The last home game of the season takes place tonight and there are millions of pounds at stake for both sides. If Wigan win, they open themselves up to the possibility of winning against Villa this Sunday and staying up. If Arsenal win, we’ll be three points away from securing a top four position.
Many fans have forgotten that two wins on the bounce could also secure us third place. Chelsea have made the Champions League, they have a Europa Cup final to play for, so they might not be entirely focused on beating an Everton side who have drawn at City, Liverpool and Arsenal away from home.
Wenger said something interesting in his press conference about Wigan…
‘Of course they get out in recent years every time – just – but when you play with that fire every year it can be dangerous’
Arsenal are the Wigan of the Champions League. We seem to intentionally go out to play with fire every season and near enough every year, we just about scrape it. This has to be the last summer we flirt with omission from the top 4. Our wage bill should dictate that we’re well away from the danger by now. Sure, so should Chelsea’s… but they’ve chopped and changed to get into a position where they can find a manager who can do that.
Mancini was sent packing from Manchester City yesterday after one disappointing season. Brutal, yes. He didn’t hit objectives and that’s how you pay at the top level. Now, I’m not saying I’d like to work to that model. I guess my worry with Mancini is that the players looked as though they’d stopped playing for him… and with that squad, you shouldn’t be chasing a cup final with Rodwell and Milner. Anyway, my point is, Arsenal have consistently failed to improve over the last 8 years. We’ve consistently failed to hold on to star players and ambition has been cited numerous times.
It’s time for Arsene to show he can move a squad into the elite. That starts with more than a win tonight. Wigan have lost 19 games this year. They’re a poor side with a terrible defence. Three points isn’t the objective tonight. Scoring 5 goals is. We can respect their cup win, but lets not respect them to the point we have the fear. We’ve had ten days preparation. We should destroy them this evening.
This is Wenger’s chance to show he can focus a team when the pressure is on… something we’ve consistently failed with… a problem that can’t rear it’s ugly head tonight. Because if it does, our season faces early closure (well, if Spurs don’t bottle it!).
With the summer approaching, we’ll also need to show early balls there as well. Lots of debate around the veracity of a Rooney move… he’d be an amazing buy, but not as amazing as a returning Cesc Fabregas. The papers are alive with stories around the Spaniard being the target of United. Now, it might not be worth anything, but I was told he would only consider a move back to Arsenal if he did decide to leave Barcelona this summer. I might be totally wrong, but there’s a small chance he might have Arsenal DNA. However, the very fact United are in for him should spur the board into action for the 26 year old assist machine. He has many years left in him… and come on… who wants to go and play for David Moyes?
I’d be hugely disappointed if we missed out on a player who made his name with us… and has stated that he still watches our games. Arsenal just need to present him with an ambitious project plan… and stump up some serious cash.
We need to take care of tonight first. I hope we don’t see Podolski in the middle, we should stick him out wide and bring Theo into the middle. He’s the perfect player to rip them a new one. He’s found form of late, so I see no reason as to why he can’t continue that. Pace against Cup final tired legs is a good place to be. I had a dream that Chamberlain impacted the game with 2 goals. I’m not sure that’s happening, but I hope if we see one of those turgid midfield performances, he’s given a go. I’m guessing the midfield three will be Rosicky, Arteta and Ramsey. How the front three will work out is a mystery… I’d look at Podolski, Cazorla and Theo… he might bring Gervinho into the fold though… who knows. As long as there are 11 motivated players on the pitch, I’m not really fussed how the line up looks.
I want this season to end on a high… I want the last home game of this horrible nine months to end with me staying on to applaud the players for showing some f*cking guts for once. It needs to be a big performance pushed by a big crowd reaction. I’m looking forward to it, catch you in the comments!