Last Chance To Win This Season So Let’s Take It

Fulham arrive at The Emirates this afternoon, the efforts of nine months coming to an end at the final whistle. No end of season fayre this afternoon though; the outcome decides whether qualification to the Group Phase of the Champions League is automatic or what has been a customary trawl through the final qualifying round in recent seasons, is repeated. Not quite the decision that we hoped for a month ago.

The visitors minds will be elsewhere, Hamburg to be precise. With injury concerns for Wednesday’s Europa League final against Atletico de Madrid, the expectation is that Roy Hodgson will tinker with his side. The avuncular manager has form in this department and one hopes he stays true to that. Not through fear of their strongest XI, a decent, hardworking side but more to make life a little easier for the Arsène’s battered and bruised troops.

Injuries have taken their toll and of the extensive list of absentees at Blackburn on Monday, only Gael Clichy has any chance for this afternoon. And that chance is slim. For others, the rest means they will be ready for the World Cup which is of no consolation to Arsenal supporters. Their appearance in South Africa would merely emphasise the feeling of ‘what could have been‘.

For others, their absence means the chance to bade farewell to the crowd is reduced to a post-match lap of honour, the assumption being that William Gallas has agreed to ply his trade elsewhere, Paris St. Germain the current favourites for his services. Others will play their last game for the club, the natural cycle of the transfer market taking care of that, the probability of Mikael Silvestre leaving must be extremely high.

Reports this morning suggest that Wenger is considering offering Juventus some cash for Felipe Melo, a long-term favourite of the ‘we’ve got £25m to p*ss up a wall‘ theorists, the Italian club hope that the temptation of the Europa League will be too much for Robin van Persie and Bacary Sagna to resist, along with the fluttering of an Old Lady’s eyelashes and the prospect of watching first hand as Rafa Benitez blows another £300m of someone else’s money on over-rated journeymen with the odd superstar thrown in.

So to this afternoon. There won’t be many changes from the team that lost at Blackburn simply because Arsène does not have that many fit players to choose from. Lansbury has been added to the squad following his return from Watford but the only other change could be a starting place for Andrey Arshavin. The line-up I would expect to start is:

Fabiański; Sagna, Campbell, Silvestre, Clichy; Eboue, Diaby, Nasri; Walcott, van Persie, Arshavin

Possible changes might be the inclusion of Eastmond in midfield with Nasri pushing to the left if Arshavin is not entirely fit or a straight swap for Eduardo.

It is a match to partially brighten the mood, the disappointments of recent defeats will not be easily erased. It would be good to finish the campaign on a relative high and to see smiles replace the furrowed brows before the summer sideshow begins.

Win A Stadium Tour

Gooner Gifts has kindly donated An Adult Legends Emirates Stadium Tour For Two as a prize for answering the following question:

Who am I? I scored 49 goals in 179 appearances for Arsenal including a famous 111th minute strike.

Email your answer, name, age and contact email here. Competition closes at midnight, Sunday May 9th 2010. Any entries received after this date will be consigned to the electronic waste basket and totally ignored.

Best of luck and enjoy the match wherever you are watching it.

’til Tomorrow.

292 thoughts on “Last Chance To Win This Season So Let’s Take It

  1. LimparAssist says:

    Wonderful. Can’t wait to see that, Geo.

  2. Gooner4Life says:

    Chelsea sign off emphatically. Wigan doing thier best impression of layin out the red carpet. Seeing that c@nt JT celebrating grrrrrrrrrr.If only?

    For Arsenal our own Victory…no trophy but 3rd place sewn up. On todays showing We will definitely live to fight another day. Fulham no doubt were poor but it is an accusation often levelled at Arsenal of not being able to finish off the weaker teams.Good to see Djorou back.And finally Vela does a trade mark chip over the goalie.

    All this and missing due to injury was Fabregas,Gallas, Vermaelan, Almunia,Song, Gibbs, Ramsey,Rosicky, Denilson, Bendtner, Eduardo. As far as I can see that is the only reason why we didnt make it all the way to the top. Crucially missing Cesc n RVP. Lets hope the footballing gods are kinder to us next season. If uniteds season was f@cked after missing Rooney for 2 weeks what more half the season. None of the know it alls will admit it but Chelsea without Drogba and United without Rooney, Liverpool without Torres, Barca without Messi…Not the same team. One Arsenal COYG. Premiership and FA Cup Winners 2011 . Back to the bunker to find a cure for the curse of the Arsenal injury.

  3. FunGunner says:

    Anyone seen Gallas in the lap of appreciation?

  4. Poliziano says:

    Man utd fans set off a smoke bomb before today’s match in protest at the club’s owners. I don’t suppose losing out on the title will have made them feel any better. Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha…

  5. Geo says:

    Limpar – The football we were playing, you’ll be in for a treat.

