That was a pleasant Saturday indeed.
It really had been an age since we last experienced that three-point-glow associated with a weekend home win, really far too long. The weeks between 11th February and 19th April are the ones that people will probably remember this season, but it’s important not to forget what came before. I know I can be guilty of brutal conclusions as much as the next fan, but with the benefit of a little hindsight, hacking the team to pieces for losing three league games out of 35 seems a little extravagant. We’ve improved – just not enough to go from fourth to first in one year. The trick will be to improve again next year, and well, who knows what might happen?
Yesterday we played really well at times, aided by a Reading side patently short on quality – there was never any danger of letting a goal in, despite having Toure at right-back and Alex Song at centre-half. Once the first goal went in, I felt it was a case not of if we would win but by how many, and in the end it was only the crossbar, some excellent last-ditch defending and of course some wastefulness that meant it ended up just 2-0.
Some excellent performances too: Walcott really is coming of age and could have scored one or two, van Persie is finding his feet again following his obscenely long lay-off, and Fabregas was superb. There is no reason why we can’t win our final three league games, and if we do so, it would mean we would come third with 83 points. That would be a staggering points total for the third placed side, wouldn’t it? It just shows how high the bar is set these days.
And what is it with this Fabregas ‘clarification’? With his ability and his age, he was always the most likely candidate to follow in Vieira and Henry’s footsteps when it comes to intractable summer sagas, and I fear we’re just going to have to get used to summer nonsense in his case. He might be here one, two or ten more years, but I bet you we’ll get the same guff each year. The same people trying to unsettle, followed by the same denials. It really is monumentally dull.
Eight days off for the squad now, which in my book is plenty of time for Sagna and Flamini to come back and for either Rosicky or Shergar to be located. So much for ‘Lucky 7’.
Eto’o, anyone? I only mention it because L’Equipe reckons he’s ‘threatening to leave Barca’. What with Henry apparently wanting to come back to London (a worrying thought in itself, because given it wouldn’t be back to Arsenal where could he feasibly go other than to the Russians?) then it’s safe to say that Barcelona are not exactly warming up for the Champions League semi-final in the manner they might want.
I shall stop rambling now.