Spitting Distance

Arsenal 3-1 Liverpool

If we’re not officially second yet, we’re so close we can sniff it: We’d have to lose both remaining games, and let Man U reclaim 13 goals on us in the goal difference stakes, to fluff our lines now. If – when – we do it, it’s another magnificent achievement from the boss and the team, who despite criticism from some quarters, have led us to the Champions League for the eighth consecutive year. With an average gate five other sides can better – roughly the same as that of underachieving Villa – and a debt that would make MG Rover blush, we’ve punched above our weight again. 80 points and counting – amazing.

Yesterday in short – excellent first half in which we should have scored more, followed by a period of indifferent form after a deflected goal, then a last minute goal to win it. We deserved what we got, as did Liverpool, who packed the midfield and left their number five up front on his tod. Luckily, predictably, he played like a traditional number five playing on his own up front, and did nothing of note.

So on to Wednesday, our last home game of the season. It’s flown, again. And as some people have pointed out, it’s the last time we will wear red at Highbury.

6 thoughts on “Spitting Distance

  1. I’ll bet Wigan are pissed. When they come up against us next season they’ll have to pinch themselves that it’s not Burnley they’re facing…

  2. 80 points with 2 games to play. It shows what a strong season the team have had, despite having nothing really to play for.

    Chelsea have been exceptional but were never under any pressure with us and Man Utd to distant to create any pressure, hopefully they will have it tougher next year.

    Thought the second half was worrying yesterday, Vieira and Gilberto struggled to keep control of the game, Reyes and Van Persie don’t hold the ball up hence I think a new striker will arrive in the summer, Aliadaire will presumably leave as he is behind Van Persie in the young blood stakes. Hope Campbell gets a run out on Wednesday especially as Everton are a physical side, AW needs to keep the players fresh for the final.

    P.s. Anyone notice the foul on Reyes as he tried to close down Gerrard for his shot on goal.

  3. Blimey, our post Man U dip cost us twelve points! We’d be top now if that hadn’t happened, and favourites to win! Chelsea didn’t have a dip all season – and that’s the difference. They were never put under any pressure. Otherwise it was a pretty good season!

  4. Getting into the current position in the league from where we were a couple of months back is a remarkable achievement. We were trailing ManU and not playing atall well (at least by the high standards we expect). What a turnaround. It proves that not much was wrong, and reports of crisis and wholesale changes to the squad in the summer were way off the mark (although I believe we do need to add a few key players).

    If beat the Mancs in Cardiff next Saturday we will finish the season on a high, with a trophy in the cabinet, even if it’s not the one we were hoping for last August.

  5. On a negative note…

    The comments about punching above our weight and the size of debt we are carrying do make me wonder (or worry) about what would happen if we missed out on Champions League qualification one year. I wonder how reliant we are on the CL revenue to keep ticking over, at least until we are established in Ashburton Grove.

    As Leeds proved a few years back, there is a very slippery slope waiting for those who budget for CL revenue but don’t get it.

  6. I don’t think we could get in the position Leeds put themselves in. First off our wage structure means salaries are kept in check, whereas Leeds were throwing money at any average player that they saw (the story about Seth Johnson being particularly hilarious!). There was also the complex system of paying for players, the huge transfer fees and the queue of former managers they had to pay off after dispensing with their ‘services’. Anyway, and at the risk of being arrogant, one glance at the table reassures me that it’ll be a long time before we finish outside the top three!

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