Today’s post is by PA regular, Seebs.
It’s that time of year again when with ten premier league games to go it’s THE RUN IN.
On Sunday 16th of March at 16.00 we kick off not just a game, but the beginning of our march to destiny, whatever that may be.
The fact that we have got here at all is remarkable considering the Yeovil type playing field we have been competing on. From the relegation battle with Villa at the start of the season to the run of games which see us at the top of the Premier League we have had reason to both laugh and cry, as always Arsenal is a roller-coaster that we hope finishes with us still screaming, laughing and with our hands in the air.
The recent run of games added to spuds, Chelski, Swansea, City, Toffees and Wigan is probably the hardest set of fixtures any European team has ever taken on. Do well in these and then the only banana skins left are Irons,Tigers, Toon, Baggies and Canaries. Oh and of course the semi final and hopefully final of the FA Cup. Finish the season by winning a cup final and the double will be safely in the bag.
In recent seasons we have finished strongly and with the strongest squad in years we should feel confident although at this time of the season no game is easy and results are often irrational. With three derbies, four top of the table clashes, five away games (or five home games whichever you consider more difficult) the task is big. Throw in the rate at which the games come, the anti-Arsenal press putting pressure on us and highlighting negatives to the fans, incompetent refs, the perpetual injuries due to teams being allowed to kick us and our two biggest rivals having bigger squads and easier fixtures, then it becomes mountainous.
We also seem to be picking up injuries at a rate of knots and so picking a team for form or tactics may not even be an option.
Another strange anomaly is the effect the success the youth teams are having. With the youth teams progressing in the youth cup, the PL U21 cup and the UEFA youth CL and the injuries to the first team, there are youth players being chosen for first team games over important youth games and sometimes even the other way around. Isaac Hayden was on the bench in Munich and Semi Ajayi regularly trains with the first team and yet Gideon Zelalem played the youth cup game instead of traveling. It seems to be the youth players will play a vital part in 6/7 competitions between now and the end of the season. The fact we have players who can play quite comfortably in the U18 and PL competitions once again shows the quality of the club.
It is a reminder to any talented youngster that at Arsenal you can progress all the way, an option not available at Chelski or City.
I had originally included a possible Treble in the write up before the return Bayern game but like I say this has been an emotional roller-coaster. Before we all give up and go home this famous club has beaten the odds before and with our current manager one of the best mountain climbers around we are well placed and even if we don’t make it to the top first, the assent has been magical at times and a season earlier than many of us expected. We have won the league on goal difference in 1953 and although that looks against us this season a last game triumph is not beyond us.
http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/winning-the-title-on-last-day-of-season and of course on that glorious night at Anfield in 89, coincidently both played on a Friday night. So there is no reason a last gasp winner should hold any fears for us.
So whatever happens between now and the summer recess COME ON YOU GLORIOUS GUNNERS
We can all join Seebs in the run in on twitter @arse_or_brain