It’s not over yet…
What a difference a week makes. Arsenal were strong in defence and secured a well-deserved 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane over Tottenham on the Sunday. A win against the old enemy is always sweet but even more so as the result done a lot to boost our title chances. Cut to Stamford Bridge six days later where the gunners would face another London rival in Chelsea. Everyone knew that Mourinho’s men would provide much more of a challenge and to be honest, I wasn’t that confident. However, being thrashed 6-0 came as a bit of a shock to the system.
It was even more surprising when you consider the previous weekend’s results. That has been one of my main issues with the way that people have spoke about the embarrassment on Saturday. Yes it was horrible and it so could have easily been more than 6-0. However, I think football fans and pundits need to realise that the season is not determined by the outcome of one match. Everyone has forgot that Chelsea lost at Aston Villa a week earlier, proving that no team will be invincible from now until the end of the season.
Liverpool have got to play Chelsea and Man City so there will be slip ups along the way. I know that a lot of people reading this will say I’m clutching at straws but if you look at the current league table, Arsenal are only seven points off the top with a game in hand (at home to Swansea tonight), which is not insurmountable. Hopefully, we can respond positively tonight and show that we’re still up for the fight.
The Premier League has been so unpredictable this season that anything could happen. It is unlikely that we will be Champions come May, but its not over until the fat lady sings… And I haven’t heard Mourinho’s wife yet!
By Glen Shorey
Let’s go on another run…
Last year, Arsenal were yet again (been the story of our club for years) fighting for a Top 4 finish with our nearest and dearest rivals Tottenham Hotspur. We were knocked out of both domestic cups earlier in the season, almost certainly out of the Champion’s League after a humiliating 3-1 defeat at home to Bayern Munich and had absolutely no chance of winning the title. We entered March with our season in free-fall and knew that securing CL football next term was the only prize left. However, even that looked to be slipping away as a 2-1 defeat at Spurs left us 7 points behind.
A lot can change in football though as Arsenal soon found out. Our next match was out in Germany 10 days later for the second leg of our Champion’s League tie with FC Bayern München. We fought valiantly and won 2-0 but was knocked out because of the away goal rule. So close yet so far. Although it is always disappointing to exit Europe, the team took a lot of heart from their gutsy performance in the Allianz Arena and used it as inspiration. They went on an unbeaten run (winning 8 and drawing 2) on the way to snatching fourth place off the neighbours.
This season is very different in that we are on our way to Wembley for an FA Cup semi final and after the weekend’s results, are back in the title race. A glaring similarity was our Champion’s League situation. We again were drawn against the Bavarian giants and just like last year, improved dramatically for the second leg but it was too little, too late. We battled hard for a deserved 1-1 draw this time. I just hope that the team repeat the determination in the run in this time around. Wenger’s men certainly dug in deep on Sunday for a close 1-0 victory at White Hart Lane.
One massive game down, 9 to go (plus 2 in the cup). Remain unbeaten for them all and the double is on. You never know.
By Glen Shorey
The man is a legend…
Today was my first match at White Hart Lane and one I will definitely remember forever. Not only did the Arsenal win and fire themselves back in the title race, the goal scorer Tomas Rosicky gave me his shirt at full time. I couldn’t believe he came over, especially as it appeared he was going to throw his shirt into the stand like the other players.
However he spotted me celebrating like mad and without pointing or saying anything he came over to where I was positioned in my wheelchair. By this time he had removed his shirt and gave it straight to me before giving me a massive hug. He must have realised that the horrible Tottenham fans might have nicked it off me, so he stuffed it down my shirt where it remained until I got home.
I have decided to write this message (which is turning into quite the mini essay) as I have received so many messages/tweets/comments that it would take me an age to reply to all of them. The main point I wanted to convey was that I am over the moon and will be for a long time. Also I’m overwhelmed at the response, as I have become a bit of an Internet sensation.
I doubt Rosicky will ever read this but I am eternally grateful as he capped off a truly brilliant weekend. Now for Arsenal to win the nine games remaining and secure the Premier League crown. An FA Cup victory at Wembley would be nice too. Double, double…
Mesut was class and blew Everton away
I thought the crushing defeat at Anfield last month meant that Arsenal’s whole season would implode within the space of a week or so. Although the reigning European Champions all but knocked us out of the Champions League, we got sweet revenge on Liverpool and progressed to the Quarter Final of the FA Cup so all was not lost. We also bounced back well in the league and was only a point off 1st position going into our match at Stoke. However, a flat performance from the Gunners resulted in a 1-0 loss at the Britannia and proved to me that Arsene Wenger’s men cannot collect the Premier League crown in May.
I went to the Emirates on Saturday knowing that a win for Arsenal was now more than ever a definite must. I was desperate for Wenger and co. to put all of our eggs in the FA Cup basket because we are virtually out of Europe (barring a miracle on Tuesday night) and overtaking Chelsea, who could be 10 points clear of us before we play our next league fixture, will be extremely difficult. That was the case as we fielded nearly our strongest side available and dispatched a very impressive Everton side 4-1.
Obviously, the team knew how much progression in the Cup would mean to both Arsenal fans and the club as a whole because players like Mesut Özil, who have dipped in form of late, stepped up to the plate. The German playmaker was very impressive with a goal and yet another assist. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi Cazorla also were influential but if I’m being honest, nobody had a poor game. The win was, like the name of this blog, A Team Effort.
With Manchester City being dumped out, we now have an even bigger opportunity at ending our trophy drought. However, the job isn’t done yet as there are three potential banana skins left in Sheffield United, Hull City and Wigan Athletic. Our shock defeat in the 2011 League Cup final to Birmingham City proves that nothing can be taken for granted. Having said that, if we don’t leave Wembley with the trophy in May, I’ll be expecting resignations from Wenger and players alike.
By Glen Shorey