Before we begin, I felt it only fair to give you all a moment to offer me rapturous applause for the quite magnificent rhyme I dropped into today’s title.
What? No thunderous clapping and squeals of unbridled appreciation and admiration? What do you mean you’re not in the least bit impressed? Seriously? That’s lyrical genius the likes of which few are capable.
Okay, forget it then…
*Sulks and mumbles with displeasure*
Get on with it, James…
Last night will go down as a missed opportunity. The chances were there – as they were for Everton, too – but we simply couldn’t turn those chances into an end product that mattered. Olivier Giroud had one of his profligate evenings in front of goal, and will no doubt look back at the game wishing he’d done things a little differently.
We could put a little of the blame onto his hunky French shoulders. We could make a case against the referee and his howlingly terrible inconsistencies - it regularly appeared he was officating the game from a crazed rule book of his own creation. The truth is, however, on the night a draw was a fair result, and the performance lacked that little bit extra needed to see off Everton. If you think back to the same fixture last season, the game that day was settled by a piece of sublime skill from a former player with a predilection for the feelings of young boys inside him.
What we had that day to win us the game simply wasn’t there last night, and it showed.
But that’s about as pessimistic as I am prepared to get. As much as the result isn’t what we’d all hoped, it’s certainly worth remembering that Everton are far from a poor side, and not one of the so-called top teams have had any easy ride against them. It could have been a lot worse had they stuck in one of their chances – Pienaar’s opportunity was arguably the best of the game – and a clean sheet is always a pleasant thing for our defence to obtain.
On the playing front, I thought Aaron Ramsey continued to show improved form, and his constant desire and work rate shouldn’t go unmentioned. Other players – Walcott and Wilshere especially – didn’t play to their potential. The team on a whole were not appalling or as inept as the keyboard warriors and gloom mongers would have you believe, but they didn’t get into the higher performance gears, either.
What is important now is to accept the point, accept we’ve made life a little trickier for ourselves and focus on what is ahead of us. Saturday brings a trip to Fulham, and that’s one of those fixtures I look at and think, “Ohhh, that could go either way – we’ll either thump them of flounder embarrassingly”.
There are 5 games remaining. 5 vitally important games, and a total of 15 points on offer. Chelsea and Spurs can both now make up the ground on us, and it’s conceivable the battle for Champions League spots could go down to the last day. I think it will. It’s not going to be comfortable, enjoyable or good for those of us prone to nerves and stress.
Can Arsenal secure Champions League football? Absolutely. Such a goal is far from out of our reach. Will they? Well, who knows such things? It’s impossible to look at any of the remaining games with any certainty as pressure tends to throw that out of the window. All we can do is have faith. I have faith it can be done. We can beat all 5 upcoming opponents. Even that may not be enough. All that’s left for us supporters is to hope things turn out in our favour.
That’s all for today, folks. I await a few of your opinions in the comments section. Do you think we’ll get into the Champions League? Do you fear for our chances after dropping points? Let me know.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards. I shall return with more tomorrow.