Firstly, glad you mentioned the signing of Alonso would kill Diaby statement, as it made me angry then and still does now! It was the moment where innately knew something was not right and mediocrity against the elite expectation set became the normal.
Competition is what makes teams great and if you truly good enough you play!
Its that simple, and if Diaby could not have learned and benefited from an Alonso in squad then there was no hope for him anyway. Ray Parlour improved because of talent around him, and worked his way into the team on merit many times.
Was personally dropped from my team by a new player joining in the summer, and was I happy about it? No? Sulked a little bit even, but soon found he was a good lad and a damn fine player, and though I never removed him from the team I found a way to get back into the team next to him and we formed a pretty decent midfield pair for a couple of seasons. This is lower level stuff, but psychology of football is the same, he made me a better player and if you’re good enough you play.
Alonso would likely have got Wenger one more title as timing was when Cesc was emerging and we faded into second place after being top for a sustained period.
The weekend win was decent but that was Stoke and West Ham talking a good game prior to the match but on holidays when game started.
However, that was my preferred team out there minus Ramsey for Coquelin as Ramsey is finding form again and carries a goal threat.
The missing link would be Cazorla, how we have missed the little magician.
But Holding and Koscielny provide mobility and composure outside of Mustafi and it looks a natural three.
Ozil improved? of course, he does not have responsibilities now, he is getting into areas where can hurt opposition instead of tracking back and being nowhere near opposition at times you need him to be.
Similar for Sanchez. With Monreal and Koscielny providing good cover he has less need to track back and can be where we want him to be.
The formation gives the group at least half a chance now, though there is still lack of cohesion and fluidity at times, but it is better. The Ozil goal was a dream, despite all we have to lament, you can still enjoy a goal like that on the purity of it alone.
You cannot play Giroud at Wembley.
It will be a counter-attack game for Arsenal and has to be Welbeck to just keep Chelsea honest. No way see Arsenal winning it unless they have a bad off the pace day and Arsenal execute the plan to perfection,
Europa Cup becomes the Thursday League Cup, Mourinho is only making something of it as he realised the league had gone, but starting out it will be Arsenal reserves with the league prioritised.
Personally glad Arsenal not in Champions League, as a rebuild and refocus is desperately needed and something had to change and first thing is not making Champions League, sneaking into qualifying would have been more damaging than not
Have found it a little amusing that second is now an achievement and a trophy and that Europa Cup is now a big European trophy (have a few Manchester friends who post all the hype coming out of the city)
Mourinho has spent a fortune and has ended up worse in the league than Arsenal, and I personally cannot see that changing next season as, even with additions, his style and overall depth of squad is limiting.
Chelsea and City will be the teams to beat next season and we’ll say Spurs once see how play at Wembley, as it could be a big dent to hopes as teams will love to play there and it it goes eerily silent if things not going well.
Off season is going to be an interesting one.
Chelsea are the only ones with any stability, the rest will have some big changes coming, so it’s going to be fascinating how it all pans out.