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So close, yet so far?

By Sumaiya Vawda

Sunday marked the end of the 21/22 season, so this will be a short summative read. This season is one that may be defined by ‘what ifs’: what if Arteta’s men hadn’t lost 3 on the trot at the business-end of the season, what if Tierney and Partey were not injured, what if Arsenal Women had avoided defeat to Birmingham, what if the Arsenal U23s had maintained their early season form…

Yet, if Norwich performed a miracle against Tottenham a few days ago amid Arsenal’s victory against Everton, many of those questions fall away. Ultimately, football is in the business of delivering verdicts on the final leaderboard. The debate will rage regarding the choice to maintain a thin squad or the issues at the striker position, but what can’t be doubted is the 21/22 season was a reinvigorating and unifying one for Arsenal Football Club.

The Emirates has been an audible concert of youth and belief. Meadow Park long believed that the title may be returning to England’s most successful women’s team. The U23s leaped from a 10th placed finish last season to 3rd in this. The progress earned Mikel Arteta a new contract and convinced Vivianne Miedema to extend her stay. The metrics tell a positive story of the season but the feeling of community around the club tells a greater story.

This will still be a trophyless season and no return to the Champions League for the men, but we’ve made it to the end with much to be hopeful about and and clear gaps for improvement going forward. Now for the transfer season fiasco…

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