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Right at home

Trophy, that’s where we will start today. Robin Van Persie has started the ball rolling by winning the first of many trophies to come for Arsenal Football Club. Fine, it’s an individual award but he did achieved it while playing for us and without the support of his team mates, he wouldn’t have won this trophy. So, I’ll consider that one for the team.

All jokes aside, RvP do deserved the award. It’s recognition from his peers for his performances on the pitch this season. There are those who have done well this season but not put in the consistency that our captain has. If there’s additional point like in diving (the sport, not the Ashley Young version) for different difficulties, RvP would have won the award by an even bigger margin.

I don’t think any Gooner or even neutral fans would disagree that this is a player at the peak of his footballing career. The news about his contract length remaining is not new but it’s one that has been playing on our minds since the start of the season. It’s no great secret that in order for us to succeed, we have to build the team around him and bring in players of sufficient quality to prove the Dutchman that he can still win things with Arsenal. That is a far easier job than recruiting to replace him, in my opinion.

Like so many of us, I don’t agree with the team of the season that was selected. How Fabricio Coloccini is there ahead of Laurent Koscielny is beyond me. Coloccini being an Argentinian should dispel any British bias ideas. Thomas Vermaelen likes to play with Koscielny, and I’ll like to dance with Koscielny. He has not got the recognition that he deserves. A good Euro 2012 should turn the opinions around in favour of him. My choice for the runners-up spot in Arsenal’s player of the season.

There were games played yesterday in the Premier League, ones which involved the scrap for the title and one which involve the scrap for mid table mediocrity. It’s should be a very good day for Roy Hodgson having gone back to Anfield and picked up 3 points. One very good way to stick one back at his former employers. Further up the table, United’s draw at home coupled with City’s win at Wolves can only be good for us.

This is because Newcastle still have to play City later on in the season and we sure could do with City still having more than just pride to fight for, in that game. At the moment, I do feel that Newcastle are the only ones who are capable of removing us from the third spot. The mathematics is easy, win all 3 of our remaining games and we’ll finish third. But football is never about the maths.

We are losing the momentum that we had going for us prior to the QPR and Wigan games. We have lost the services of Mikel Arteta and Theo Walcott for the rest of the season. Both of which are crucial to the way we play. Arteta’s absence more keenly felt, if only a bit more than Walcott. I can’t say for certain that we’ll grab all 9 points left to be taken. Arsene Wenger may think that we’re in the driving seat and the table do signify that, however Newcastle are the ones with the momentum now.

None of the 3 teams left to be played this season are higher than 10th. People will say that they have nothing to pay for but there’s the money portion involved. This article here puts every league spots onwards as an additional £800k. That’s good money for the smaller clubs and incentive enough for the management of these clubs to push their players to not think about their holidays yet. You can almost hear Tony Pulis telling his players how much we hate them and to give it their all in their upcoming match against us.

Despite the injuries starting to pile up again, there’s the good news of the return of Abou Diaby. Both Wenger and Vermaelen thinks that he will crucial for the run in. In the same article Wenger spoke about how Tomas Rosicky was forced to play despite being ill. In the past, Wenger has certainly fielded players who were not sufficiently fit enough and we’ve suffered from the consequences of it. Which is why we should be extra careful with Diaby. His long history flirting with injuries should make that a requirement.

He did well when he came on against Chelsea. Receiving and moving the ball quickly. Popping up all over and running with the ball when the pass wasn’t on. His physical presence in midfield would be important in these last 3 games where the oppositions do play with a more British style than others. Stoke being the one that tops that list. However, with that in mind, it could also be a bruising one for Diaby. Perhaps there would be a rotation between him and Francis Coquelin / Aaron Ramsey for these last 3 games. Extra care being the priority here.

I’m off to celebrate by finding clips of RvP on youtube.