I may be a minority of one but I am not having it. How could we join with our enemies in the Scouser-loving media and declare the top-4 battle all but over. The totally defeatist attitude of many brings shame to our club and its spiritual ancestors; the working men and women who were the makers of cannon and artillery who brought their fighting spirit to the football club they founded.
The wisdom of the great American New York Yankees team manager, Yogi Berra, is tried and tested; “It ain’t over ‘til it is over”.
For those who are mathematically challenged, the tables show Liverpool may have their head in front but they are far from safe.
Arsenal has two games in hand and can finish with a maximum 75 points. Should Liverpool fail to win their final game vs Middlesbrough and Arsenal do the business in the next two games, the Gunners will pip them to 4th place. Simples.
I don’t disagree. Middlesbrough is already relegated, a broken team, unable to score goals. But stranger things have happened in the modern history of Arsenal football. Take the 2005-06 season for instance. History records that Arsenal Football Club showed the heart of a champion taking our feckless neighbours down to the wire until they succumbed to the pressure. Below are the the results of those last 10 games.
|15.04.2006||West Bromwich Albion||home||W3-1||5||57|
The cocky Cockerels and their bedfellows in the media had Arsenal written off in the run-in. Prior to facing Spurs on April 22nd The Observer in a preview by one Anna Kessel did its best to big-up the Spurs manager at the time:
“It is a measure of the man that Tottenham head coach Martin Jol appears unfazed whenever the subject of Arsenal rears its head. And so it may just be that the race for Champions League qualification will be decided by a contest of cool, with Jol the slight favourite.”
She signed off stating:
“….the pressure is all on Wenger.”
Up to the ultimate game of the season Arsenal was 5th when Spurs season literally went to the shitters after a meal of lasagna, losing their final game and Arsenal putting 4 past Wigan. Lesson learnt, anyone?
Since that near-death experience Arsenal has consistently proven it is a team that generally refuses to roll over and die in the struggle to retain its average top-3 position in the League. The following is a summary of results of the last 10 games from the past 11 seasons:
|Year||Wins||Draws||Loss||Pts Won||Final Pts||Pos Start||Pos End|
Except for three seasons (06-07, 10-11 and 11-12) the club has put down some impressive late surges. Seven out of 11 seasons the club has earned 20 or more points. The last four seasons in particular have been the most consistent averaging 22 points in the last 10 games of the run-in.
This bodes very well for the next two games. Everton and Sunderland may be difficult opponents but Arsenal has a habit of coming through when Champions League qualification is on the line.
Results from the last 8 games indicate 6 wins and 2 losses. History shows Arsenal is fully capable of making it 8 wins. The club did it in 12-13, earning 26 points. With two games to go, 24 points are fully within reach in 2017.
Arsenal can only do what is in their power and hope Middlesbrough is willing and able to spoil Liverpool’s party on May 21st.
If we the Arsenal are going down to the Europa League, lets go down fighting.
Come on You Rip-RoaringGunners!
(PS: I dedicate my ultimate piece of the season in the memory of Frank, a co-founder of this blog, who taught me and many of us to support the best values Arsenal Football Club over the treachery, fickleness and cowardice of many, whether they be owner, administrator, player or fan. Cheers to you [and Zim Paul] wherever you rest. Click, Click, Click, Click, Click, Click. )