Today is the day. It’s the finale.
It’s a long time since this much was decided on the final day of the season. We’re in 3rd now, but by the end of today, we could finish 3rd, 4th or 5th… Man City or Man United will win the league. The only thing decided already this season is Chelsea finishing 6th, Wolves & Blackburn relegated… We need to beat West Brom, simple as, Sp*rs have a home game against Martin Jol’s Fulham, which I would only expect them to win. Newcastle do face a tough trip to Everton in a game where an Everton win would see them finish above Liverpool, some incentive there.
- Chelsea v Blackburn
- Everton v Newcastle
- Man City v QPR
- Norwich v Aston Villa
- Stoke v Bolton
- Sunderland v Man Utd
- Swansea v Liverpool
- Tottenham v Fulham
- West Brom v Arsenal
- Wigan v Wolves
At the top, you’d have to think QPR would be fighting for their lives. A win at City would see them safe and in the Premiership next season. A loss, and a Bolton win would see them relegated. I don’t want City to win the title, especially Mr Nasri, but this whole league is becoming a lesser of two evils scenario! Today’s game at The Hawthorns is not televised, so it’s going to be streamed or listened to… As mentioned before, there are 3 scenarios of where we can finish in the league… The BBC have some it up perfectly, so here we go:
Arsenal will finish third: if they win; if they draw and Tottenham fail to win; if they lose (by any margin), Tottenham lose and Newcastle fail to win; or if they lose by a single goal, Tottenham draw or lose, and Newcastle fail to win.
Arsenal will finish fourth: if they draw and Tottenham win; if they lose (by any margin), Tottenham win and Newcastle fail to win; if they lose (by any margin), Tottenham lose and Newcastle win; if they lose by a single goal, Tottenham draw and Newcastle win; or if they lose by two or more goals, Tottenham draw and Newcastle fail to win.
The doomsday scenario of Arsenal finishing fifth can only occur if they lose (by any margin) and Tottenham and Newcastle both win; or if they lose by two or more goals, Tottenham draw and Newcastle win.
Ouch would be the order of the day if we don’t finish 3rd. 3 points from 12 in the last four games is a terrible collapse.
Arsene spoke about today and it’s in our hands…
“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.”
True words from Arsene, but today something very big is at stake, a great big whopping £45M of lossed revenue to be precise (yes, some of that can be recouped with a successful Europa League run)… We’ve heard in circles that the club always work out their finances to include the possibility of not qualifying for the Champions League, but in reality, a club like us cannot afford not to be in the Champions League…
- The money coming in from UEFA works out at approximately £27m
- Player retention is increased
- Player attraction is increased
- Match Day revenues are increased
- Additional bonuses and sponsorship comes in from the Champions League
Read more here on the Arsenal Supporters Trust Website – Analysis of The Financial Position of Arsenal Football Club.
So, less discussion about the consequences, and more discussion on the game… and today it’s West Brom vs Arsenal. Roy Hodgson has been appointed England manager and today it’s his last game in charge of WBA. I’m sure the players and staff would like to wish him well with a win but we have to ensure that we don’t let that happen.
Team news ahead of the games sees Theo Walcott back in the fold. He’s had an indifferent season, but he does work well with Robin Van Persie, and today, going forward, that could the key:
Coquelin – Koscielny – Vermaelen – Gibbs
Song – Ramsey
Walcott – Rosicky – Gervinho
I’ve chosen Ramsey as he’s the only player who naturally fits in here… Oxlade has been knocking on the door, but in reality, all of his excellent performances have come whilst on the wing, rather than in the middle. If we move Rosicky back to help out Song, then Oxlade could fit in in a front four of Walcott – Oxlade – Gervinho and Van Persie – maybe not the ideal time to start trying out new players in unfamiliar positions?
The kick off’s all kick off at 3pm. It’s going to be a crazy & exciting day of football, that’s for sure.
Come on you Gooners!