Not sure how long today’s ramblings will be, to be honest with you, because it feels like the inevitable has inevitably become inevitable after finding out about The Scum’s defeat to City yesterday. I didn’t watch the game, I’m not interested in knowing the details, I checked at halftime and then towards the end and saw that the game was done and that was pretty much it. The Scum can go back to being the Scum and enjoy the Europa League. Oh, and a manager who is turning on them as well, I see, which hopefully makes for more banter next year.

Even though I have repeatedly told myself that it was ‘done’ post the Villa game, even though over the Christmas period I had also said the same, when you’ve seen Arsenal perform as amazingly well as they have done in 2024, I couldn’t tell me own subconscious to shut up and sit down. The excited feelings bubbled up after the win against the Scum in their Toilet Bowl of a stadium a couple of weeks ago and then again after we just about got over the line against a pretty crap United.

But football is football and the joys of Sunday’s result were quickly extinguished knowing that come Sunday it will once again fall to the sanitised and vanilla flavoured nature of yet another Manchester City title. Opposition fans will have a go at bantering Arsenal fans and will find it a lot easier because the team that has once again won it is as sterilised as you could possibly imagine. They’ll win the league, they’ll win the FA Cup, then they’ll do an open top parade in which about 500 people will show up in Manchester somewhere.

Of course this is the sound of a bitter Arsenal fan. I’m reacting emotionally to having such a great young team who have outperformed every other side bar one by some distance. Despite the fact people were telling us this was Liverpool’s season earlier in 2024 because of the Klopp factor, we could end up finishing seven points clear of them come game 38. We are the second best team in the league for the second season in a row and that will give a crumb of comfort in a couple of days time, but for now, I am just a bit downbeat because even though I know the Scum are a terribly organised banter-machine of a club, I thought that perhaps they could raise themselves for some hope of Champions League football. Not the fans, they’re as Micky Mouse as you can get, but I did wonder about those players. I hope those ‘fragile foundations’ that ‘Big Ange’ spoke about last night remain made out of papier mache.

As for the weekend, it’s done folks. Call me defeatist if you want, but I find it essentially impossible to make a case for West Ham to do anything at the weekend. The players are not playing for European football, so there’s no incentive for them to go out of their way. They aren’t playing for a cup final space a week later, so there won’t be any grand individual performances. They are also not playing for a manager as a ‘last hurrah’. Moyes isn’t a beloved figure at West Ham who they want to give a good send off to. The fans appreciate him because of the trophy he delivered last year, but most of them are looking forward to a change, as well as some of the players too I suspect. So these players won’t really give anything more than six or seven out of ten on Sunday and against City on their patch it needs to be nine or ten out of ten to beat them. There is nothing to suggest that will happen. City will pick up the win, they’ll have won their last 10 games in a row and that means they’ve gone the entire final quarter of the season without dropping a single point. It would be something to be begrudgingly impressed by if it was for all of the background that we all already know about. Ill gotten gains, a stadium that is muted half the time, an apathy from every other fanbase about City other than their own, in a league that is essentially as boring as the old Bundesliga used to be. We are the new Bundesliga folks. And there’s nothing we can do about it.

We have reason for optimism for next season though and although I don’t feel like that much right now, we’ve still got a good team, a young team, a team who has now shown that we weren’t one season wonders in competing. Arteta and the Arsenal coaching staff and administration will have another look, find out where we can potentially improve, then look to ‘go again’ next season. We’ve shown we can improve year-on-year and that’s the hope that we have to have for next season. For now we take the disappointment, probably a bit more on Sunday after it’s all confirmed, but for the boys who have done so well in Arsenal shirt’s this season, we’ll give them a rousing roar of appreciation for the final game of 2023/24.

Back tomorrow.