Does hope really spring eternal?

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A month has leaked away since my last post, and despite a recent uptick in form and results, I’m struggling to get goodly excited by what’s left of this campaign. I have been semi-detached for some time; let’s call it the open close season. I’ve missed a few games for one reason or another and – honestly – I haven’t missed it.

Swansea at home slugged my faint league hopes across the chops, we toppled out of the European Cup in the usual place and at the usual time, and we then got our left and boots muddled up in our one realistic remaining trophy hunt. Watford – since handsomely and easily despatched – look ahead to Wembley while we look ahead to… to what exactly?

Well, Wenger continues to argue that there’s still plenty to play for, and I suppose he has to. In my fleeting moments of wild optimism I look at the fixtures and think: ooh, Leicester and Tottingham have got some tough games, and if we go on a juicy run then this might happen and that might happen and ooof, suddenly it could be a massive case of Crikey George, crumbs-this-is-hotting-up.

But in my heart of hearts I accept it’s as good as over. I don’t think Wenger will be turning water into wine. It feels far likelier that Ranieri will be turning Drinkwater into Drinkwine (tortured analogy – please rewrite – Ed).

Yes, there’s room for optimism after two very good wins. Wenger has hit upon a midfield formula with the quietly excellent Elneny at its heart. Iwobi – promoted because nothing else was working or nobody else was fit – is that fair or am I being a bit harsh? – has jumped at the chance and scattered the Walcotts of this world to the four winds, and Welbeck’s dynamism has added pace to our game when it was desperately needed.

But it’s only been two games, and it’s probably too late, so it does feel a bit as if the next month is little more than a procession to the usual destination. Of course it’s not over till it’s over, but Leicester are showing little generosity of spirit to poor old stumbling Arsenal, the selfish swine. Can’t they see we’ve had a rotten time of it?

This season for Arsenal has largely played out barring the kind of finale we all dream about (but mostly wake up from just when it gets good and realise we have to go to work and it’s raining and cold). There will be a massive post-mortem to accompany the lengthy pre-mortem that’s been going on since Collaps-o-Arsenal™ reared its ugly head on Boxing Day. I can’t say I look forward to that.

But until then, there’s always the slither of hope. Because if relegation-haunted Sunderland roll the right Allardyce and pull off a much-needed home win, and if we continue our decent burst of form with a win at Upton Park, and if things click for United over at our friendly neighbours, well then, we’d find ourselves if not in the thick of it then very much approaching the thickness of it, and well, should that come to pass then – eek! – this is totally game on and what was I thinking detaching myself from one of the most exciting title races of all time?

Hope, eh?

It’s a right sod.


Arsenal since about 1979. Thick, thin and all that.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. PDDD

    I think my biggest fear is that Leicester & the Totts do slip up (which strangely I still fully expect them to do) ……..only to be closely followed by Collaps-o-Arsenal. Yet again.
    It’s just embarrassing at this stage hearing Arsene bang on about this team’s mental strength.Two excellent performances when it’s all over ? Bah, who really cares ? Old Trafford was the day it was all set up for them to take this title by the scruff of the neck and they were utterly pathetic. Bottled it totally against the weakest Man Utd team sent out in donkeys years.
    Judging by the reaction of my mates (who have argued with me consistently over the past 2 years that he is still the right man for job) that was the day the tide finally turned against Arsene,
    Barring a miracle, I think the atmosphere for Villa on the last day of the season will be horrible to behold.

  2. Jim

    I think it will be resigned rather than horrible. The kind of day where people don’t bother to hang around for the ‘lap of appreciation’.

  3. PDDD

    Still a tiny bit of hope, one of the two hardest games left & Arsene picks Opsina ahead if Cech ? Arguably the single strangest selection decision he has made in all his 20 years in charge. Just astonishing.
    You reap what you sow Arsene…..

  4. Jim

    Yes. A peculiar decision. But not massively surprising.

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