I don’t seem to recall there being as much build up to the last game at Highbury, as there was yesterday, when West Ham bottled United off the pitch and United bottled it on it. And yes, i know that there’s probably a billion othe people who have used that one, but I don’t regret it!
The animals who attacked the United team bus should be punished, but when you’ve got an owner putting that type of vandalism down to ‘over exuberance’, what do you expect? I’ve got family from that part of London and I’ve been to Upton Park a few times; I can say with some confidence that it’s a pretty grim area of the world and some of the ‘fans’ there reflected that last night.
Still, at least there was some football played and at least United drew, because it means mathematically the worst we can finish this season is fourth, the liklihood is we’ll finish third (Andrew at home to Villa secures that), with the tiniest of hopes still remaining that we can finish second. We’re two points off the spuds and you’d expect them to beat Newcastle, but they’ll almost certainly win at the weekend if Newcastle are already relegated, which means tonight’s game against Everton has some form of significance for us.
Or does it? To be honest, does it really matter if we’ve finished second, do bragging rights really mean that much? If we finish third and I get Spuds gloating, all I really have to do is point out this time last season, whereby we were being told that we’ve still not won the league so we should pipe down a bit. People in glass houses, n’all that.
Perhaps it does sound like I’m indulging in a bit of self preservation, but I genuinely don’t care where we finish, because it’s the way it’s come about that’s the problem. The familiarity of it all has led to nothing but apathy for over a month now, for me, so what difference does it make? Arsène and Ivan will tell us that finishing third and securing automatic qualification in to the Champions League means we can plan our preparation and transfer activity better. Remind me Where we finished again? Third was it? And how did we get on with those transfer preparations last summer? One senior player brought in was it? But what about our preparation? How did that God for the start of the season? Oh, a home defeat to West Ham, a win against Palace and a home draw against a poor Liverpool team. Righto.
So I guess what I’m saying is that I don’t really believe a Champions League qualifier will make much of a difference. Nor will finishing second, because whilst we will certainly get a better seeding, it doesn’t necessarily mean will be handed a group we can walk. Especially after the near-shambles that was this season’s Champions League group stage.
This is all a bit negative today, isn’t it? Maybe it’s the weather. I had a lovely weekend and was feeling fab on Monday, but as soon as the three days of summer have dispersed, I’m back to feeling a little melancholy. I guess it’s because these last couple of months have been a) a familiar sight for an Arsenal fan, and b) mostly full of a series of disappointments punctuated by the odd win. There’s been little to get excited for, for some time now, which hasn’t helped the malaise. I’m not even going to the game this weekend. And a load of the lads are going for a curry afterwards!
Bloody hell, woe is me, or what? The problem is, there’s hardly any good news out there, either, otherwise I’d have a look at that. Roy Hodgson delaying his squad announcement for England until he finds out the extent of Welbeck’s injury is hardly positive for us, is it? Nor is rumours about Alexis not signing a new deal (sorry for the link, but just picked the first one I could find), which is in a few of the papers so you know that somebody has been fed some information. He’s not had an amazing season, but he’s still delivered with goals, so it’s not really good to hear if he wants out.
If Alexis is questioning his future, you’d have to question whether the manager is still pulling his weight in terms of keeping the big players happy. Are we going back to the dark days of a big player leaving every summer because they’re feeling they’re at a club who are perpetually in fourth place limbo?
I hope not. I hope not because Arsène will be manager again next season and I would love for us to drop some serious talent in to the squad this summer. I want to be excited about Arsenal come August. Right now that’s not happening and if rumours of Alexis moving on persist throughout the summer, it won’t exactly aid the pre-season excitement levels.
Hopefully I’ll feel less morose tomorrow! Catch you laters!