Let’s have a little pep talk before we get into this blog.
You… yes YOU need to pick yourself up off of the ground.
All this crying on the internet that you think we’re going have a bad day is weak sauce. It’s low-fat mayonnaise on a plant-based-meat alternative kebab. It’s asking the Doner Operator to box it up so you can have it for lunch tomorrow.
I will not tolerate this type of meekness today.
Arsenal are in control of top 4 with two games to go. It doesn’t matter that Spurs have taken points off big teams, it doesn’t matter that the mainstream media are slobbering over Antonio Conte, no one gives a fuck what G.Nev thinks.
The simple arithmetic is this: We need to beat two sides we have outperformed all season then top 4 is ours.
We are better than Newcastle.
We are better than Everton.
The players aren’t going into this game having a mental breakdown, so I don’t expect you to misbehave on a big night like this.
Channel your inner winnertivity. Go into that Group Chat clutching your cojones (real or metaporical) and shout YES, GLORY TO ARSENAL! TONIGHT WE TASTE VICTORY! PRAISE TO SAKA! PRAISE TO ODEGAARD! PRAISE TO BIG MO!
Now go to your boss’s oak drinks cabinet. Open a bottle of something expensively aged. Pour yourself a stiff one, crush it (no faces), then head back to your desk. If they ask who sent you, tell them Pedro, it’ll be fine with HR, I promise.
Are you set? Good, now let’s talk football.
Arsenal look set to have a pretty decent team to choose from. Gabriel and Ben White went to Newcastle, I would take that news as meaning it is highly likely our defence will have 4 of our 5 starters. That is absolutely massive considering the occasion.
We need huge games from all of them. Aaron Ramsdale needs to exude his early-season confidence, Ben White and Gabriel need to do their jobs with confidence and calm, and Tomi just needs to be Tomi. I don’t know what the fullback choice will be, but having the Lord of Chaos at left-back is probably a worse option than Tomi there with Cedric on the right. Both options are less than ideal, let’s be honest.
In midfield, it’ll be Xhaka and Mo Elneny, they just have to play with discipline and heart. Newcastle don’t have a great defence, the biggest job of the evening is going to be what we can do in their box. Our midfield needs to give a platform to the youngsters in the final 3rd to do some damage.
I don’t know how Arteta is going to mix it up in the final third, but whoever is there needs to take their chances.
Newcastle play out the back, perfect for Eddie to sniff our opportunities, the press is going to be important.
Trippier is on his second game of the season, the perfect chance to run an older player ragged.
Targett on the other side is there to be got at.
Our reality is fans is that we are going to have to watch Arsenal suffer for chunks of the game. West Ham had basically nothing to play for and they went two up against City and should have scored two more. When we were gunning for the league in 1999, we went on an outrageous tear post losing to Villa on December 13th, we didn’t lose a single game, we were looking really good for the league, then we went to Leeds, who had nothing to play for sitting comfortably in 4th, and we lost to a Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank late goal.
Newcastle have nothing to play for outside the joy of being really fucking irritating to our end-of-season run. They are under the lights in front of their rabid fanbase, they’ll want to exit the season with a scalp, Arsenal would be a pretty good one.
They’ll come at us at 100mph. We have to ride out that energy. We have to kill the moment. We might have to take the game into the last 20 minutes to win it.
Prepare to suffer, but be positive about the game, these boys have shown deep character all season.
Spurs was an aberration.
The job to be done is clear. So let’s do it. No excuses. We can taste that Champions League music in the air.
Right, on that note, see you in the comments. x