So no favaoirs have been done by any teams this week in relation to picking up points from our rivals and that means that yesterday we slipped down to sixth with the Totts on 67 points, Chelski on 66 and United in fifth on 64. We’re one behind them on 63 and it just serves to highlight just how close the race for those Champions League spots are and just how vital it is that Unai and his team find an answer to our away form and quick.
If we lose to Watford tomorrow it could mean that by the time we play Palace on Easter Sunday we could be seven points behind Tottenham (although they do play City away) and four behind United, which brings in to sharp focus that frankly, anything other than a win tomorrow night and we’re in trouble.
What we have to hope is the team and the manager have laser sharp focus for tomorrow because Watford will be a very tough nut to crack and they will cause us problems. I think we were shafted a bit last season with Richarlison diving to win them a penalty, but they look at better outfit than last season and with our defence you can definitely see us conceding.
That means the forward line have to step up because if we get another insipid display like last Sunday in attack then we are going to find Champions League qualification domestically out of our hands. I’ll be honest with you; I’m not feeling confident. I feel better knowing we have more players available than last weekend but you just know we’re going to end up with Watford players trying to outmuscle us and if there’s one thing I can’t stand it’s a tired cliche about how ‘Arsenal don’t like it up em’. Like Troy Deeney and his poxy ‘cojones’ comments.
Even if we had nothing to play for in the league I’d want us to do Watford just for those comments he made.
Still, hopefully it just serves as more fuel for those Arsenal players and hopefully our little Uruguayan is fit in midfield to dish out a little sh*thousery from the Arsenal team on Monday night football.
It’s funny; he’s somebody who has probably tailed off a wee bit in his form this side of Christmas, but that three game suspension in the league really showed that he’s a valuable player for us. You could tell he was starting to drop a bit physically against Napoli in that second half but for the first 60 minutes or so he was great in his tenacity, snapping into tackles, being involved in the play in the final third and making a big impact in the Koulibaly own goal.
I think he will have a massive part to play in the remainder of our season and a game like tomorrow night feels like just the type of match in which he would be relishing the battle. He is the type of player we longed for, for so many years, so the fact he’s ours feels like a massive coup by the club. He’s still young, still got room to grow, but so far you can’t say his season has been anything other than a positive one. He’s had some moments in which he hasn’t been great but much like the adage ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder’, these last three games have really made me miss him in our team.
He also feels like the player most interchangeable with our other midfielders. He’s looked great with Xhaka this season, on Thursday his partnership with Ramsey was ace, he’s improved Guendouzi too I think, so I believe Torreira is the glue that keeps our midfield together.
Hopefully he can stay fit and free of cards to play every game between now and the end of the season. Because we need him to.
Back tomorrow with a match preview.