moments to look back on. The first 5-2 against “that lot” was my fave. I watched it in the Gunners pub and was as drunk as a skunk by 90 mins and covered in beer!! Great day.

  5. I’d have to include that crazy cup tie vs Reading too. Not the best quality footballistically speaking, but for the amazing comeback from 4-0 down. That match nearly killed me for all its twist and turns and is one that’ll live long in the memory.

    1. That result was next on the list. It is probably the match that has produced the biggest range of emotions. From pure despair and anger to jubilation all in on match.

  6. The return of the king was so special & emotional. I’m glad to have lived to see that day plus the thrashing of Spurs always cheers me up. Great post Dave and James

    1. A thrashing of Spurs is always special even if the score is slightly familiar. You are right about Henry I would be lying if I said I wasn’t getting a bit emotional.

  7. Wonderful read! I never get tired of reading anything to do with Arsenal!! Everything you wrote about will touch all gooners and there will be many teary eyes because there is so much emotion tied to OUR boys!! Hard to pick THE BEST for me but Jack coming back at last is a real biggy!! Thanks for writing so beautifully about these wonderful memories!!

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