Morning Gooners. Happy Tuesday to you and yours. Back from my weekend away in Munich and so I was travelling when Man United were playing Palace last night and therefore I didn’t get to see the absolute car crash that was their team. Honestly, they are rudderless at the moment, lurching towards the end of the season and looking like an absolute mess. So of course next weekend when we play them they’ll suddenly become some kind of defensively assured, potent attacking threat, with a dominating midfield that belies what we’ve seen for most of this season.

I saw a City fan talk about the fact that everybody is talking about City’s bad record at The Scum, whilst also seeming to forget that we have an equally terrible record in Manchester and at Old Trafford specifically. And he was absolutely right: at Old Trafford we generally tend to screw up somehow. Last season they hit us on the counter whilst we dominated the game in it’s entirety (or that’s how it felt to me at the time) and I think we’ve only won their once in about 15 years or something crazy like that in the league. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a peak-Fergie era monster of a side, a spluttering and chuntering David Moyes Select XI, or a farcically inconsistent Louis van Gaal collective, they always seem to find a way. So next weekend I am expecting them to remember exactly what size of a club they are and potentially leave us wondering what we could have done before this game to make ourselves champions by now and therefore not have to worry about a late blip at a venue in which we more often than not tend to slip up at.

It’s too early for that kind of analysis because we have the two games remaining and then there’ll be talk of how the season unfolded, where it went well and where it potentially went wrong, but in the absence of any real news I’ll deliver a very quick preview of my thoughts that I’ll expand on in the summer:

  • West Ham at home
  • Aston Villa at home

Those two will stick out to me because a) they were winnable home games, and b) we certainly did enough in terms of chance creation to win them both. Yet we came away with two ‘Ls’ and that is definitely very frustrating.

But anyway, back to looking ahead, which will be that United game, and I am finding myself increasingly look at the table as a whole and working out which teams will be in full on ‘beach mode’ even as quickly as this weekend. The Scum losing to Liverpool means their Champions League hopes are hanging by a thread, but Aston Villa play Olympiakos on Thursday night, followed by Liverpool on Monday. It’s a Liverpool side who could potentially be ‘on the beach’ at that time if we can somehow beat Man United at Old Trafford, because it’ll mean that the best they can do is finish third on 84 points. If we beat United we’ll be on 86 points and Liverpool can’t be caught by Villa anyway, so that game will be interesting. If the Scum beat Burnley, then Villa lose to Liverpool, then it might actually mean that they have something to potentially play for, because it’ll mean that they are four points off Villa and know a win against Man City will give them a chance of snatching a Champions League spot on the final day. There will be plenty of Scum fans who won’t care about that, but their players will, because Champions League football brings the profile, the riches, the kudos, etc. So in a way we need Liverpool to be good and do enough to beat Villa, to dangle the carrot enough to those Spurs players.

Eugh, finding myself wanting things to go Totenham’s way is a horrible feeling, and not something I’d like to ever repeat, thanks. But Going back to my ‘on the beach’ comment re: the table, you only have to look at City’s other two games against Fulham and West Ham, to see two sides who just want the season to be over now. Fulham can go as high as ninth, which means nothing in terms of European spots, as well as falling as low as 14th in the league. They’re currently 13th. So I don’t see them playing as well as they did against us. I also don’t see City playing as poorly as we did. The situation with West Ham – given Moyes is leaving at the end of this season (confirmed yesterday) – is even more ‘meh’. He will get a round of applause this coming weekend for their final home game, then if it is all going down to the last game of the season he’ll be watching over a procession as City steamroll them to the title – assuming they’ve won their games against Fulham (they will) or against the Scum (they probably will).

We were hoping for a slip up from them for some time now, but it hasn’t really happened, which is a shame. But as I’ve previously spoken about on here I’m not going to look too negatively about the season as a whole. We’ve got better, we’ve looked better, we’re challenging until the final two games of the season and that in itself is progress. So let’s hold on to that as Arsenal fans.

Think that’ll be everything from me for today. Let’s see what shakes out in terms of news today and whether we have anything exciting and Arsenal-related to chew on tomorrow.

Catch you all then.