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The 07/08 season.

Painful memories just shown on SSPL, the season we could have and should have won the PL.

The obvious big talking point of the season, the awful tackle on Eduardo by Martin Taylor, was the catalyst to the demise of our chances. It was the first of 4 straight draws followed by defeat to Chelsea that saw us lose the lead at the top of the table.

It was a season where Manuel Almunia become our first choice, starting a decade of us never really settling on a 'keeper.
Lass Diarra had the shortest Arsenal career since Clive Allen. Signed from Chelsea on deadline day, sold to Portsmouth in the January window.
Bacary Sagna started his Arsenal career that summer, quickly establishing himself as a key man in the squad.
It was also an outstanding season for Emmanual Adebayor. 24 goals in 32 league starts, and 30 goals overall as he stood out from the shadow of Thierry Henry.

The season started awfully, David Healy benefitting from a Jens Lehmann error to score within the first minute of the season. Luckily a late RvP penalty and an injury time goal from Hleb gave us the win.
Lehmann wasn't bailed out next time out, though, after another Lehmann error gave Blackburn a point.
7 wins in a row, including beating Spurs 3-1 at WHL, was followed by good draws at Anfield and home to United. 3 wins and a draw after that meant we started the season with 11 wins and 4 draws, 37 points from 45.
An away defeat to Middlesbrough could have derailed our season. With home games against Chelsea and Spurs next up, it looked like it could be a real test of our credentials. Gallas, though, got the only goal of the game against his old club, and a first touch of the game winner by Bendtner against Spurs meant we were top at Christmas.
A Boxing Day draw with Portsmouth knocked us off top spot, but a double from Eduardo helped us thrash Everton 4-1 despite Bendtner seeing red. A certain Mr Arteta followed Bendtner to an early bath.
A draw with Birmingham (no, not that one) preceded a winning run of 4 games that established our position at the top.

We then went to Birmingham for the reverse fixure. The partnership between Adebayor and Eduardo was in full flow - even though the former was providing far more goals. Gallas was proving to be a key player and leader, partnering Senderos more often than Arsenal fans perhaps hoped. The midfield trio of Fabregas, Flamini and Hleb plus whoever was fit to join them, was looking fluid. Plus youngsters like Bendtner and Walcott were having key inputs.

With just 2 minutes gone, Eduardo recieved the ball 20 yards outside the Birmingham penalty area. For some reason, Martin Taylor decided he needed to launch himself into a high, studs first, attack. The result was a horrific injury to Eduardo and a red card for a suprisingly bemused Taylor. It wasn't the first time the "the way to beat Arsenal is to kick them off the pitch" philosophy ended with serious injury, and it wasn't the last.
With the Arsenal players clearly distressed at what they saw, they never found their form, and Birmingham took the lead midway through the first half. However, the half time break allowed them to clear their heads and Theo Walcott looked to have won the points with a quickfire double after half time.
With tensions running high, the nerves hit Arsenal and the ref as the game went into injury time. An error gifted Stuart Parnaby the ball in our box, and with very, very minimal contact he threw himself to the ground. Mike Dean decided to give a penalty and Gallas threw his infamous strop. McFadden scored the penalty starting a run of 4 draws against very beatable oppoistion.
Late goals against Villa and Middlesbrough saved us from defeat, sandwiching a goalless draw with Wigan. Arsenal were knocked firmly out of their stride, with the 4th draw allowing United to surpass us at the top.

A title 6 pointer was next up, and despite a Sagna opener, Drogba once again proved too much for our defence. Two goals from the Ivorian gave Chelsea a vital win.
In the next game, we found ourselves 2-0 down away to Bolton. It looked as if the dream was dead. Gallas, van Persie and a 91st minute own goal suddenly reignited our hope. A run of 5 games without victory was over in dramatic fashion.
A draw with Liverpool was followed by a trip to Old Trafford. A win would put us back in the title race, but defeat and it was over. After a goalless first half, Adebayor found the net to put us 1 up. A penalty and a Hargreaves goal, though, put us in our place.
Despite ending the season with 4 wins, we were doomed to finish 3rd, 4 points behind champions United.

There was further heartache in the Champions League against Liverpool. After a 1-1 draw at the Emirates - in a game where Hleb was dragged down when clean through on goal but somehow no red and no penalty were given - Arsenal took the lead in the return leg at Anfield through Diaby. Liverpool hit back to lead 2-1 on the night and 3-2 on aggregate. Then, with 5 minutes to go. Walcott went on an amazing run from one end to the other to set up Adebayor... 3-3 on aggregate, Arsenal having the away goal advantage. But just a minute later an outrageus decision to award Liverpool a penalty (especially in comparison to the Hleb incident in the first leg) when Babel threw himself over gave Gerrard the chance to put Liverpool back in the lead. Babel himself scored a 4th as Arsenal chased another, and Arsenal were out.

