VETERAN'S VIEW: What does season have in store for Arsenal?

By Samuel Mowbray

You pay your money....

DATELINE: Sunday April 19, 2009
Well, that's it - and it had been coming ever since the defeat at West Brom on March 3 when Gallas was needlessly sent off for a petulant tackle that sums up his season and ours. Just like last when we started brightly and were top on New Year's Day - though this time the fade has been quicker with the result now that we can only dream of finishing fourth in such glorious fashion as we did at the end of  the 2005/06 season.

Which, let's face it, masked the beginning of the failures that are all too manifest now. Adebayour - a one season man,  Rosicky - when will he be fit for a period of time that really
contributes to the team? Ditto RVP. The back four have never been able to keep out the goals that a top team should - and all that was  glaringly obvious last season.

What is Arsene doing? Does he still  really know? The Carling Cup final defeat to the scousers last month  was bad enough - but for them to have finished our season yet again with a month to go is a painful reminder that until we start spending on experience, we are going nowhere. And the way we folded to Barca 10 days later (Thierry was always going to come back and haunt us)  was a disgrace.....

And if Cesc starts making noises through the
summer, we have a long and very miserable four months ahead of us......Not just players going, but calls for Wenger's head as  predators move in to buy the club.....
DATELINE: May 17, 2009
Unbelievable! When we pulled a goal back against the Mancs, we had a chance. But in the end it was not to be. Glorious failure with a team whose average age is only 24 and whose future is nothing but bright -  IF we can hold them together.

A guaranteed second place and 87 points is not shabby for a team given little chance back in August. The conclusive 3-0 Carling Cup victory over the dreaded Spurs at least means we have silverware and the upcoming FA Cup Final versus Man U gives us another shot.

It was no disgrace to lose to Barca in the semis of the Champions League when Gallas was so outrageously sent off in the fifth minute of the second leg for an alleged 'foul' on Henry he clearly didn't commit. TH will never be allowed to show his face again at Emirates for such a shame-faced piece of playacting.....

This has been another season when Arsene has shown that he does still know. Diaby has been a revelation, protecting the back four just as Petit and Vieira did in their pomp and Sagna and Clichy have to be the best two full backs, probably in the world. Upfront Adebayour and RVP have shown how two great strikers can work in tandem in ways that at times have been breathtaking and Theo, whose form finally justified his place in the England squad, has shown that his 12 Premiereship goals this season are the craft of a
true talent.......

And Samir Nasri has been an even more visionary purchase than Sagna was last season. Oh, happy days!

DATELINE: August 13, 2008

I have never felt like I do now before a season. It could be great, it could be....... And oh I wish we were playing any other team tonight than Twente - managed by one of the most inept managers of all time but who could just come and haunt us. Shut up shop for 179 minutes.......... and.

Let's not think about it.

We all feel the same. Nervous, edgy. A season that could go any way. Is Arsene greater than Herbert Chapman - or is he George Graham Mk II? A man so obsessed about playing football by a team built in a certain way and on a pittance, that everything else disappears...

Arsene will never take a bung, but I wish he would spend. NOW.

We live in interesting times. I could be a grandfather to all the team - bar our captain - and I wish them all well. This is my 47th season. I wish them all fitness. That is critical.

This is Arsene's most defining season. We will either worship him (even more) come May - or be calling for his head. There is no room for sentiment in football.

Here's to the next roller-coaster ten months - and let's all remember, it's all about the club and our loyalty.

We pay our money...