Morning fellow Gooners.
It is with a little trepidation that I approach today’s fixture. Complacency can often be the worst enemy for the players that represent Arsenal. Too often in the past seemingly winnable games have turned into a litany of missed opportunities and dropped points thanks to the dreaded ‘C’ word.
Today, however, I’m more worried about the pressure and anxiety. I don’t think we’ll see any complacent players on the pitch. There is too much at stake for them to strut out out there without a care in the world. Knowing we need the points, that winning is vital to our chances of 4th, could be our undoing if it results in a handbrake-on performance.
Then there’s the though of finishing below Spurs. I can’t bare it, even if it doesn’t really matter all that much – it’s just pride talking. I’d imagine it’s an event that would have an adverse effect. It’s; sell your old clothes, sell your furniture, sell your electronic appliances and move away to a remote island until the awfulness of it all disappears.
Wigan will give us a game tonight. Buoyed by Saturday’s victory, Roberto Martinez and friends will have good memories of winning on our ground last season, and they’ve a relegation battle on their hands. Points are as important to them as they are to us. Don’t expect any end-of-season hangovers now they’ve a trophy in the cabinet.
Our job is deliciously simple; beat Wigan, beat Newcastle and we will secure 4th place at the very least. There is an outside chance we could sneak into 3rd at the last minute, but at this stage I couldn’t care less as long as we get where we need to be. Our final 2 games are tricky, but an Arsenal side performing well should be able to comfortably win both. At this point there are no excuses. It’s all in our hands.
The team news is looking good. Only Giroud and man-of-glass, Abou Diaby are absent from the squad. The players have had plenty of time to rest and prepare themselves mentally . I don’t imagine Aresne will do anything to change things drastically. I’d say we’re looking at a starting line-up similar to the one that took the field at QPR – the only change perhaps being Jack Wilshere for Tomas Rosicky.
(Edit: There is some talk of Jack only being used in the event of necessity as he is in need of minor surgery. Tomas Rosicky will most probably start the game)
And now the butterflies have started….
As I’m sat here typing away, I’m starting to envisage what could go wrong. Call me a pessimist – I am at times – but my pre-match routine for the important high-stakes games invariably is to worry uncontrollably. I know I’m not the only one. I imagine there will be a palpable sense of anxiety in the ground tonight.
Being a Gooner isn’t easy these days. Once upon a time we’d obliterate teams in the opening 15 minutes and be treated to a festival of flicks and tricks for the remaining 75. Recent events show we could be in for a bladder-looseningly tense affair, with a single goal being the difference. A draw isn’t good enough, a defeat is unthinkable. We have to make our chances count and put Wigan to bed as soon as possible.
‘1-0 to the Arsenal’ regardless of how it’s obtained would suit me just fine.
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That’s all for today, folks. I’ll be watching the game from the comfort of my home tonight as the elements has conspired to allow me the evening off. Wherever you’re viewing; strap yourself in for the ride and cross all parts of your anatomy it’s physically possible to cross.
It’s crunch time.
The comments are below. Use them to jot down a few of your thoughts on the team and how you see the game panning out. Who would you start up front? Are you confident of a result? Let me know.
As always; thanks for reading, you beautiful bastards.