Morning. You alright? Recovered from the fact that the only English team left in this competition is Leicester? A Leicester with whom everyone seems to have dismissed their domestic discrepancies and focused on their ‘plucky’ assault on the Champions League.
Honestly. I can’t work out whether it’s patronising more to the actual Leicester fans or those of us that support other clubs and have to read some of the drivel that they feed the world these days.
But unlike a few gooners out there, I’m not looking at what Leicester have ‘accomplished’ in comparison to us. Not in the isolation of this season anyway. Bayern and Sevilla are hardly comparable.
Anyway, let’s focus on The Arsenal and more importantly, how the devil we’re going to get near qualifying for a competition in which we never really ever compete.
I’ve had a quick look at the fixtures and I’m afraid boys and girls, it makes for nervous reading, because we have some really tricky fixtures coming up.
We have West Brom this weekend, in which the season before last we drew and last season we won, and Tony Pubis will always set up his side difficult to break down. We have Man City at home, who apart from last night have been in great form and have momentum building. We have Palace away who will be fighting for their lives and even though we’ve won the last two games there, it’s always felt closer and more nervy than I thought it should have done.
We’ve got that ‘orrible lot from round the corner away from home. Harry Kane will be back by then I expect and you know he’s scoring against us. It’s kind of his annoying thing he does. That and the ridiculous handshake thing with Delli Alli which make them both look like they’re about eight.
We’ve got Stoke away. Need I remind you that in the league we’ve won there once since they were promoted. An abysmal record.
We’ve got United at home. A United under Jose who is still to lose a league game against Arsenal. Then at the end of the season we have Everton. I haven’t even mentioned Southampton away, which we’ve also struggled with, this season’s FA Cup aside.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that this won’t be like previous seasons. In previous seasons when the team has had a run of games, it’s usually all games that seem more winnable on paper than this season. We have 12 remaining games and based on what I’ve said above, eight of them I would class as ‘tough’ ones. “There are no easy games in the Premier League” I know, bla, bla, bla, but if we really are to build some kind of end of season run, realistically we’ve got to win the other four games I haven’t mentioned, plus probably five out of those seven to ensure we finish in the top four. That would land us on 77 points which seems a lot for the top four spots, but when you consider we’re already five points off the scousers (albeit with two games in hand), I don’t think it’s improbable that fourth place will be in to the mid to late 70 point mark.
It brings what is required from the team in to stark contrast. They are going to have to show form that is befitting of champions. We haven’t really seen that all season though. Sure we went on a winning run in September to November, but there were a few draws in there for that unbeaten run, which is something you can’t really afford if my predictions prove accurate. We need to win nine of our last 12 games. Against tough opponents. We have to get victories against teams in some instances, where we haven’t been doing it in the recent past. And with the team looking so shaky on confidence at the moment, something needs to happen for us to get to that 77 point marker. There needs to be some kind of spark that suddenly sees the team click in to gear.
Could it be this supposed new change of formation to a three man midfield?
Could it be a previously unused player who suddenly shows his form and helps to galvanise the team? I’m thinking a returning Rosicky of previous years, or that time that Benayoun was on loan and didn’t play until after Christmas, but was then really quite handy in the side.
Could it be a shuffle of the defensive unit?
Whatever spark we need, there’s no doubt it needs to start this weekend, and from the start of the game too. No more of this sluggishness until halftime please. We’re good enough and fit enough to start strong and finish strong in these games. The way the fixtures have fallen so far have meant the team has been getting rest in between matches, so there are no excuses not to look spritely this weekend.
Let’s just hope that’s what we get.
Until tomorrow peeps.