On August 15, 2009 was the beginning of the 2009/10 season in the English Premier League (EPL). Arsenal‘s season opener was against Everton and they were playing away. But before the season even started, The media and sports critics completely wrote Arsenal off. They were certain of their comments that Arsenal would struggle and they would lose their place in the ”Big Four” especially after they lost world-class players like Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure. Worst of all, Arsenal fans were divided amongst each other. Some were calling for Arsene Wenger’s head because he refused to hastily sign new players, some were fearful that Arsenal would suffer another trophy-less season and some people decided they were not even Arsenal fans anymore. There was no doubt that a dark cloud had come over Emirates Stadium.
So back to the game against Everton; the referee had blown the whistle and the kick-off was a reminder that Arsenal’s make-or-break season was well on its way. Both clubs looked strong in the opening minutes of the game. Suddenly, Arsenal was in the lead with a stunning 25-yard curler from Brazilian midfielder Denilson 26 minutes into the game. Then new signing Thomas Vermaelen scored his debutant goal by sneaking in an uncontested header from a freekick in the 37th minute. Arsenal would then be up by three with a goal from defender William Gallas in the similar pattern four minutes later. I thought that was enough to silence the critics and naysayers about Arsenal, but the trashing did not stop there.
In the second half, Arsenal were just cruising through with the fourth goal. An attack by Everton was cut short and led to a counter attack by Arsenal with a string of passes that found captain Cesc Fabregas breaking through the middle of Everton’s defence to slot it through goalkeeper Tim Howard’s legs. A typical Arsenal goal but I was ecstatic as I did the robot and shouted my head off with joy. Fabregas would later score again in the 70th minute as he casually dribbled the ball just outside Everton’s 18-yard box to blaze it into the back of the net. Five goals to nil. Then it later became six goals by Arsenal as Eduardo tapped in Arshavin‘s unlucky rebound off the goal post. Six goals! Six goals by the team that supposedly did not have a chance of contending for the championship.
The game ended with an emphatic 6-1 win by Arsenal. The scoreline is nothing short of poetic justice and a big “Fuck You!” to all the critics and all the two-faced Arsenal supporters. The scoreline is an emphatic “Shut up!” to the doubters who opened their mouths with rubbish spewing all over the place before they assesed the what a team like Arsenal is capable of.
Even though it’s only the first game of the season, it’s a massive confidence boost for the Arsenal squad. It shows that this young team has matured and the team chemistry is coming together. So to the media and the arrogant sports critics that seem to think senseless expenditure of money and big-name signings is the only way to become a championship team should think again. Arsenal is a team that’s being built from the ground up and it’s only a matter of time before we win a trophy or cup title. Which we will. Gunners for life!