If we retain the precious third spot after next weekend, will we, as fans, really be celebrating?
I don’t mean celebrating as if we won a cup, or the league. But will we really feel satisfaction or accomplishment? I know, that with about eight weeks left, looking at the run in for ourselves, Spurs, Newcastle and Chelsea, it was exciting. Granted, we were in good form then. Our rivals were just the opposite. We liked our chances against anyone.
But now, like many of you, for a few weeks, I can’t wait for the season to be over. That is not how I should feel. I should be looking forward to more matches as opportunities to pile on points and getting closer to the Manchester in second place, if only for respectability and building up momentum for the transfer market. Instead, I have been feeling dread and pressure. After our late season collapse last year, our team and manager should have been on guard, especially against lesser opponents.
Before this stretch of mediocrity, I was looking forward to some changes in the transfer window. But although we hope for a lot of sales (clearing of deadwood) and acquisitions, I was confident in the core of our team. And more importantly confident that we could extend van Persie’s contract, and make the decision on whether to give Walcott and Song a raise, but do it all from a position of strength and optimism.
Even before this Norwich debacle, the news about Podolski signing made me feel that Robin and the rest of us could go into the off season thinking positively about our prospects for next season, assuming we would take care of our on-field business in this last two weeks. Well, Saturday showed just how wrong that assumption was, again.
I understand that this is the toughest league in the world ( as I often debate with my Spaniard friend ) – so, no game can be taken lightly, as all of our rivals, including Man U have seen themselves of late. But can we please take 3 points from someone?
Right now, I’m sure I sound like a pessimist, but I am actually the opposite. When we were nearer the bottom of the table early this season, with all of our problems, and the media writing us off, I showed my faith by wagering two mates that we would finish top four. That’s because I believe in our talent, organization, and football philosophy. Also, I knew Cesc was going eventually, Clichy could be replaced, and I believed Nasri was not a true gunner, over-rated, and I thought 25 million was good business to send a player that I don’t fear to a rival.
So, to answer the question in the title, I won’t personally say it’s undeserved if we finish in the third spot. Because I know what we’re up against in this league where oil money is clogging the way to the top of the table, as well as in UEFA with more super rich spenders coming into Spain and in France (where it is already paying off at PSG).
I don’t accept excuses for our current form, but there is no doubt that we don’t get many of the calls we deserve because we are not divers, and we play the right way. And no team has been as unfortunate with injuries as we have in the past two seasons. I look at our core and I see so much talent and skill, and I have a feeling Wenger will do some good things this summer, I hope I”m right about that. Moving Arshavin out and signing Podolski early lead me to believe this. And more importantly, I hope our captain sees the same things, and that we can head into the finish with a respectable victory, and our heads held moderately high after the terrible start of the season, and after the – no full backs period we went through.
So, instead of backing into the end, or stumbling towards the finish line, maybe we can focus our memories on our table climb this season, forget the fact that Spurs in third collapsed completely, even when we tried to give it back to them the past few weeks.
One good victory – three points – could change the whole complexion of the summer and that certainly will have a huge effect on the future of The Arsenal.
Written by jnyc