Everyone is talking about Roberto Mancini and Manchester City – but arguably the biggest achievement in the Premier League this season was Arsenal securing third spot and a Champions League berth in the process.
If you think back to August, Arsenal were in complete disarray, having lost four of their first seven Premier League games – they even went down 8-2 at Old Trafford.
Samir Nasri and Cesc Fàbregas had both moved on to pastures new and Arsenal had signed practically nobody until a late flurry of activity in the transfer market saw Mikel Arteta, André Santos, Per Mertesacker and Yossi Benayoun arrive to bolster the ranks.
After Christmas, Arsenal lost three Premier League games on the spin in January and limped out of the Champions League and FA Cup at AC Milan and Sunderland respectively in almost embarrassing circumstances.
Arsenal supporters were clearly restless but slowly over the next two months Arsène Wenger turned things around, culminating in the Gunners climbing above Tottenham Hotspur in the race for third.
With a pretty average squad, long-term injury absentees in Jack Wilshere, Thomas Vermaelen and Abou Diaby, plus no full-backs throughout November, December and January, Arsenal coped and eventually overturned Spurs after a last-day win at West Brom.
What the future holds for Arsenal next season – who knows?
A lot will depend on whether Wenger can persuade Robin van Persie to remain at The Emirates – but finishing above big-spending Tottenham, Chelsea and Liverpool, plus holding off the spirited challenge of Newcastle, is a real achievement.
If there was a game that typified the amount of emotions a City supporter has been through over the past 44 years, you need look no further than Sunday’s last-gasp title winning climax against Queens Park Rangers.
Five relegations, five promotions, becoming the laughing stock of English football and all while watching your nearest neighbours clear up the trophies domestically and in Europe for the past 20 years – City’s success was deserved.
There has been little to really celebrate over the past 20 years, with many of the younger generation still clinging to City’s Division 2 play-off final win against Gillingham in 1999 as the greatest moment until last year’s FA Cup Final win over Stoke City.
But fans of the Eastlands outfit now have something to savour – and what a moment. It had shades of 1999 only this time it was something more.
It was City’s game against Gillingham and Manchester United’s Champions League final win over Bayern Munich all rolled into one.
To say things looked bleak with 89 minutes gone against QPR would be this season’s biggest understatement, City were out of it.
But from somewhere they showed they are more than just mercenaries there to pick up the money and the likes of Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany, Yaya Touré and Sergio Aguero will go down in City folklore.
Manchester City are here to stay, but any future success will have to go some to beat that.
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