By Kevin Mooney
The ceremonies are over, the lockers are cleaned out and the pitch at Emirates Stadium is quiet. But before we close the book on Arsenal's 125th anniversary season we took a moment to catch up with some fans on this side of the Atlantic to see what they thought of the season that was.
Looking back on a recently closed season can stir up plenty of mixed emotions. Every season has its ups and downs, but for Arsenal the swings of the 2011/12 season felt more extreme than usual. From a disappointing season-opening draw at St James' Park to walking off the pitch at The Hawthorns with an automatic berth in the Champions League, Arsenal supporters rode the rollercoaster through the season's peaks and valleys.
Without a doubt, one of the high points of 2012 was Arsenal's come-from-behind victory over Tottenham at the Emirates in February. Many shared this opinion.
Zara Bashir: Blogger and podcaster at LPG podcast
For most English Arsenal fans, hosting the North London Derby at the Emirates is always one of the biggest games of the season if not the biggest. The tradition and sense of local rivalry is often lost on fans from abroad. This time, however, it came at a pivotal point in the season as the Arsenal was 10 points behind its closest neighbours. A win would not only close the gap between the two clubs but it would also make a statement to the many who had doubted this Arsenal team.
The game started off with a nervy Arsenal side conceding two goals but then staging an inspiring five-goal comeback that will be remembered for years to come. Not only were we treated to a delicious goal from the captain himself, but we also saw a rare stunner from Rosicky and classy finishes from Walcott and Sagna.
The team showed commitment and grit that day and it certainly delighted the fans both at the Emirates and at pubs and homes all over the world. This important victory breathed some much needed life into a campaign which the media had then been touting as the worst ever under Arsène Wenger's reign. It also, much to the amusement of many Gooners, marked the beginning of the end for the Lillywhites.
Another fan agrees that the best day for Arsenal came at the Emirates, but he cites a different opponent and a different competition.
Charles Belle: Blogger at Goons of Anarchy and Secretary of Arsenal America
The second leg match against AC Milan. Sometimes to make a big jump forward, you have to take a step back. Besides, when has a loss ever felt like a win? Yes, Arsenal were eliminated, but players, fans and the entire football world appreciated that this squad had taken a huge mental step forward that can only be built upon for next season. They became a team.
But with every highlight, there must be a lowlight. And to many Arsenal supporters, the obvious choice was the visit to Old Trafford in August.
Brett Chase: Vice President of the New York City Arsenal Supporters
I was receiving messages of actual pity from friends who support Man United. Let me tell you, that is far, far worse than the most heated banter. Arsenal were pitiful that day, which rendered the rest of us pitiable.
Despite the gravity of that loss, some felt there other points in the season hurt even more. Stateside Gooner Chris Toronyi is one of them. To him the true low point came right after Arsenal fought their way into the top four.
Chris Toronyi: Stateside Gooner and host of the Arsenal America Podcast
For me the low point wasn't the result at Manchester United which in retrospect was a complete footballing fluke. It was the game at Fulham. It was in our grasp, and delivered a blow that made me turn off the TV, remove myself from Twitter and think "it's Newcastle all over again." It still haunts me.
Others agreed with the sentiment, but had a different loss in mind.
Mark Barbeau: San Francisco Branch Manager, Arsenal America
While the early season debacle at Old Trafford is an obvious choice, for me it was the first leg of our Champions League battle with AC Milan. We were a better, faster team, that got our tactics all wrong and played into their hands.
But there was one thing that each of those low points have in common: they took place before February 26, 2012: the home win against Spurs. And Chase points to the exact moment that day when the season turned for the better.
Sagna fought to score a brilliant header, and that moment saw an Arsenal response that swept Tottenham away in a red and white tidal wave. Five unanswered goals, and Arsenal won seven of the next eight matches.
Toronyi notes that the tide turned for two teams that day. For Arsenal to eventually finish in third place, we had to unseat a team that sat 10 points ahead of us.
The game was a mental gut check, a showcase of who we were and who we were about to become in a matter of 40 minutes. It was a crushing blow. We destroyed their hope and restored the passion and faith back into the club.
The win meant that despite the early-season struggles, despite the pain inflicted by Milan and Sunderland in the weeks before, Arsenal are always capable of something truly special.
Joel McNamara: Co-host of the Arsenal Review USA Podcast
The game against Spurs yo-yoed our emotions from the lowest low to the most ecstatic of highs. The game reminded you that no matter how defensively and mentally fragile Arsenal may be, we can still reach scintillating heights that other teams - most enjoyably Spurs - can't touch.
The views expressed above do not necessarily reflect those of Arsenal Football Club or Arsenal Broadband Ltd.Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 22 May 2012