It's been an interesting 2013 for Arsenal football club both on and off the field.
It’s been a fascinating year for Arsenal and one they will certainly finish in a better position than they started.
The Gunners stand a great chance of winning the Premier League this season and if they make it through a tough last 16 Champions League tie against Bayern Munich, there will be plenty backing them to win the European Cup.
It’s been a year that has seen plenty change and while there are some big questions to answer in 2014, a lot has changed at the club for the better. Arsene Wenger finally shelled out for a club record transfer and Arsenal firmly remain one of the biggest clubs in England, Europe and the world.
We’ve taken a look back at five of their best moments from the past year.
Beating Bayern Munich away
Arsenal went into the second leg of their tie against Bayern Munich in March last season trailing the German side 3-1 on aggregate.
Not many gave them a sniff as they headed to the Allianz Arena but Arsenal produced a stunning 2-0 win in Germany and they were very unlucky to go out on the away goals rule.
It dispelled the myth which was floating around that the Gunners didn’t have the quality any more to beat the European big boys.
August 21 marks one of the best moments for Arsenal this year because it was the date that Aaron Ramsey scored his first goal of the season.
Little did Arsenal fans know that the goal Ramsey bagged against Fenerbahce in the Champions League qualifier would set the Welshman up for his best ever season (so far) as a professional footballer.
The goal enabled Ramsey to build some momentum, it gave him extra confidence and it proved critics and doubters wrong.
He currently has 15 goals for club and country this season and he should be ready to eradicate that figure next season.
Re-signing Mathieu Flamini
Mathieu Flamini started training with Arsenal earlier this year in August and he was promptly rewarded with a contract for his efforts.
Initially a lot of people criticised Wenger’ decision to bring Flamini back, suggesting the move lacked ambition and was further proof that Wenger wasn’t willing to spend big money on transfers.
However, it’s turned out to be a masterstroke. Flamini has been one of Arsenal’s most consistent players so far this season and he’s added a little fight and bite to the Arsenal midfield which was missing.
Signing Mesut Ozil
The £42.5 million signing of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on the last day of the summer transfer window was massive for the club.
Finally Arsene Wenger had spent some money to bring a world class player to the Emirates Stadium.
Ozil has played a big role in Arsenal’s success this season and the benefits of his presence at Arsenal are twofold; he provides quality in the first team and his signing will attract future world class stars to the club.
The October AGM
Arsenal AGM’s have been a little spicy in recent years with questions over commitment, progress, finance and other areas being angrily debated at great length.
This year it was a completely different matter and the reason it was so significant is because it confirmed the strong position that Arsenal are in.
The impression left behind was that despite the multi-million signing of Ozil in the summer, there was still money to spend for Wenger this winter and next year if he needed it.
Wenger himself also outlined his plan for the development of the club, which was the biggest unofficial hint yet that he will sign a new contract with the Gunners when an official offer is put to him.
Here’s to a great 2014.
image: © zongo