Happy Friday! We have made it through another week!!!
Another bank holiday weekend coming up which means that playing West Ham United away at 4:40 on a Sunday is not as bad as it would be on a normal weekend.
Would still have preferred it on the Saturday, but at least we can all meet early on Sunday, few beers before heading down to the ground.
Anyone who has not been before, my advice is drink up and around Highbury Corner before getting the London Overground to Hackney Wick and walk.
There were some results last night which all went Arsenal’s way.
West Ham lost 2-1 to Frankfurt which means they are still in the game. Surely David Moyes will now completely rest his first team ahead of the 2nd leg out in Germany.
I would be very surprised if the likes of Kurt Zouma, Tomáš Souček, Declan Rice, Michail Antonio and Jarrod Bowen start.
Our possible advantage if West Ham rest players is offset by the likelihood of Leicester City doing the same away to Tottenham.
They are in the middle of their Europa Conference (or whatever it is called) semi-final so will surely also rest their entire starting XI. I do not expect either Arsenal or Tottenham to drop points this weekend.
The result between Chelsea and Manchester United was also a good one for The Arsenal.
A 1-1 draw pretty much rules Manchester United out of the race for top 4.
The maximum points Man U can now get is 64. We are on 60 with 5 games still to play.
That draw has probably actually secured us a top 5 finish; Manchester United probably won’t all of their final 3 games, and Arsenal certainly will not lose 4 of our last 5 games!
It shows how quickly things can change in football.
10 days ago we were looking over our shoulders. No win in 3. People were talking about how we might not even make top 6, let alone top 4.
Victories over Chelsea and Manchester United has put us back into pole position for that 4th place, and Man U’s dropped points means 5th is all but secured.
So back in the Europa League a minimum next year – that was always our minimum target for this season.
Chelsea dropping points also gives us an outside chance of top 3.
We are 6 points behind and they have a vaslty superior goal difference alongside a fairly routine run in – but with the FA Cup in 2 weeks – and before the season ends – we need to be ready to pounce if they take the eye of the ball with the league.
There is still plenty of football to be played this season. We have seen how quickly things can change as games come thick and fast.
With Tottenham to face Liverpool prior to the North London Derby, I would expect us to go into that game 5 points clear. But we need to win the next two games to ensure that.
The Newcastle away game looks like a hurdle – it will be their last home game of the season and they are in Top 4 form with only Liverpool gaining more points than them in 2022.
I am now doing that thing of looking towards games in the future. Need to stop doing that. Focus on this weekend. Focus on Sunday. Lets get the 3 points in the bag. UTA.
Next two games are our biggest in the league for a long long time. Got to find a way to get over the line in them, if we do then we`ll go to the piggery and a draw will do us. Hard not to look to future fixtures though, you`ve put the wind right up me. I remember reading one of your blogs before the Palace game and you talked about how important goal difference might be at the end of the season. I dismissed it at the time but going through the fixtures its looking a bit more likely. Think we`ll beat Leeds and Everton but that Newcastle game looks a bit naughty to me. Just hope we`re more than 2 points in front of the Kangas before that one because I wouldn`t want to go there needing to win. That being said, if someone had said to me at the start of the season that we`d find ourselves in this position I`d have bit their fucking arm off.