Well. It’s nearly here. The biggest 90 minutes in Arsenal’s season. Many have likened it to a cup final, even I did myself when I spoke about Norwich being the first of two cup finals last week. But let’s not do that because, let’s face it, cup finals are something we haven’t been very good at recently.
90 minutes to define a season which has been full of frustration and pain, hope and despair, belief and fear. We do this voluntarily you know.
I don’t believe that the squad are in any doubt as to what they have to do tomorrow, and as fans we’ve been over it ourselves every which way. Win and third is ours, draw and, at worst, fourth is ours. Lose and well, it all could get very nasty indeed.
Speaking about tomorrow Wenger said
“We have gone through all scenarios. We have the possibility of securing third spot on Sunday and we just want to take it. After that, we will face the consequences.
“We have a fantastic position, we are switched on and, if we win the game, we don’t have to think about anything else.
“The rules are the rules, you know them at the start of the season and you have to accept them. But we want to finish third, we have the potential to do it, so let’s do it. The consequences if you don’t, you deal with after the game. You just have to look at it as an opportunity you want to take.
“For us it is just about finding the right mixture – to be focused, combative and relaxed but especially to be faithful to play our football. Because, at the end of the day, it will be down to playing well, no matter what is at stake.”
There is talk that if we lose we could also lose RvP but such talk adds nothing but pressure to an already extremely stressful situation. At 5pm tomorrow we can sit down and work what, exactly, the result means, but for now we need to focus on getting across that line. It doesn’t matter how we do it, I don’t care who has to drag us across it, just as long as we cross it.
Failure, as the cliché goes, is not an option.
It’s hoped that Theo will pass a fitness test but we are without Arteta, and the stat that all the pundits love repeating – that we haven’t won a league game this season without the Spaniard – simply cannot stand tomorrow. Coquelin will fill in at right back for Sagna (not sure what’s up with Jenkinson), Szczesny is fine despite rumours that he had both a back and knee injury and we can hope that the spirit of Almunia has be excised from him this week and apart from that it’s as we were.
We head in to this match on the back of three successive draws while West Brom have managed to keep a clean sheet in five of their last six games. It’s Roy’s last game, it’s Pat’s last game, in fact, it’s a whole lot of things. It is also winnable if we want it enough, if we are prepared to work for it and leave the stupid pills back at the Emirates.
That’s where I’m going to leave it for now before I give myself a stress-induced heart attack. Don’t forget, breaking news, rumour, speculation and nonsense updated throughout the day at LadyArse Gossip and you can follow the Twitter account @LadyArseGossip
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