Another season over with, I hope, just ninety or so minutes of pleasure remaining. Whilst Tottenham’s implosion in the past week has caused mirth and amusement, I’m afraid that I don’t share the optimism which sprung from that. Second place, like last season, is a pipe-dream.
Aston Villa, already relegated, like Newcastle, are expected to be fodder; ripe for a thrashing and ending the season on a relative high. We thought that on the opening day three seasons ago. The 3 – 1 defeat that day offers a warning of what happens when things go wrong and already apathetic atmosphere would certainly be vocalised under those circumstances, just as it was then.
The world’s media will focus more on the reaction to whatever the lap is called but judging by some of the comments recently, appreciation is going to be in short supply.
Not for three of the players though. Mikel Arteta is going coaching somewhere. It might be at Arsenal, it could be at Manchester City or Katmandu for all we know. Since joining in 2011’s trolley dash, the Spaniard has been the model professional, well-respected by colleagues and other staff.
He was a punt by Wenger. Not in his abilities but that he joined without a medical such was the late hour and it paid off to a degree, with his experience with younger players and a calming influence in midfield. Never the quickest of players, I thought he did well until injuries and age caught up with him. Many didn’t like him as a defensive midfielder and in many respects, I understand why but nonetheless, I don’t believe he should see anything other than a barrel of goodwill in his direction.
And Tomas Rosicky. Pfffft. His signing was Wenger’s last coup for a number of years and in the summer of 2006 before the World Cup began, it undermines the argument which says we can’t do anything until the tournament is over.
Majestic, inventive; as capable of the scurry as gliding across the turf. Possessing a powerful shot – Hamburg, White Hart Lane – or a deft chip – Anfield – he endeared himself even more to the crowd with his parts in the 5pur2 days. That’s when we saw him, of course. I haven’t looked but I should imagine that only Abou Diaby played less football in that time than the Czech. Injury genuinely did rob us of his best years.
Regrets. He says he has none but the interview earlier this year made it clear that he wanted to leave this summer and should have done so this time last year. Whilst Arsène says he has yet to make up his mind on the midfielder’s future, I don’t think he has a choice in the matter. Rosicky is whirling his guitar arm and flying off to the sun.
And Mathieu Flamini. Yeah, I hesitate because if there is a renewal in the trio, it’s him. Mesut’s mate, he’s his Glenn Roeder; Flamini is the contract renewal in waiting.
Short and sweet today, the final league match of #2 son’s season this morning. Look it’s Villa, three points or hang your heads in shame.
Enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.