It’s Friday, it’s the last press conference of the Premier League season and I for one couldn’t be happier, because it means the end to this league campaign of disappointment. It also means we’re at the final press conference of the season in which we’ll have to hear about Arsène’s future, because it’ll either be at Arsenal for yet another extension (and one I’m not sure he’s merited if I’m honest), or it’ll be a new man and a new era we’ll be talking about.
The big news will be the fitness of Aaron Ramsey and whilst there might be a question mark over this weekend’s participation by the Welshman, I think we can all agree that it’s the cup final we need him to focus on being fit for, because that is what the moderate success of this season is all riding on.
Rambo had really upped his performance level in recent weeks and if we get the green light that he’s ok for next weekend, then we can all breathe a little easier, because we need to have our best current XI available for that game and quite frankly, I don’t think playing a full team this weekend will make a blind bit of difference.
Arsène won’t talk like that today though. He’ll talk up the improbable and will give us soundtbites like ‘fight to the end’ and ‘do our job and hope for a little something from Middlesbrough’. If the team would have done its job earlier in the season then we wouldn’t have had to worry about that, but it’s done now, we’re at where we’re at.
And where we’re at is a team who have built some momentum and need to carry that through this weekend, so whilst the Championship Manager player in me thinks that rotation is the way forward on Sunday, I know that playing the team most likely to start the following weekend is probably the best option if you want to carry a winning streak in to the final.
As for the other machinations in the media this morning, it appears that an old Tony Adams interview about Arsène not knowing how to coach and ignoring him three times has been re-hashed by the Current Bun, and no I’m not linking to them to get them that click that they so hungrily feed on for advertising revenue.
It’s mischief making from the paper and it’s fairly obvious to most Arsenal fans that it’s a dated article. There may be parts of it which I agree with when it comes to Wenger, but it’s hard not to read some of what Big Tone says and think that he’s just a little bitter about not being given a job for life at Arsenal after retiring. I – like you I’m sure- love the guy to bits, but he does at times come across as somebody who is getting close to the realms of Stewart Robsonism. Nobody wants to be that overt in their dislike for Arsène Wenger if they want to be in the media, because it just comes across as if you’re holding a grudge and Stewart Robson’s is there in plain sight for everyone to see.
Still, I’m sure Tony’s more worried about what the hell hes got himself in to at Granada, more than anything else.
And the FA are probably going to be wondering what they’ve or themselves in to with their new diving rules, once we get two months in to the season, because I think this is such a blurred subject that I’m not sure how it’s going to be policed.
Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s the right thing to do and it’s probably about time somebody did something, but other than some of the cut and dry scenarios like Rashford’s a couple of weekend’s back against Swansea, there are going to be plenty of clubs questioning the interpretation of a dive like we had against Eduardo all those years ago against Celtic.
Take Harry Kane’s exaggerated fall against us in the recent North London Derby. Half the Arsenal fans I have spoken to thought it was a dive, the other half thought it was silly of Gabriel to go steaming in. You can’t deny there wasn’t contact, but the exaggeration of that contact leaves that particular instance open to interpretation.
I can see plenty of claims and counter claims on this ruling and I think it’ll see plenty of drawn out hearings for the FA. I’m sure of it.
Righto, that’s all from me for another day, so I’ll catch you tomorrow as we over-analyse Arsène’s admission that he’s already signed a new deal, that he’s already commissioned his own statue to replace Tony’s, that he’s already got deals in place for Lukaku, Messi, Mbappe, Jesus and Sylvester Stallone from Escape to Victory to replace Ospina, as well as a nine foot tall cheese wheel in replacement of Lucas Perez.