This season, when it finishes – whether that be with a Europa League trophy or not – will be remembered as a turning point.
It was the season when the bulk of Arsenal fans tipped over into the Wenger out camp.
They’d held out valiantly, but Arsenal’s away form combined with embarrassing results piled on top of inept displays, will mark this season as the one that confirmed Arsene Wenger can no longer win the Premier League with Arsenal, for anyone who still believed.
As I was looking for images for another post, I came across the photo below and it struck me in a way that not much Arsenal-related has done in a while.
Centreframe is Danny Welbeck, the very embodiment of Arsenal the team in a single player.
Celebrating a goal, you have no way of knowing if it was a worldie or a deflected effort off his arse via three oppo players.
Just like Arsenal when you see the final result of any game. It tells you nothing. How did they concede those goals? Regular defending or spectacularly hilarious error? You just don’t know. But you know he gave everything to make that chance happen, in his own special way.
Then in the corner you have two players who are also loved by the fans despite not being close to World Class.
Nacho Monreal has been a cult hero in the making for a few seasons, but his goal exploits in this campaign marked him out as one of only a few from the squad who can hold their head high.
He looks shocked that Danny has scored, a feeling we all know well. His expression is very much ‘can you believe what he just did?!’ – a common feeling this season for so many reasons.
Embracing him is Mohamed Elneny, a player whose status as fans’ favourite grows with every game.
A quiet, unassuming player who always delivers a competent display on the pitch, he is starting to pepper his matches with some magical moments. But it is his infectious attitude and willingness to troll people like Alexis Sanchez that has won him the hearts of Arsenal fans. He is a player who knows he’s lucky to be at Arsenal and he’s making sure he loves every minute of it.
They are two unlikely heroes for any team. A Spaniard nearing the end of his career and an Egyptian who seemingly arrived out of nowhere. Both have carved themselves into the hearts of Arsenal fans by virtue of just being able to do what they are supposed to do when on a football pitch.
There will be other images that reflect the apathy that has taken over the Arsenal fanbase this season. Others still will evoke memories of the deepest humiliations and sporadic highs.
But this image, for me, tells the story of Arsenal football club as it currently stands, or, at the very least, what’s still good about it.