    Cheers all, have a good one

  6. steww says:

    Can’t believe there’s no more football until Barnet. Sigh.
    Thanks YW and thanks to the people who never lost the faith and I hope never will. You’ve been entertaining and a pleasure to stand alongside on the virtual terrace.
    To those who whinged and moaned throughout, you are following the wrong sport.

  7. Maria says:


    That was great!! I enjoyed that immensely.

  8. Team Spirit says:

    steww, there is the world cup which sure cant be that bad? quite a number of arsenal players are in it.

  9. Zap says:

    steww..hey, build up your salivation for 20-0 victories over minor austrian clubs eh!

  10. Zap says:

    fucking hell, john terry will lift the trophy. I cant watch. Im not going to..

  11. steww says:

    I suppose I might watch some of the world cup, but I live in terror of our players getting injured so can’t enjoy it.
    Will support Pompey (my Dad’s team)and Roy Hodgson (a gent) in their cups but my heart won’t be in it.
    BTW, I thought Lansbury looked very very cool when he came on.

  12. Mongolian Gooner says:

    Today is The Victory Day. Happy Victory Day to you all. Watching Chelsea lifting the trophy. Next year we are going to lift it. Now the silly season starts. Will not be believing those rumours.

  13. Poliziano says:

    I just hope they didn’t protest against heavy-handed policing by burning any pregnant women to death.

  14. Muppet says:

    JonJon procession now making way around ground to directors entrance.

  15. Muppet says:

    Pitched battle with truncheons, whistles and arsenal programmes being used to fight through police cordon. JonJon at helm with Megaphone. “Wenger out”, “Wenger out” is the refrain…

  16. FunGunner says:

    Ooh, you had me going there, Muppet!

  17. Muppet says:

    I’m looking forward to a totally different team in July/August…

  18. Ole Gunner says:

    I’m depressed.

    I knew they were going to win it, but watching the Chavski cunts celebrating with the league trophy triggered deep deep feelings of gloom.

  19. FunGunner says:

    I just didn’t watch. Won’t put myself through that.

  20. Ole Gunner says:

    The FA Cup would have been scarce consolation. I’m desperate for us to win this Premier League again.

  21. Vince says:

    Ha, Liverplol have to start their europa league qualifying campaign in July!

  22. FunGunner says:

    Statistically, going from fourth to first in one season is unheard of. Third to first is doable. And we will do it next year.

  23. Ole Gunner says:

    St. Tott’s is scarce consolation. Burnley thumping the Spuds isn’t doing it.

    Let’s hope we get some luck next season. God knows we’re due some.

  24. FunGunner says:

    Great – where did you hear that, Muppet?

  25. Zap says:

    I agree Ole Gunner.

    But why the hell did you watch it?

    Like FG,, i just couldnt put myself through that.

    Please let next season be the season….

    Ultimately injuries and especially the one to RVP ruined our title challenge.

  26. Muppet says:

    Sorry FG. Comment on a blog. Unsubstantiated. Apparently confirmed by Wenger in post match interview, but I can’t find any links to it.

  27. Ole Gunner says:

    I’d have been depressed if it were the mancs celebrating as well with the media fellating them…..

    I guess I left it late to be depressed.

  28. Zap says:

    Birmingham Away
    Wigan Away
    Blackburn Away

    Its these kind of places that again and again expose us defensively, bar wigan who play nice football, but are an example of a typical tough place to go.

    We have to start winning at these places.

    Burnley aswell is an example for this season.

    This will be key

    And obviously the big games.

  29. MikeSA says:

    Speaking of those away games “up north”, are any of our training pitches set up like one of those mudbaths?

    It’s something that has had me thunking a bit for a while now, I recall Adebeyor always running behind defenders expecting them to miss the ball (they almost always didn’t), and TH14 did something similar a lot of the time.

    Are we practising too much against our own style of football, and on perfect pitches similar to our stadium?

    Is there a need to prepare slightly differently at times, or are we already doing that?

    Just some idle thoughts…………..

  30. Adam says:

    Arsene should begin to give chances to Lansbury and Eastmond the same way he gave to Diaby and Denilson. The latter players just don’t seem to be developing as expected. Diaby is 24 years now and still can’t cut it.

    GK position is weak, same as defence and Dm. We need another good tackler to help Song not Diaby and Denilson.

