Ivan Gazidis Should be Thrilled with Arsenal’s Season


Arsenal chief executive Ivan Gazidis has made a pretty blatant statement about how he feels about Arsenal’s season: “We are not happy but we are going to keep pushing to the end and see how far we can go” (via ESPNFC). However, he did go on to add that “we are happy with the way the squad has developed and we are very focused how we can make a positive end to the season.”

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This may seem like the kind of statement that Gazidis would hope will spur Arsenal to a photo finish, but to me, it looks more like brutal honesty with no particular ends in mind.

Whatever the purpose of the statement, I think Gazidis has it all wrong. Should Arsenal be generally happy with second place? No, of course not. Every team wants to be the best. Every team wants to bring home every major trophy and always be a consistent force within their respective competitions. But given the circumstances of what Arsenal have been in the past couple years and what they were as early as 2014, Arsenal are in fantastic shape and Ivan Gazidis should be happy with where his club has come.

It wasn’t long ago that Arsenal were perennial fourth place finishers. Last year the Gunner’s had to race to the finish to even grab that final Champion’s League spot. It was frustrating to see the team continuously rush for fourth when first place seemed so far removed.

But this year, Arsenal have gone from inconsistent obscurity to the strongest team in the EPL. We’ve bypassed Liverpool, Tottenham and Manchester City, all of whom have had brief flashes of brilliance this year and we’re continuously fending off Manchester United, who may finally be finding some semblance of consistency. The only team between us and a title is a Chelsea team that really isn’t looking too strong lately, at least not Arsenal strong.

A title may still not be possible due to the constraint of time, but we’ve seen Arsenal absolutely transform in the span of a couple months. I always fear using the “next year!” argument, but it’s impossible not to here. Arsenal could have an absolutely stunning 2015/16 season.

But as of right now, I, and many other Gooners, are incredibly happy with how this season has gone. It’s our best season since the Invincibles, we can still win the FA Cup and we’re still hanging on to title contention. The only thing to be “unhappy” about is thinking what could have been with a better 2014 half of the season.

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Gazidis even contradicts himself by talking about how happy he is at how far Arsenal have developed as a team. We here at Pain in the Arsenal covered all the ways Arsenal have transformed and that alone is reason to be happy. Add to that a second place finish (assuming we don’t move up or down) and I’d say this season was a major success. Our major signings Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez are working wonders and we’ve turned a star in Francis Coquelin.

This Arsenal squad is giving us plenty to be happy about, and Gazidis should be happier than most to see that these investments are paying off, that Arsene Wenger is adjusting, and that Arsenal are the strongest team so far this calendar year.

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