There has been a lot of doom and gloom surrounding Arsenal Football Club this past week but this needs to stop tomorrow. Yes, it’s disappointing not to win the league but finishing top 4 and getting our hands on the cup would be a fantastic achievement. We all would have took that after the opening day defeat to Aston Villa so I don’t het the endless misery. Us Gooners should all get behind the team until May because there is still a chance of a positive ending to this season.
Ever since going top on New Years Day, the title has slowly but surely been leaving Arsenal’s grasp. The team morale was high following a decent January where we progressed into the fifth round of the FA Cup and collected 10 points out of a possible 12 in the league. However the warning signs were there because although we beat teams like Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff our performance was below par. Although the media make out that grinding out a win is the true sign of Champions, I can admit that we were quite lucky to win in the aforementioned matches.
A tricky encounter against fellow title hopefuls Liverpool on February 8th was the beginning of the end for Arsenal and proved that the gunners wouldn’t secure their first Championship in a decade. I was nervous about going to Anfield but no one expected a 5-1 mauling. After witnessing a shambolic display, many Gooners feared our season would spiral out of control but Arsene Wenger’s men responded well after the disappointing result by taking 4 points out of a possible 6 in the EPL and progressing to FA Cup Quarter Final.
The positive reaction didn’t last long as we were beaten again by the lowly Stoke City at the turn of the month. Again, the team reacted well by booking a place at Wembley for the FA Cup Semi Final and earning another 1-0 victory over the old enemy in the latest North London Derby. The celebrations were soon cut short when Chelsea embarrassed us with an emphatic 6-0 victory. As I said last week, stopping the rot with two draws was too little, too late. Two wins would have put Arsenal back in the race but alas, our title ambitions were finally dead before our trip up to Goodison Park.
Just as us Arsenal fans thought the situation in the league could not get any worse, we were taught a footballing lesson by Everton who beat us 3-0. This has put our position in next years Champions League in real jeopardy and means that the Arsenal will have to fight tooth and nail to secure 4th place. I am hopeful that we will and don’t understand those who desperately want to finish in the Europa League. We can put that situation to the side tomorrow and concentrate on a crucial Semi Final at Wembley against reigning FA Cup holders Wigan Athletic. Not only would it be great to reach a Final but I feel the match could be a leap pad for us to finish the campaign strongly and finish fourth.
By Glen Shorey