Premier League Final Position: 3rd
Arsenal end the 2014/15 Premier League season in third place, sealing automatic qualification into the Champions League for the first time in three years. That is clearly good news for Gunners fans but the wait for a title extends to 11 years and that will frustrate supporters. The league was arguably not at its strongest this term and Arsenal will feel they missed an opportunity in not challenging for the title over the entire course of the season. An FA Cup trophy for the second year running would deem the season a success, and so a lot is riding on that game at Wembley.
Arsenal’s impressive 2-0 win at Manchester City in January was a huge result for the club, and was certainly their best moment of the campaign. Arsene Wenger’s side lost 6-3 at the Etihad last season so the victory and clean sheet will have delighted fans. The win at City was Arsenal’s only away victory against any side in the top nine though (P8 W1 D2 L5), and that’s an area that needs to be looked at.
The 2-0 loss at Southampton on New Year’s Day was probably the worst moment in Arsenal’s season. The defeat came at a time when the Gunners were in fine form after a good run over Christmas and the controversies surrounding Wojciech Szczesny after the game left a dark cloud over the club for a while. The Polish ‘keeper was at fault for both Southampton goals and was caught smoking in the showers after the loss. David Ospina was then made first-choice for the remainder of the campaign.
Player of the Year
Alexis Sanchez – The Chilean attacker has enjoyed an excellent first season in England and ends the league campaign with 16 goals. His goals have fired the Gunners to a third place finish and an FA Cup final, in which he will look to score his 25th of the season in all competitions.
Arsenal 5-0 Aston Villa (February 1, 2014)
Chelsea 2-0 Arsenal (October 5, 2014)
Southampton 2-0 Arsenal (January 1, 2014)
What to improve for the 2015 season…
Arsenal have been consistent over the past two years and look to be just a signing or two from being real title contenders over the course of a season, rather than just for a few months. Wenger needs to assess the team’s performances against the big sides again though as winning just one away game against the top nine is not good enough. Their only win against any side in the top five came at City, and so performances against the bigger sides must improve if Arsenal are to claim a first title in 12 years next May.