  31. Passenal says:

    I’m just back from the game and these are my thoughts:

    Poor Fabianski, his confidence has really gone, and was not helped by the idiots who booed when his name was called and then ironically cheered anytime he got the most basic things right. With support like that …
    He can though take comfort from the example of Eboue, who has really won the crowd round. His name was sung loud and long and he is a great entertainer. Really skillful on the ball when he is playing with confidence.
    Andrey Arshavin, really made the effort today and was rewarded with that goal. When he puts his mind to it, he really is a good player. We need to see more of the industrious AA rather than the strolling around looking disinterested version we sometimes get.
    Abou Diaby was my MOTM. He was very disciplined today and reigned in his normal attacking instincts to do that holding role in the middle. He was excellent. He just needs to show that level of concentration and commitment on a more consistent basis.
    And finally, it was great to see Carlos ‘chippy’ Vela back doing what he does best.

    I am a bit worried about Eduardo though who didn’t even make the bench today, when Merida who is practically gone did.

  32. Passenal says:

    P.S. the Arsene out crowd are definitely in the minority as there were several choruses of ‘one Arsene Wenger’ sung with great gusto throughout. He clearly still has the majority of genuine supporters behind him.

    If only I was in the habit of betting, I actually dreamt that scoreline – the clean sheet was very welcome indeed.

  33. Frank says:

    Just back from the game too. I agree with Passenal. Also Henry Lansbury and Johann Djourou looked very tasty. Robin and Emmanuel really are family men. Great to see so many supporters stay to see the players off.

    For the pricks who booed Fabianski and Sylvestre…fuck off.

    The injuries have been detrimental this season in terms of the loss of key players and the compound motivational effect upon the remaining players. There is real quality in this squad just bursting to express itself.

    Sorry about the Arsenal propaganda. Just can’t help it.


  34. Frank says:

    Next year support should be much better. I have friends and family just waiting to mop up those JonJon type tickets. These seats are like gold dust. AIC will never get into a game again either I shouldn’t wonder.

  35. Maria says:

    How did you guys do the emotions thing?

  36. Maria says:

    I don’t wanna sound mean but did the Eboue family not think to brush their kids hair before the lap of appreciation…talk about looking tough….

  37. Maria says:

    “And finally, it was great to see Carlos ‘chippy’ Vela back doing what he does best.”

    Wasn’t it just Pass……

  38. goonadikt says:

    great result has really made my day.

  39. Aaditya says:

    Hey everybody,

    At the World Cup, there’s a group with Holland, Denmark and Cameroon in it. Given that we have Van Persie, Bendtner and Song, whom are you guys supporting?

  40. Passenal says:

    I agree Frank, Lansbury did very well in his little cameo and that ball to RVP was stunning!

    It’s good to know that not all Arsenal fans are so spoilt that 3rd place and automatic qualification for the CL group phase is not enough for them, despite all the problems we had to overcome this season to get there. Of course we would rather have won it, but sometimes you have to just swallow the disappointment and look on the bright side. The Arsenal fans singing all the way home on the underground, which never normally happens, is a sign that the internet level of support is not really reflective of the real supporters views.

  41. Passenal says:

    “We should buy schwarzer, he is a fantastic keeper and would join in a heartbeat”

    Are you sure? It was his mistake that allowed AA to score the first goal and then he looked shakey after that. Just goes to show that all goalkeepers make mistakes.

  42. goonadikt says:

    Aaditya,its really hard to choose, isnt it?since am a ghanaian i would want all the african teams to do i will probably lean towards cameroon but am all for holland too

  43. This is England says:

    Frank i was at the game and i agree with you the sarcastic jeerers can fuck off

  44. Frank says:

    I agree with Passenal.

    The mood outside the ground after the game was one of exuberance. Some of these bloggers really are full of shit.

    Again I apologise for the propaganda


  45. Aaditya says:

    @ Goonadikt,

    It’s really heard foe me as well. I’m traditionally a Netherlands fan, I love it when African teams go ahead, and I want Niklas to show us what he can do as well. So this one is a real conundrum for me

  46. FunGunner says:

    Good to hear there was a positive atmosphere at the ground for the last game. If our slump had happened in mid-season, we’d be delighted to be where we are now. I’m relieved that we made third place and automatic CL qualification, but can’t help thinking “what if”. Oh well. To quote The Mamas and The Papas: “The darkest hour is just before dawn.”

    I’m really looking forward to the World Cup this time – in a beautiful country which is so thrilled to be hosting it, and lots of our players on show. I think this time it could live up to the tag “festival of football”.

    Good luck to the youth on Tuesday. Arsenal for Ever.

  47. 1 loose cannon says:

    Vela’s wonderful goal was a delight to finish off the season. This is Chelsea’s last Hurrah in my opinion before their aging squad retire or simply run out of legs. We had a great team during the unbeaten run but then came to an end . We’ve been building not only the team but the stadium as well and I believe our turn has come, we will finally see the beginning of a new era for Arsenal next season. Yes others will spend huge sums but it takes time to build a team. This Chelsea team is a readymade one that has been there for the last 6 years but they are coming to an end and we will take over. United will be the closest challengers next season. Man city will finish 4th and the Spuds will simply disappear into mediocrity again. We all know what happened to teams who finished 4th Newcastle, Leeds and Everton they simply couldn’t keep up with the demand of 2 high level football competitions and ended up going down the table and the Spuds are no different.

