Monday 6 May 2013

Top 4, 3 teams, 2 games, 1 London winner

It sounds like a sweepstakes draw, doesn’t it? It is turning out to be nothing lesser than that. Arsenal turned out a solid performance against QPR to do what we could really do. Collect three points and put pressure on the Blue and White parts of London. Well, unfortunately for us, Spurs collected three points against Wigan and Chelsea collected an extremely commendable three points against United. (Well, one Dutch player could have rekindled a few happy memories to soothe the wounds of a painful departure if he had scored against Chelsea this weekend.)

The pressure is now truly on Tottenham to win on Wednesday against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. A draw would suit Chelsea as it would cement their third position in the table with two games to go. Benitez is a tactically astute coach and could possibly set his team to get a draw which would open up a 3 point lead for the Blues over the 5th spot; a lead which should be enough with two games to go for Chelsea to seal their European spot. A draw also would shift the advantage of a game in hand that Tottenham enjoyed to us, the current incumbents of the fourth spot, Arsenal.

In any scenario, Arsenal would have to do what they have been doing in the recent past. Rake up the points and put pressure on the competing pack. It is extremely easy to ridicule the chase for fourth as not being a trophy. For one, we have to look at the likes of Liverpool, who have struggled to reclaim a Champions League spot since missing out on it, a few seasons ago. In this light, it is extremely laudable to see Arsenal being the only club in Europe to have not missed out in Champions League from 1999. Put this in a context, where it was a required minimum, considering that we built a stadium with our own resources. I think we keep taking Arsene and his achievements for granted for so long. For Arsene, I hope, we yet again, qualify for the Champions League. Yes, a trophy would be better. But, till then, being right up there, year after year, is an achievement of consistency, which is well worth celebrating.

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