Not only is it the twentieth anniversary of Hillsborough this season but also in May, it will twenty years since “that match”.
Anyone not remember Michael Thomas skipping through our defence in the dying minutes of the last game of the 1988-89 season to secure the Championship for Arsenal in what then seemed to be the cruellest and most dramatic of ways? I doubt this season’s title will be decided on similar lines but if, like Arsenal, we are still in with a shout when last game starts I’ll be happy.
In order to achieve that we need to overcome The Gunners tonight especially as no one will really expect Portsmouth to over come the Mancs the following evening? Arsenal come into this game in good form even though they lost at Wembley on Saturday. It’s tempting to read a lot into this. Will it effect them and perhaps with, a Champions League place all but secured due to Aston Villa’s slip, they will take it easy with half an eye on this seasons semis? All nonsense of course!
Arsene Wenger has benefited from the recent spats between Fergie and Rafa. Previously he would be butt of the almighty one’s wind ups. However, despite being free from hassle Wenger, like Rafa, is still not averse to odd moan himself. This time it’s the Wembley pitch which is seemingly in a sorry state. All four of this weekend’s semi finalist have complained about its state showing hitherto unknown Allan Titchmarsh tendencies! Perhaps Wenger can help me with my raspberry canes and Fergie sort out my compost bin as it’s contents are a subject he is more than qualified to….. no, lets not go there.
One wonders if “Wembley sod” is not the only “grass” Wenger has a fixation with when he comes out with quotes like this. On the question of Arsenal’s finishing place…
“Third place is important, second place is important and why not first? You never know. You do not want to have regrets.”
Third or even second yes, but first? Mind you, that’s what many thought twenty years ago! That would be a dramatic finish to rival 1989?
Team wise and thoughts turn to goals. We are missing Gerrard but Arsenal are without Van Persie and Adebayor although no doubt their replacements will be eager to make an impact? Overall we seem to be hitting the back of the net at the right time and certainly didn’t miss Gerrard in this respect last Tuesday. No doubt Arsenal will be aware that we also conceded four but match circumstances are different now and I expect Mascherano and Alonso to take a more defensive grip on things tonight.
Prediction. Nothing other than a win will do. Our form against the so called top four this season has been excellent and I expect it to continue with a close, sometimes scary 2-1 win.