By Zara Bashir
The FA Cup win was undoubtedly the best Arsenal moment in years but there were certainly a few other moments that filled me with hope or pure joy this past season.
Although beating Liverpool in the FA Cup was an important result, the first time the two sides met in the league was an equally contested affair and one of my favourite matches from the season.
The North London derby is the most anticipated game in the Arsenal calendar and this past season, we didn’t have to wait too long before one came along. Tottenham fans were especially looking forward to the affair on September 1 as they had all these shiny new “top” players after reinvesting from the Bale sale.
Arsenal, on the other hand, had only signed a relatively unknown French striker at that point and had just come off an opening day defeat at the hands of Aston Villa. Needless to say, Spurs were the favourites going into the match.
Despite this, Giroud scored a real poacher's goal from a low cross delivered by Walcott in the 23rd minute, and Arsenal were able to hold on and come out with a 1-0 win. We went on to beat Spurs another two times within the season – and did not allow them to score even a single goal.
North London is red indeed.
I still can’t believe we signed Mesut Ozil. Mesut. Ozil. Really? It just came out of absolutely nowhere and people were understandably hesitant to believe the rumour mills when talk of the possible signing first made the rounds. Why on Earth would Real Madrid want to sell one of the best young midfielders in Europe right before he enters his prime? How is Arsenal going to afford him? Will the club be willing to spend the big bucks on him? Do we need another midfielder? This just can’t be real life.
But it did happen, fashionably on deadline day. Not many had thought Arsène Wenger would ever spend a record-breaking £40 million on one player, but like he proved his doubters wrong, as he often does.
Price tags like that often come with their own set of high expectations from the media and supporters of the club and although some have claimed that he did not have a stellar first season, I believe much of the criticism is harsh on a player who is adjusting to rigour and challenges of English football. I personally think the best is yet to come for Ozil in red and white. Arsenal fans will witness some real magic in the near future from a player who has been often compared to football greats like Zidane and Figo.
Another magical moment we were treated to this past season was that goal from the Norwich game. You know which one I'm talking about.
As much as it pains me to say this but Liverpool were a side to be reckoned with in 2013-14. Having said that, Arsenal managed to beat them two out of the three times they met Rodgers’ side over the season. Although beating Liverpool in the FA Cup was an important result, the first time the two sides met in the league was an equally contested affair and one of my favourite matches from the season. There was uncertainty as to how the Arsenal defence would cope with the striking duo of Sturridge and Suarez. Thankfully, discipline and endurance led the Gunners to smother any significant threat they posed and they took the chances that came to them with Cazorla and Ramsey each scoring to put Arsenal five points clear at the top of the league.
Another magical moment we were treated to this past season was that goal from the Norwich game. You know which one I’m talking about. You’ve probably replayed it numerous times wondering how in the world something like that could have happened on a football pitch during an actual match. It was such a quick and smooth goal that its beauty could be lost at first view. The flicks between Giroud, Cazorla and Wilshere that transpired before the goal came right out of a PlayStation game. It was a goal not many teams are capable of replicating.
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