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.
Itâ€™s funny, isnâ€™t it, how the arrival of the Russians onto the scene has mellowed the relationship between old Fergal and ArsÃ¨ne. Thereâ€™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 â€“ and le Boss agreed.
â€œLetâ€™s say our relationship has been worseâ€, said ArsÃ¨ne by way of summary.
Of course, itâ€™s not just the fact that all that oil money has changed things â€“ it also helps that our league challenge was pretty much over before the leaves turned. I donâ€™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, weâ€™re still looking at a gap of 12 points â€“ and even with your glass two-thirds full itâ€™s hard to see that being made up.
Nevertheless, itâ€™s not really about that. Weâ€™ve hit some form, our team is beginning to gel in a way we couldnâ€™t have foreseen in the autumn, and we need to keep it going.
Iâ€™m also hoping for a sizzling atmosphere – the Grove has had its moments this season, but for large swathes of time itâ€™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. Iâ€™m twitchy already.