Groundhog day refers to a situation in which events are or appear to be continually repeated. The use may not be entirely a correct one to depict tomorrow’s round of fixtures as it has only happened once before in the history of the Premier League but it’s close enough I guess. We go into the last day battling our rival for a place in the Champions League.
The last time that happened was in 2006, something which Arsene Wenger also remembers well. On that day, we not only succeeded in beating Wigan and thus claiming that final Champions League spot but we also had a little bit of help from the Food God, or more specifically, The Lasagna God. It was a time before we had our own Sagna in our team. Till this day, it cannot be proven that the Sagna family had anything to do with it or not.
At that time, the situation is also different from this season. In the 2005/06 season, we needed Sp*rs to drop points in order for us to climb onto fourth spot. We could have still beaten Wigan in the last game at Highbury but none of it would have mattered, had Sp*rs won their game against West Ham. This time though, we don’t have to worry about what they do. It’s all about us. Something which I’m rather glad about.
There’s been many discussion about how even if we do finish in third, we won’t be a team deserving of that place. Then pray do tell, who deserves it? Wherever a team finishes over a course of 8 months and 38 games, deserves to be where they end up. That’s my opinion of the matter. It’s not a one off match to decide the final position. Had it been a one off match, one could easily lay the blame on one or two incidences in that game which could turn everything the other way around. But not in the league format.
I won’t deny that we’ve rode our luck in some games throughout the course of the season. Which team doesn’t? I also won’t deny that we’ve had some really bad patches throughout the season. 3 bad patches in fact. Then why are we still in the position to get third and have our names in the pot for Champions League proper next season? Because we’ve done our part in those other games and also because the others teams has failed to capitalise during our bad patches.
Does Sp*rs deserve it more than us? Let me draw out my Arsenal blood for a moment and use the normal blood for just that little while. Yes, they have played some wonderful football this season. But they had the chance to open up a 13 points gap on us and didn’t do the job. They also managed one solitary win in the next 8 games after that. Is that the reason why they are worthy? Or is it because they have ‘Arry as their manager and the media love him?
Don’t even get me started on Chelsea. A bunch of classless, arrogant and selfish lot. Did Roberto Di Matteo used a completely different set of players than the one Andres Villas-Boas used? No is the answer. The Portuguese was brought in to reinvent and rejuvenate the squad but wasn’t given the chance to do that. Senior player in that Chelsea team thought they are bigger than the club and choose when to play and when not to play. Does such a team deserve a position more than us?
Whoever gets that third spot, they will be the one who deserved to get it. Whoever gets fourth spot, they will be the one who deserved it. Even if it was Alan Pardew (vomits). If Chelsea wins the Champions League (mega vomit), then whoever gets 4th doesn’t get to complain. Yes, congratulations on being the best 4 teams in the Premier League over 38 games but you’re still not getting into the Champions League. The rules were set before the season started and everyone is aware of those rules. You don’t join any competition without first understanding the rule that encompasses it. If you want a rule change, speak up at the start of the season, not at the end when you feel like you don’t get just rewards over what you achieved.
At the end of the day, it’s not about whether history repeats itself or who deserves what. It’s about the result at the end of that 90 minutes and in tomorrow’s circumstance, the end of the season.