I’ve been looking forward to this game for a while now, and kick off is only a few hours away.
Yesterday saw Tottenham drop points against Wigan, who were extremely unlucky not to take all 3 points. After giving away the most ridiculous goal in the 9th minute to everyone’s favourite Welshman, they dominated the game and deservedly went 2-1 up. Then, a dubious decision gave Tottenham a freekick in the closing minutes for Wigan to give away another sloppy goal. Undeserved but the visitors left the DW Stadium with a point.
Which gives today’s game even more importance. Tottenham have done their part and chocked (or battled well for an underserved point) but however you look at it they’ve dropped points. If we can win today that would really give us a massive boost in finishing in the Top Four.
We all know that Van Persie scored a hattrick to seal the Premier League title with Manchester United on Monday and today will see the return of RVP to The Emirates. He will no doubt have a traitors reception this afternoon but in an ideal world we wouldn’t even acknowledge his existence. He’s gone, no longer an Arsenal player and for me, in the past.
While on first inspection City’s pathetic collapse last weekend against Tottenham felt like a kick in the balls in terms of the Top Four, it did mean that Manchester United didn’t need to win at The Emirates to win the league, which is a good thing.
They should still be in a party mood after sealing the title against Villa and that is to our major advantage.
We need to start the game at a frenetic pace, going in hard from the first whistle. Today, more than ever, Manchester United will not be up for a fight, and it is up to us to give it to them. They won’t be going into challenges like their lives depend on it and it is down to our players to show them we mean business. 3 points today is absolutely huge in finishing the season well and theoretically, United have nothing to play for.
But they would love to beat us in our back yard given half a chance so we cannot be complacent in any way.
Our biggest dilemma is our team selection. Without Giroud, we have to find another solution to our attacking line-up which in opinion, isn’t a bad thing.
We have over-relied on Giroud this season and he looks burnt out. He is well overdue a rest and this could help us when he does return for our final games. We have Theo, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Santi who can make a difference in the final third.
But whoever we have in the starting eleven, we need to make sure they’re up for the fight and don’t make things easy for Manchester United. There’s no time for players who stroll around the pitch or give up, this is make or break time.
Anything less than a win means that Tottenham can overtake us with their game in hand.