Happy Monday Gooners. I find myself in a weird scenario this week as nothing has happened regarding Arsenal since I last wrote on Wednesday. A hell of a lot has happened in the Premier League and World Football since then, but nothing that anyone at the Emirates will particularly care about.
We, of course, face Newcastle tonight in what is our penultimate home game of the season and, given the schedule of this tube strike, it couldn’t have come at a better time! It’s scary to think how quickly the season is coming to an end, and it only dawned on me at work yesterday.
For Arsenal, it’s simple. Newcastle tonight, West Brom on Sunday, and then finish the campaign at Norwich a week later, giving us six days to prepare for the FA Cup final with Hull on the following Saturday. That’s right, just four games to go in this seemingly never-ending season, yet for me at least, it still seems to have gone so fast. Scary stuff. Gedion Zelalem will be retiring before we know it.
Anyway, enough dribbling from me, let’s get on with the blog.
Gunners Town Top 5: Talking Points of the Week
PFA Farce of the Year
As I’m sure you are well aware, last night was the annual PFA awards evening, an event in which the stars of the season are honoured among their peers. To little surprise, Luis Suarez won the PFA Player of the Year award, while Eden Hazard scooped up the PFA Young Player of the Year award. You’ll hear no complaints from me here, those two have been class this year, and carried their respective clubs at times.
However, one thing that really grinds my gears is the Team of the Year. The nominated Team of the Year, you can view below.
In all honesty, it’s a pretty good team, and I wouldn’t change much about it. But, given that Arsenal were top of the league for the majority of the season, I’m shocked that not ONE Gunner was included in the list.
While I’m not saying it should be Arsenal-heavy, I do feel that the below group deserves a mention.
Wojciech Szczesny – Massively improved, and far less likely to try something outrageous and end up costing us a match with a blunder. Not only that, but there have been many games where the goalkeeper has been the reason for us getting a result when under the cosh. Crystal Palace away immediately springs to mind.
Per Mertesacker – Pretty much ever-present throughout the campaign, and has been a rock and a leader in one go, as well as an inspiration on and off the field. He finally started getting the credit he deserved too from rival fans as well as Gooners.
Laurent Koscielny – Arguably our Player of the Season. We’ve evidently suffered when he’s been absent as he’s been superb all year and, like Per, has gained a huge amount of respect from opposition fans. Micah Richards, the team-mate of Vincent Kompany, is also a public fan boy.
Aaron Ramsey – Like I need to explain. Had he been fit for as little as one extra month, I think he’d be in the team. However, given that he’s missed four months of the campaign, it’s hard to be too angry about his exclusion from the XI.
Should you care, here is my Team of the Year.
St. Totteringham’s Day
In case you weren’t aware, a win over Newcastle tonight would secure St. Totteringham’s Day for another season.
While the last few years have seen us been forced to wait until the last day of the season before obtaining Champions League football and celebrating St. Totteringham’s Day, this year hasn’t been as much of a worry, given Tottenham’s fluctuating form.
The last time we failed to finish above Spurs came during the 1994/95 season, in which Blackburn won the Premier League title! So we’re closing in on 20 years of consecutive St. Totteringham’s Day, which must rank pretty high on Arsene Wenger’s list of accomplishments since touching down in North London.
We could have already celebrated this wonderful day on Saturday, but Tottenham’s win over Stoke at the weekend means that we can achieve the accolade tonight against Alan Pardew’s outfit in the red side of North London.
And while I don’t want to get ahead of myself, should we taste victory tonight, Happy St. Totteringham’s Day!
Fourth is ours
Two own goals, a defeat on the South Coast, and Southampton look as if they’ve helped us clinch fourth spot. A win over Newcastle tonight would put Arsenal four points clear of Everton with two games left to play, and we’re looking good for that Champions League berth.
We have Newcastle, West Brom and Norwich left to play, while Everton welcome Manchester City to Goodison Park on Saturday before travelling to Hull on the final day. Given that City are still well and truly in the title hunt, they should at least limit to Everton to picking up just a point in that clash, which would surely see us home and dry.
Regardless of how Everton do, I think Arsenal are more than capable of winning all three remaining games, sparing the worry of looking over our shoulder to see how Roberto Martinez’s men are doing.
Olivier Giroud, being the loveable striker that he is, agrees with me.
“We know that Everton will be here until the end so we just have to keep focused on our performance and our game.
“We know that if we win every single game then we have the destiny in our own hands.
“We have to do the job and win these games.”
Either way, moving four points clear of Everton tonight would certainly keep some of the stress levels down leading up to the FA Cup final.
Not that any of us should really care, seeing as that we won’t be winning it, but just out of curiosity, I was wondering who Arsenal fans preferred to win the Premier League title; Liverpool, Chelsea or Manchester City?
I have a feeling that I largely know the answer to this question, although I’m certain I know who Gooners would despise seeing lift the crown come May 11.
My thoughts rank is this order:
– Manchester City
- Most tolerable set of fans
- Most likeable manager
- Least amount of scumbags in their team
- Play decent football
- The only team without oil money
- Play great football
- Insufferable fans should they lift the title
- The ridiculous notion that Steven Gerrard and co. are “owed” a title and are everyone’s “second team”
- Literally no good points
- Unattractive football
- Shameless fans
- Jose Mourinho
- John Terry
So those are my views, let me know yours and vote in the poll below.
The World v Steven Gerrard
As you can tell, I’m really struggling for topics to write about today, and am lacking the motivation and time to discuss anything too serious. So, while I respect the man and don’t hate him, here’s a collation of my favourite memes that exploded over the internet yesterday of Steven Gerrard’s slip.
Oh the irony of his huddled rant following the win over a City a few weeks ago. Don’t let it slip Stevie.
That’s all from me this week, apologies for a bit of a shit one, I’ll make it up to you.
Feel free to follow me on Twitter and let me know your thoughts. I’m always up for a discussion.
Never forget you’re a Gooner.
Matt has been the editor of the site since June 2012 and was born into a Gooner family 21 years ago. He recently graduated from Southampton Solent University with a degree in Sports Journalism and strives to work in the Sports Media industry. As well as currently working as a reporter for Sports Mole and TIBS News, Matt has been providing football commentary for the visually impaired since 2008 at Arsenal, Exeter City and Wembley.
His earliest Gunners memory is watching the ‘Boring, boring Arsenal’ VHS as a six-year-old on repeat, to the extent where he could recite most of the commentary from that season. Matt was lucky enough to witness Arsenal lift the Premier League in 2002 as well as being present during the last match at Highbury in 2006, and at Dennis Bergkamp’s testimonial a few months later at the Emirates Stadium. Matt’s favourite players include Bergkamp, Thierry Henry and Tony Adams, with the 5-3 comeback victory against Middlesbrough in 2004 the best match he has ever spectated.
Matt is an optimistic ’In Wenger we trust’, kind of guy and believes that the glory days are not too far away…
Apart from his editorial duties, Matt will also be bringing his Arsenal knowledge to a column called “Where Are They Now?” – which focuses on former Gunners.