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Arsenal are looking to end the season on a positive and they will continue to battle for that coveted third place spot in the table. Automatic qualification to next year’s Champions League is crucial in order to avoid playing in to the tournament, and extra rest is necessary for any squad searching for a title.
That being said, the current campaign has certainly been a rollercoaster and has taken a lot out of Wenger and his men, physically and mentally. Next year there will be higher expectations for the club, because they deserve to hold themselves to these standards.
Also, a lot of players have used this crazy season to put criticism to rest. One player in particular, Theo Walcott, has personified this notion. The young England winger has seen his stock grow from questionable has-been to perennial force on this team. So many were quick to write him off and doubt his capabilities, but he has burst through that playing plateau to become an important figure in Wenger’s side.
Something that is frightening fans of the Gunners is the prospect of Robin Van Persie’s future. It has been nearly impossible to dodge the topic and even RVP himself has put of talks until the summer.
While there have been speculation from various sources surrounding his plans, I without a doubt know he will resign with Arsenal. Not only is he the club captain, experiencing the best form of his career and scoring at a blistering pace, he is adored at the Emirates and his family is accustomed to life in London.
He has absolutely no reason to leave and with the terrific turnaround during the second half, the Dutchman shouldn’t hesitate to put pen to paper. The idea of bringing in a sufficient striker to partner RVP will also go a long way in his decision making.
There were times this year where this team looked like a Championship squad, and getting to this point seemed downright laughable. Yet they weathered the storm, remained positive, trusted their manager and came back to life.
Wenger kept his usual cool and his players gradually defied odds that were stacked against them. The near-comeback against Milan a few weeks ago showed how much fight the team still has and perhaps if they were consistent all year, stayed injury-free and brought in players sooner, things would be even better.
After hitting a literal rock bottom at first, I feel this squad can achieve plenty in the 2012/2013 season. If there is one thing this club doesn’t lack, it is character, and I am anxious to see how this squad tackles future challenges.
But let’s finish up the remaining schedule, right?