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May 30, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 05/30/2011

Now the season has finished, I’m going to assess the season for each Arsenal player. Fans at the moment have a lot of opinions on who should leave the club given the acrimonious finish to the campaign, so I’m going to give my view on everyone’s season and say if they have a future at the club.

I’m sure some will disagree with my thoughts and ratings so please comment and give your views at the bottom of the blog.

I’ll start at the last line of defence; the goalkeepers.

May 23, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 05/23/2011

After I called for the players to regain some pride in Arsenal and remind the fans why they follow the club, once again it was only a select few that rose to the challenge. It was the same few that have been putting in 100% in recent weeks when others around them haven’t looked interested.

Like the Aston Villa match last week, the Arsenal fans again were chanting for Arsene Wenger to spend some money. It was hard to blame the travelling supporters for voicing their opinion as they were watching a team that lacked urgency in trying to get back into the game.

Even though Manchester City’s win at Bolton made it irrelevant, at the start of play there was still a chance to finish 3rd and avoid the Champions League qualifier. However, you wouldn’t have known it the way some players were looking to just coast through the game and go off on holiday.

May 20, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 05/20/2011

Being a football fan is often compared to following a religion, and right now Arsenal fans need to renew their faith in the club as much as in the individual players and the manager.

Whilst many just want the last game of the season on Sunday to be over and done with, the match against Fulham represents a good chance for the players to lift some of the doom and gloom hanging over the club.

Another abject performance will see Arsenal fans spend the summer struggling to find positives about the club. However, should all the players actually show some fighting spirit and win the game, the negative feeling around the club will potentially improve.

May 16, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 05/16/2011

When Aston Villa went 2-0 up on Sunday, I’m sure I wasn’t alone as an Arsenal fan by not being surprised by the score line or the nature of the goals. In the past, the sense of shock would have been obvious around the stadium. Instead, there was a resigned feeling that the team weren’t going to get back in the game.

In many ways, the match was a perfect example of Arsenal’s ending to the season. Poor defending allowed the opposition to score cheap goals, one of which came from a long ball into the box, whilst the only player who looked dangerous going forward was Robin van Persie. It was the same at Stoke last week and the same at Bolton on Easter Day.

Whilst some fans are understandably angry, the overriding emotion on show from most fans around the ground on Sunday was one of disappointment and frustration. On the pitch, when Arsenal finally got going, it was clear there was enough quality in the team to win the game, but again they fell short. It summed up the frustrating recent seasons; there is obvious skill and talent, but alongside the inability to get the job done. This has led to the disappointment.

May 12, 2011
Posted by Sam Limbert on 05/12/2011

Hello and welcome to my first post on ESPNsoccernet. After taking over Arsenal blogging duties at this time of the season, I’d love to be writing about how the Emirates Stadium trophy cabinet has been filled and how project Wenger has finally produced the success we’ve been waiting for. Instead, I’m left to write about a club that is coming to the end of another trophyless campaign with fans who face a significant price rise to watch the team next season.

An outsider looking at some of the things written about Arsenal in recent weeks might think the club is in crisis with complaints about the manager and some players. In reality, not everything about Arsenal at the moment is doom and gloom. The problem is, things aren’t how they used to be both on and off the pitch.

This week saw the 42nd birthday of the greatest player I’ve ever seen in an Arsenal shirt. Given he was my first real football hero, I tend to hold Dennis Bergkamp in high esteem anyway, but the way his arrival brought a change in style and a period of success at Arsenal means Bergkamp is the man for me. I’ve got a sense amongst Gooners this week that Dennis typified what the current side are missing.

David Young Sam Limbert: My retirement as a football player came at the age of 14 due to being rubbish, it's fair to say I was more Kaba Diawara than Thierry Henry, so I turned my focus to writing about the game. I'm a lifelong Arsenal fan and have been lucky enough to watch the team across England and Europe. My favourite Gunner of all time is Dennis Bergkamp, and the 2004 Invincibles is the greatest side I've ever seen in English football. I try to be positive about the Arsenal as it's the hope that keeps us going! Follow me on twitter @SamsMatchReport.

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