A Productive Monday

Morning all, just a quick one from me before I go out the door for work this morning. The nature of the Easter schedule means there’s a round of games being played in midweek with half the games taking place yesterday and the rest, including ours taking place tomorrow and tonight. 

It’s already been a productive set of games for us with Spurs hilariously going down to a 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich and Chelsea also dropping points to a late Fulham equaliser. It means that tomorrow’s game at Wolves represents an opportunity that is unlikely to be duplicated between now and the end of the season. Should we win we’re five points clear in third, and seven clear of Chelsea.

The continued form of Newcastle United means there’s no way to suggest they’re not part of the equation as well. Another fine win for them means they sit on level points with Spurs and whilst conventional wisdom still seems to say they don’t have a chance the fact is that they’re in form. Spurs and Chelsea are not. I don’t think I could find the words for the hilarity if Newcastle were to steal that last Champions League qualification place away from those two. Their manager might be a first class wanker, and their fans filled with the most ridiculous sense of entitlement in the league outside of Anfield but I’d happily see Newcastle enjoy that sort of success if it dumped Spurs and Chelsea on their arse.

Anyway, better to worry about ourselves. Tomorrow’s game looks like a nailed on three points but then so did QPR to an extent, and we know how that ended up. Tomorrow lessons need to have been learned and Wolves need to be put to the sword. They might be in a mess but they’re also desperate and desperation can have a funny effect in football. Since they came up, Wolves have never been particularly easy opponents for us. Granted they’ve never been in this sort of state in that time, but the team has to remember that this is going to be anything but easy.

A professional job is needed. Thomas Vermaelen speaks of the improved ability of the team to organise themselves and function as a unit and that certainly has played a part in the team’s ascent of the league table. The restoration of something approaching a settled back four has made a huge difference to us, and the team are taking responsibility for each other all over the pitch, helping us keep our shape and not to be so vulnerable to a quick break.

Arsene Wenger says that he doesn’t want the season to end. Though I see where he’s coming from I have to say this looks like a great point for it to end, we’re on form, our rivals aren’t, we’ve got the best league position we’re likely to get and for the first time in years we (fingers crossed) seem to be finishing a league campaign strongly. It’s a strong platform to build from for next season IF we can achieve it. IF we can manage to finish the season like we’re playing at the moment, we won’t have to go into a summer talking about rebuilding, or ensuring that we don’t capitulate next season like we have this time around for the first time in who knows how long.

Not wanting the season to end is understandable from the manager’s point of view, but still, we’ve got some distance still to go before it actually does end. Six really important games lie ahead. If we can win the next three you have to be very confident that we’ll finish third, and I note that that huge game against Chelsea takes place in the middle of their two legs against Barcelona in the Champions League semi-final. I think that tie could prove a very costly distraction for them.

Anyway, sorry to be brief this morning, but the rigours of employment dictate that I must be away. Take it easy and have a good one.

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  • jamrockrover  On 10/04/2012 at 2:09 pm

    We could open up a sizesble gap over both Spurs and Chelsea as we play twice before either of them play in the league again. They have each other in the FA cup at the weekend when we play at home to Wigan. They won’t get to play their game in hand for a few weeks and hopefully it will all be over by then.

    • Leper Messiah  On 11/04/2012 at 7:18 am

      One of them will have been knocked out of the cup as well so morale should be low. Chelsea also have to go straight into that semi-final with Barcelona which I can’t see being anything other than an uphill struggle for them.

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