1) Without the benefit of hindsight, what did you make of the starting 11?
@AFCfreddie8 - Spot on, A fine blend of resting key players before the cup final as well as giving the fringe players the chance to stretch their legs in case of injuries.
Also a good blend of player capable of winning the game to keep the momentum going.
@AlexNJ_ - I was shocked at all four of Arteta, Ramsey, Özil and Giroud starting. They got through unscathed thankfully, but it would have been a disaster had one of them pulled up with the FA Cup final next week. It was great to see Wilshere and Diaby back in the squad.
@arsbiswas - For me, the only disappointment was Szczesny's exclusion but only because I so desperately wanted him to clinch that golden glove. Though if this means he starts next week, I think it's a fair trade. I'm sure Wenger's intention was to rest both Sagna and Mertesacker but Vermaelen's injury meant he had to choose. No complaints there as we got to squeeze out a little more from Bac before his imminent departure.
2) What did you make of the performance on the day?
@AFCfreddie8 - Relaxed, confident & calm, never got out of 3rd gear, never had to! A perfect game prior to a cup final.
@AlexNJ_ - After the first half I was beginning to wonder is having fourth place wrapped up before the final day all it's cracked up to be! Both teams had nothing left to play for so it was just a typical end-of-season affair. Despite that, it was good to see how comfortable we looked with it being just a matter of when we would score.
@arsbiswas - Top notch! Fabianski looked assured. Defensive line was stable. Midfield and attack was as fluent as ever. We never looked like we were going to lose points. The players seemed to enjoy the game just as much as we did.
3) Which Arsenal player stood out for you on the day and why?
@AFCfreddie8 - Has to be Aaron Ramsey, the boy oozes class in every element of his game, it still amazes me how many wrote this boy off after his injury, playing the best football of his career now & only see him getting better... Special mention for Abou Diaby coming on to get minutes after all his injury problems, got a fantastic ovation, richly deserved.
@AlexNJ - Aaron Ramsey continued his brilliant return and rightfully got a lot of praise for it, but I thought Giroud had one of his best games in a long time. He held up the ball well, tested Ruddy with a few good strikes and set up Ramsey's goal. Hopefully he can kick on with the form he's shown at the tail-end of this season and improve even more next season.
@arsbiswas - I have to say it was Giroud. Ramsey and Jenko were both spectacular but Giroud put in one of his best performances of the year. He would've been my man-of-the-match had he not missed that sitter in the 30th minute. He does a million things right but unfortunately isn't the greatest finisher. The sad part is, goals are the easiest on the eye and that is what he will be judged on.
4) How good was Aaron Ramsey's goal? I trust you thought it was good..
@AFCfreddie8 - Stunning! The technique was incredible & only underlines how much a vital cog he has in this Arsenal attacking force now.
@AlexNJ_ - I'm still trying to fully grasp the technique. Moving backwards, close to goal, to get it up and down with such pace. I don't think we've seen a volley like that from an Arsenal player since a certain Dutchman started making a habit out of it. The fact he returned from so long out in tho form can only make us wonder 'what if?'
@arsbiswas - Where do I begin? The man just keeps giving and giving. It has come to a point where I'm no longer awestruck by his performances. I've pretty much taken him for granted because in my books, he's already a world class player; arguably top 10 in the world at this point. His goal tonight was a fitting testament to the glorious season he's had. I'm sure 15 years down the line, when @CulannDavies creates a 'tribute to Ramsey the legend' video, this goal is going to feature in it.
5) What conclusions did you take from Fabianski starting the game? What does it mean for next weeks FA Cup final?
@AFCfreddie8 - Arsene is never one to give anything away, but it does rather suggest Szcz will get the nod for the Cup Final, In my opinion its a good move.
@AlexNJ_ - It was a bit confusing. Fabianski has been great as the cup-keeper so I hope Arsène doesn't drop him for the final. Maybe this was just his chance at a prolonged send-off, or maybe there's still a chance he'll take another contract here. I would love him to stay.
@arsbiswas - Well I think most of us were taken aback at Szczesny not being given a chance to claim that golden glove award. Would've been cheeky if Wenger subbed Fabianski off in the 90th minute. But I'm not going to read too much into it. We're the luckiest side in the world to be gifted with 2 world class keepers. I'm sure it was more a symbolic gesture than anything; ensure both keepers feature in both tournaments. There's very little between the 2 and regardless of who starts when, I doubt it will make any major difference to the scoreline.
6) Jumping ahead to next week (I know you want to) what would your team be if the decision rested on your shoulders?
@AFCfreddie8 - Picks itself for me, Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Arteta, Ramsey, Podolski, Ozil, Cazorla, Giroud.
@AlexNJ_ - Fabianski in nets then our regular back-four with Arteta and Ramsey in front of them seems a safe bet. Özil of course in the number 10 role and Giroud up top. On the left wing I'd continue with Podolski who seems to be growing into the team a bit more. Right wing is a bit trickier. Arsène could continue with Rosicky, but I'd be tempted to start Jack if he was fully fit. He had shown some great form when on the right, combining well with Özil, Ramsey and Giroud so it could be a gamble that would pay off.
@arsbiswas - Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Mertesacker, Gibbs, Ramsey, Arteta, Cazorla, Özil, Rosicky, Giroud
7) How bloody good were the Arsenal away fans today?
@AFCfreddie8 - Fantastic! They have been each & every game this season, I truly believe we have the best away fans in the country, bias I know, but its true! Lets hope we sing the boys to the FA Cup next weekend!!
@AlexNJ_ - They really are one of the best sets of fans in the league. The Diaby chant of 'he plays when he wants' had me chuckling away. While the atmosphere at the Emirates can turn quicker than a Ramsey feint, the away fans are always in full voice backing the team and the manager. I really hope we clinch the FA Cup because they deserve something to celebrate.
@arsbiswas - As good as Ramsey was!! Seriously though, they were fantastic. The reception they gave Diaby gave me goosebumps. How they manage to out-sing the home fans of every other team is beyond me.
8) Any other thoughts
@AFCfreddie8 - Drawing a line under this season it is a mix of what couldve been along with success. Finishing 4th with comfort is an achievement no matter what anyone says, getting the Champions League Qualifier is vital to attract new players over the summer, which now has to be a priority! The team is well placed to mount a challenge again next season, I for one look forward to it! I the mean time lets go win the FA Cup! Come on you Gunners!!!!
@arsbiswas - Sagna, don't leave!!!
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