Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Wolves to end Premier League season on a high

Alan Alger's Three Things We Learned series after Arsenal's final game of the 2022-23 Premier League season saw the Gunners rout Wolves 5-0

Three Things We Learned after Arsenal beat Wolves to end Premier League season on a high

Did Granit Xhaka make his final appearance for Arsenal on Sunday?

Maybe we didn't learn that much from what happened on the pitch...

Although it was a fantastic send off to bookmark a (mostly) wonderful season, I'm not entirely sure we gained much insight from what played out on the Emirates pitch yesterday.

So I now realise I've been slightly hindered by the title of this column. That said, I've got to admit I was quite disappointed with our starting line-up - and clear indication we were going to try exactly the same game-plan we saw fail abysmally in Nottingham last weekend - when viewing the team news.

Any fears on that front completely disappeared when it became obvious that the Wolves players were simply in North London for a day out.

The 5-0 rout was our twelfth consecutive 'final day' win in the Premier League, and we now have a goal-difference of  F36 A8 in those matches.

Excelling when the pressure is off certainly feels like a trait that's been hard to shake off, even this season where the 'bottling' accusations are definitely misplaced. So I don't think we can draw too many conclusions from what was superb exhibition style football played out in a great atmosphere. Just enjoy it for what it is.

I'll also spend all summer hoping that Mikel Arteta doesn't somehow convince himself that Thomas Partey at right-back is a good idea because of this one display against opponents on the beach!

Did we see the perfect redemption arc ending for Granit...

In terms of incident and fan sentiment has there been a more divisive player than Granit Xhaka in the last few decades?

Possibly Mesut Ozil, but then surely none of his detractors thought he was actually a bad player? He also kept situations largely under wraps and away from public. On the other hand, Granit had one of the most public fall outs with a fan base we've seen - not just at this club.

Sunday marked 1309 days since our Swiss star stormed off the pitch against Crystal Palace, telling Gooners who were booing him to f-off in the process.

I'd just like to make clear that I stood in silence during that incident a few years ago, but I did join in with the chorus of "Granit Xhaka, we want you to stay" on Sunday.

Given the right balance in midfield and the right partner, he has shown he is every bit the kind of class range you need to compete at the top of the table.

Being allowed to go forward and express himself has led to 14 goal involvements in the league this season, including his two goals against Wolves in this game which *might* be the perfect end to his time at the club!

Club still need keeping in check by all Gooners...

I firmly believe that the fans are the custodians of this great club, perfectly illustrated by the familiar saying that "Managers, owners, directors and players can come and go, fans are here for life!".

The club and those behind the scenes have worked wonders in getting the fan sentiment back on side since the troubled times of 'Super League' around the late Covid-era months.

Winning football matches will do wonders for that upward trajectory in positivity, but let's not forget the many off-the-pitch initiatives and insights we've been handed to get OUR Arsenal back.

Therefore those same people who remain at the club -who thought our best path was the 'Elite friendly' European Super League- still need a watchful eye over them.

Just this last week we've seen the replica shirt released without the 'Invincibles' detail - unless we part with an extra £30. A real rip-off.

I'm also not entirely convinced that a mural of fans on the outside of the Emirates, that now somehow elevates some Gooners above others, is a good idea too. We are all equal!

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