Stoke City (a)
12 games, 36 points up for grabs; a set of fixtures of stunning simplicity.
The Arsenal can end the season on a positive note by clinching a spot in The Champions League. The importance of this is not just financial it’s also about attracting the type of players that see Champions League Football as a requirement.
Should Arsenal fail to qualify then The Europa League looks like the alternative (although, let’s not take even that for granted), this impacts on the Club’s appeal for top players to join.
Should we not achieve a place in either European competition it will be a case of reaping what has been sown. It’s also a discussion point that qualification to the ECL seems to be more about revenue rather than being ‘in it to win it’. This is something of an indictment, as we have only ever looked like winning it in 2006 and to an extent in 2004.
And the role of the fans in all this? That’s a tough one. I personally believe that you have to stick with the players that we are, in effect, stuck with, for these defining dozen fixtures. Nothing is going to change between now and May 13th in either the playing staff or the managerial for that matter, therefore we have to, by default, be looking ahead to the summer and next season.
For me it’s not about finishing about any perceived rivals it’s about taking something tangible out of this most wretched of seasons.
If next season compromises of taking part in only three competitions we need to show a level of support that is reciprocated by the players who have created the situation; although hopefully a number of them would have been sent to pastures new.
No team or club has a divine right to anything and how we finish the 2011/12 season may well serve as a timely reminder of this.
Am I being overly negative? Possibly. If we win 5-0 on Wednesday we can progress in the Champions League. If we win all our remaining fixtures and other results go our way we could win the league with 79 points. But I don’t believe that the current set up is capable of that, which in my book makes me a realist.
The Players need to show something now, starting on Sunday, they really do, the fans, the season ticket holders those of us who are there through thick and thin have nothing to prove.
Some songs about Showing & Proving covering many years of Arsenal supporting. Just because
Show & prove
Show me what you got
To Prove my love
Show you the way
Show me the way