I cannot remember the last time I missed the final home match of the season. It is a ritual, grabbing the last opportunity to see the team in the flesh for a month or two. A good man has come to the rescue and provided me with the opportunity to wave goodbye to a player or two at the Cottage next weekend.
The strange thing is that I am not particularly sorry to be missing the Villa match, other than the opportunity it would have presented to sing “Super Robert Pires” once more. That moist-eyed moment aside I shall be glad to avoid ‘the walk’, and what could be a less enthusiastic than usual response to the lap of appreciation at the end of the game. I hope I am wrong, but I sense there could just be a mixed reception for the boys at this one.
It is wrong to say that there is nothing at stake. By the time we kick-off the result from Chelsea will be in and we will know if we are more likely to be fighting for second place, or scrapping to avoid fourth. Mathematically we still need to win the last two outings, but that will require a marked change in attitude and application from those that so tamely surrendered our last title aspirations at Stoke.
The mood and performance may be lifted by the return of Thomas Vermaelen, likely to come in for the injured Laurent Koscielny. Was it really back on September 10th that the club website told us,
“Vermaelen picked up an Achilles injury on international duty. The centre back captained Belgium in their defeats to Germany and Turkey over the weekend but came back with a short-term problem.”
That short term problem ruled him out for eight months. Let’s pray to all our Gods that he never picks up a serious knock.
At the time of writing it is unclear if either Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri will be fit to start. Conspiracy theorists will be watching their body language at the final whistle. Will there be tears, or exaggerated applause for the fans from either? I hope that by then we have secured three points and the home support will give them a rapturous farewell, just in case.
The ‘holic pound has enjoyed a decent season, but has fallen away of late. I hope for a bright performance on a sunny day to lift spirits, and have punted on a 3-0 home win, available at tens with Paddy Power. On paper Villa have a side that could frustrate, but I’m told by a couple who support them that their attitude isn’t what it should be. Perhaps I’m being optimistic, but we are owed a performance after last week. I’m sure that will be drummed into the starting eleven. Come on Arsenal, one more decent pay-day please?
Oh ‘Arry, You Just Keep Giving
“Maybe expectations have been raised, but they don’t have any brains, they don’t understand. If they think we should have Champions League football every year, then what’s been happening during all those years we didn’t qualify?
Come on ‘Arry. As a gooner born and bred you have surely known for a very long time that Spurs fans are, and I quote you again, “idiots“.
Credit Where It Is Due
Congratulations are due to Manchester United. Whoever comes out on top after 38 games are always worthy champions. You can’t help but feel though that with their eleven draws and four defeats they did their level best to give us a crack at it.
Have a good one ‘holics.
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