Arsenal winning the Premier League this season is about as possible as a solar eclipse…
It’s Friday, we’re all hopefully feeling fine and good, plus we’ve got plenty of information that has been furnished on us from the club yesterday in the form of the pre-match presser from Le Boss.
Arsène must have as much of an inner smile as an outwardly projecting one at the moment. Sure, he won’t be happy that we’re out of Europe, but I used up all my anger in the first leg a few weeks back so I’m just looking at the fact we’ve won 13 out of the last 15 games and we’ve even had the ridiculous notion of winning the league thrust at us by the media.
Hey, it’s their job to make the dull more interesting and let’s be honest, with Chelski leading from the early parts of the season and all but guaranteed to win it, it will have been one of the most boring title races since the Premier League began, so I can understand why the hacks are trying a bit of the old ‘what if’ on Arsène. But he’s an old wiley dog and didn’t bite yesterday, preferring to maintain his current course with comments about the ‘security’ the scummers from West London have. Sensible enough. If there were 20 games remaining maybe we’d fancy it, but with only 9/10 left for the teams at the top, a monumental slip up like that is hardly likely.
So Arsène is rightly focused on the next game, which is Newcastle away and although we’ve had a good record up there, it’s pleasing to see that he’s still wary of their threat. I’ve been up to Newcastle every season for the last four and although we’ve had two wins and two draws, each one has seen us biting our nails a little bit to close to the cuticles for my liking. Yes they’ve got little to play for, yes it appears they only have a temporary manager and yes, it helps that Cisse won’t be around as their main goal threat. But I still forsee an afternoon of uncomfortableness for us.
We’re at the business end of the season now though and what with United and Liverpool duking it out on Sunday, the game tomorrow represents an opportunity to put more daylight between more of those teams just below us, so I hope we take it.
The good news is that it seems Arsène doesn’t have a host of bodies to patch together after Monaco. Everyone seems fit bar a few ‘knocks and bruises’ and even the return of Rosicky to the team means we’re plenty stocked with options. More on who I think Arsène will play from the start tomorrow, but I do wonder if he’ll rotate again after admitting that he’ll need to assess the levels of fatigue today.
A quick one on the whole ‘away goals’ rule thing that Arsène has said he has long campaigned against. Le Boss has spoken of the rule as an outdated one from the sixties, that it was designed to stop teams from defending at home and football has changed, so the rules should reflect that. Whilst it’s hard to argue that football isn’t a different beast than it was 50 years ago, I can’t really get behind his argument I’m afraid. For one thing, we still seem teams in the league play defensively against us, so why wouldn’t that revert to type in cup competitions? Also, I don’t think that anyone would disagree that scoring away from home is harder than at home when you have you’re home fans behind you, so why shouldn’t a team be rewarded for their exploits on their travels? Finally, this kind of thinking only seems to get airtime when a big team goes out, as I suspect Arsène might have kept relatively schtum should we have been the beneficiaries on the night. So I don’t really think his argument washes with me on this one. We all know the rules and you have to adapt your football to ensure you win the competition within their parameters. Sorry Arsène.
What I’m not sorry about is the FA Cup semi final, for which I picked up my tickets yesterday and am thoroughly delighted to have been given front row again, so hopefully you’ll see me waving away on tele in a few weeks time! And on that cheery note, I shall bid you ‘adieu’.