Welcome back. I was away a couple of days this week, and what with not a lot happening (apart from us selling Lauren), I let things be.
It’s funny, isn’t it, how the arrival of the Russians onto the scene has mellowed the relationship between old Fergal and Arsène. There’s not been much to get too uptight about in the way of pre-match barbs, which given the history of the last ten years, is pretty amazing. Fergal said we overachieved last season – and le Boss agreed.
“Let’s say our relationship has been worse”, said Arsène by way of summary.
Of course, it’s not just the fact that all that oil money has changed things – it also helps that our league challenge was pretty much over before the leaves turned. I don’t suppose Fergal sees us as a challenge in that department. And he has a point. Even if we were to win tomorrow, and the Pool win today, we’re still looking at a gap of 12 points – and even with your glass two-thirds full it’s hard to see that being made up.
Nevertheless, it’s not really about that. We’ve hit some form, our team is beginning to gel in a way we couldn’t have foreseen in the autumn, and we need to keep it going.
I’m also hoping for a sizzling atmosphere – the Grove has had its moments this season, but for large swathes of time it’s been pretty similar to Highbury in terms of noise. The last home game against Charlton was particularly quiet.
Tomorrow I expect it could be pretty explosive. I’m twitchy already.