The FA Cup and League Cup runs were ended in rather embarrassing fashion - a 4-0 defeat to United and a 5-1 second leg hammering by Spurs.

12 years later and it is a season that was probably our last real challenge for the PL title. One early February afternoon in Birmingham ended our hopes and nearly ended the career of a player.

Bitter? Very.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

But the point is we all have shiiit to deal with, arsenal's failure to deal with said shiiit proves they were never going to be worthy champions.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

We won the league and CL double (unbeaten in the CL)

We were rightly the best team in Europe that season.

posted 1 week, 6 days ago

comment by Wahl Icht - (U22332)
posted 1 minute ago
If anything, you could argue that if Mourinho was in charge we wouldn't have lost to United in Grant's first game and we would have won the league just changing that one result. if It had been a draw, United finish on 85 points and Chelsea on 86. If Chelsea win that game, United finish on 84 points, Chelsea on 88.
Hard to argue that when Chelsea weren't in good form with Mourinho and you had lost your last away game to Villa 2-0.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Chelsea were in 8th place and struggling in their group in the CL when Maureen got sacked. That was what turned their season around.

Also I don’t see why so many people are really arguing that Arsenal were in a position where people can look back and say we should have won it. We were 5 points clear of United with a game in hand around January time. Yes, the United team was fantastic, arguably the best in PL history, but it doesn’t change the fact that from an Arsenal point of view, that even though we didn’t have the best squad and had overachieved for the majority of the season, we were still in a position where we should have gone on to win it.

We had a very young team in 07/08 that was visibly shaken by what happened to Eduardo. And in the same game Mike Dean completely shafted us which compounded the misery, and it was just too difficult to bounce back. In 09/10 when Ramsey got injured, the same players who saw it happen to Eduardo used it as motivation to win the league. Unfortunately that team was riddled with injuries and nowhere near good enough to win the title (we STILL had Almunia in goal). If only the players in 07/08 had the mentality of the 09/10 team we probably would have went on to win it.

Wenger’s teams from 06-11 especially will always be remembered as massive bottlers but man we had some ridiculously bad luck along the way. Every fan says it about their own team but Arsenal may aswell have been cursed back then.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

People also dismiss Eduardo too easily. People who look at stats rather than performance.
It took Eduardo time to settle, but around the turn of the year he got in the team and struck up a partnership with Adebayor. In a run of 7 starts, he scored 4 and had 3 assists. Arsenal won 6 and drew 1 of those.
Adebayor scored 9 goals, scoring at least 1 in every game Eduardo played. Including the Birmingham game, Adebayor then went on an 8 game run without scoring. He had to play with different partners, with RvP having his usual injury hit season. Bendtner played some, just a couple of months after they had their on-pitch spat.

Also, seen some say 1 injury shouldn't derail a season. We actually had a lot of injuries that season. RvP, Rosicky, Diaby were obvious (Diaby another victim of a shocking foul). But we played Liverpool, for instance, with both Justin Hoyte and Armand Traore in the back 4, we went to Old Trafford with Gilberto Silva at CB, Toure at RB and Eboue at RW. I didn't talk about those things in the OP because injuries happen, but the Eduardo one was completely different.

That partnership, with Cesc on fire in midfield, could have won us that title. It might not have, it is of course all ifs and buts now. But it is undeniable that the team was on fire, the partnership was on fire and we were in a very good place at the start of the Birmingham game. After the injury the fire was very much put out.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

comment by D'Jeezus Mackaroni (U1137)
posted 18 hours, 19 minutes ago
It was good enough before the incident at Birmingham. 5 points clear of the amazing United team and 8 points clear of the amazing Chelsea team
Depends what teams had played who? It’s a reason the season is 38 games.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

If does sound quite similar to us in 98/99. Utd we’re battling on all fronts and we lost casiraghi who was just settling and poyet I believe. Our best midfielder

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Our run in wasn't that bad. We did have away games at Chelsea and United, but apart from that there were 3 pointers aplenty.
The 4 games we drew from the Birmingham one were very winnable. Wigan, Middlesbrough (both 12th when we played them) and Villa were the other 3.

Then we probably needed a point against Chelsea or United - two games we led 1-0 until late. Our form going into those games was terrible and they were both on fire. If we had gone into those in form and with confidence the results could have been different.

Hard not to pinpoint the Eduardo injury as the cause of our collapse. Any "mental weakness" was exposed by that, there were no signs before then - such as coming from behind twice against United to grab a draw and beating Chelsea earlier in the season.

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

Beating a Chelsea team without Drogba

But when you can't play Eduardo it's a crisis

posted 1 week, 5 days ago

comment by Wahl Icht - (U22332)
posted 18 minutes ago
Beating a Chelsea team without Drogba

But when you can't play Eduardo it's a crisis
Don't be thick Wahlly.

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