Aston Villa tonight as games continue to come thick and fast.
Mikel Arteta would have had to have shown his worth on the training ground over the last couple of days.
From the high of Saturday, Arteta needed to have got the squad bought down a peg or two and refocused for tonight’s game. A quick turnaround.
Whilst Arsenal played FA Cup football at the weekend, the Premier League continued, and results went against us.
Both Wolves and Tottenham won, leaving Arsenal 5 points off Tottenham in 7th with a game in hand.
Failure to beat Aston Villa tonight will mean Arsenal will not finish top 7, nor will they finish above Tottenham.
Not only do Arsenal have to win tonight, they have to win big.
Top 7 could come down to goal difference, and at 8, we are currently 5 behind Wolves (13) and 6 behind Tottenham (14).
Looking forward to next weekend, Wolves travel to Chelsea, whilst Tottenham are away to Crystal Palace. Meanwhile Arsenal are at home to Watford.
In theory, Arsenal have the easiest tie; however we would berelying on either n Tottenham or Wolves to drop points.
A defeat would Wolves would mean we have to make up the 5 goal difference. A draw for Wolves would see them finish above us.
Defeat for Tottenham would see Arsenal finish ahead of them. A draw would see it again go down to goal difference.
Of course, this is all looking a long way ahead. We still have to beat Aston Villa tonight.
Like last season, Arsenal only really have themselves to blame for being in the position they are.
In 2018/19, we finished 1 point behind 4th placed Tottenham and 2 points behind Chelsea in 3rd.
That missed penalty by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. 1 win from the last 5 games. Losing at home to Crystal Palace. Drawing at home to Brighton.
3 points in any of those games would have seen Arsenal finish 4th; and maybe in 3rd on goal difference.
It is the same situation this year, albeit we are battling for 6th and 7th rather than 3rd and 4th.
That 95th minute winner Brighton scored against us cost us 1 point. We led in that game so it was actually 3 points dropped.
2 points dropped against Leicester after an 84th minute Jamie Vardy goal. Another 2 points dropped.
And against Tottenham Toby Alderweild scored in the 81st minute to give that lot a win.
5 points dropped in the last 10 minutes of the game. Shot ourselves in the foot.
That 5 points would have seen Arsenal move into 7th place. A win tonight would have taken us to 61 points; a single point off Manchester United in 5th and Leicester City in 4th
This blog would then have been about how we might have a chance of Champions League football qualification on the last day of the season, rather than scrapping 7th place.
So hopefully tonight we get the first leg done.
Beat Aston Villa and try and halve that difference in GD, then it is on.
Failure to win tonight, we might as well pack up the first team and send them to Marbella for a week of warm weather training before the FA Cup final.