Another big day in the Premier League for us even though we are not part of the fixture list for today. Today sees Bolton taking on Sp*rs while in the other match, Chelsea plays Newcastle. 3 of those teams are still capable of catching up to us and prevent us from taking that 3rd spot. There’s nothing we can do to influence the standings by the end of the day, just hoping that some measure of the current gap could be maintained.
As it stands, both Sp*rs and Newcastle are 4 points adrift of us with Chelsea another point behind these two. We will be able to tell further once today’s matches are played because these are the game in hand that they have over us. We would not be overtaken by the end of the today. While that’s a big relief, that gap could potentially be narrowed to just one point provided any of the former two could achieve victory today.
Bolton are fighting for their lives and will have the presence of Fabrice Muamba to spur (excuse the pun) them on. While I don’t have much confidence in Bolton getting all 3 points, I can certainly see them being able to cause Sp*rs problems and perhaps nick a point. Which is entirely plausible given Sp*rs’ away record of almost similar number of wins, draws and losses. If Danny Rose continues at left back, Ryo Miyaichi will cherish that and hopefully chances could be created from that area of the pitch. The Japanese youngster could help his club before he even plays for us.
In the other game, I’m also panning out for a drawn game. Chelsea are riding on the crest of confidence gained from qualification to the final of Champions League and seemed to have been resurrected by the temporary appointment of Roberto di Matteo. Newcastle suffered a blip in that 4-0 thrashing at DW Stadium, but Wigan has been handling out defeats to top teams in recent weeks. While I’m hoping for a draw, the home side at Stamford Bridge are the ones likely to come away with all 3 points.
Taking all those into considerations, we will still likely to be holding a 2 point lead going into the weekend’s fixtures. The results from now can be dictated by us, we still hold the “destiny” within our own hands. One win, 2 draws and one defeat in our last 4 league games are not signs of a team in great form. Mikel Arteta’s absence has hit us hard as expected and if we win on Saturday, it would be our first league win without the Spaniard. The media has got it all right and wrong. We’re a one man team, just that the man isn’t Robin Van Persie. Or is it?
We can only sit and watch what unfolds today. The announcement of Lukas Podolski’s signing could create a feel good effect on the team going into the weekend’s match. Or it could hamper the confidence of someone like Yossi Benayoun (who may see that signing as one that means he won’t stay beyond his loan deal) or Gervinho (who may see that signing as one that means he will get a lot of bench time next season). In any case, they have to be professional about it. They can’t think of next season just quite yet.
There’s some unfinished business in the current season.