  48. Lagooner says:

    What a strange but often satisfying season.

    If I had been told we would be 12 points ahead of Liverpool at the end of the season, I would have guessed we would have won or come within a couple of points of the title.

    Still, we gave the Top 2 a good scare for much of the season and automatically qualifying marks a definite improvement when you look at the fortune Man City splashed out.

    Next season will be the big one. Not due to any pressure on Arsene or the time, but just that we’ll be so damn good!

    I have to confess to being closer to wanting to add 3 players rather than 1-2 for us to be truly dominant. I’ll happily take Chamakh + 1 if Gallas stays.

    The only absolute need is for a world-class keeper to keep things warm for Szczesny, but a tall, physical defensive midfielder (a disciplined Diaby) to back-up Song and a replacement if needed for Gallas would close the deal for 2010-2011.

  49. 1 loose cannon says:

    I will stay here a bit Longer so that I miss the first part of MOTD. Don’t want to see a cheat holding his children pretending to be a dad proud of his achievement and of course the other greedy rat Cashley. I will simply skip that for the summer and just pretend Stoke won the league.

  50. FunGunner says:

    @ 1lc

    John Terry, Cad of the Year.

  51. Queen of Suburbia says:

    I am relived that my Silvestre comment didn’t cause us a loss. Phew.

    I didn’t see many people leave at 80 mins, nor backs turned on the lap of honour nor money being waved at Arsene. Funny that.

  52. Passenal says:

    QoS, a few sad losers on the internet are clearly out of step with the vast majority of Arsenal supporters. Whilst it is understandable that people would be disappointed that from being within a shout of winning the PL, we end up coming 3rd. But given our injury problems and the level of expectation going into this season, it is an improvement on last season. We scored more goals, won more points, but unfortunately conceded too many goals to be in with a real chance of winning the league. If we can improve our injury record and supplement the team with a few quality signings, plus young players coming through to the first team, we should be in a good position to compete again next year, and that is the most we can hope for since there are no guarantees in life or football for that matter.

  53. Luke says:

    Goodbye Sylvestre. It is good for my heart that you leave. Everytime you bring the ball forward with a dribble and a pass, my heart would skip a beat.

  54. perrygroves says:

    Wasn’t the money thing your idea QoS?

  55. arsenehollis says:

    Where have you been for so long QoS?

    Are you back at Le Grove spouting nasty shit at people who enjoy watching Arsenal? I seem to remember that was a past-time fo yours not so long ago.

  56. OneOfUs says:

    Anyone read about Newcastle? They have no money to buy players this summer and can only expect free-signings and loan moves.

    Good news for us since we’ll probably be loaning out a record number of young players next season. It would be great to see a couple head up there and play in front of 50k people every week.

  57. Passenal says:

    I agree OOU, we need more of our youngsters experiencing loans in the PL to prepare them for life in the Arsenal first team and they all meet the home grown requirements too.

  58. LimparAssist says:

    Why is the Academy League Final being played at 2pm? Last year it was an evening kick off. Entry is free, which is brilliant, but who can get to that? Schools aren’t on holidays already are they?

  59. Poliziano says:

    You wrote a good comment about Denilson yesterday, but apart from that you’ve been behaving like a maniac for the last few months. Instead of criticising QoS for her dark past, why don’t you imitate her efforts of self-reform?

  60. LimparAssist says:

    Did anyone else take Fran Merida celebrating with his mate Carlos yesterday as a sign he might be staying?

    And one more question while I’m at it, does anyone know what’s happening with Samuel Galindo, is he in London yet and which team will he start off in?

  61. Frank says:

    Frank McLintock should pay for his season ticket.

  62. Queen of Suburbia says:

    I just talk about Arsenal with anyone who will listen Arsenhollis.

    Obviously those that don’t, are not worth my time.

  63. LimparAssist says:

    I thought we’d score 3 or 4 goals to be honest, J. But I didn’t think Burnley would.

    Nice finish from Modric.

  64. deano says:

    strikers next season: Robin Van Persie, Bendtner, Eduardo, Chamakh, Vela, support: Walcott, Arshavin.

    Midfield: Cesc, Diaby, Song, Denilson, Nasri, Rosicky, Eastmond, Eboue. possibilities: Melo or Toure??

    Defence: Sagna, Clichy, Gibbs, Eboue, Vermaelen, Campbell, Djorou, Gallas (if he comes to his senses) and new centre half: ???

    Goalkeeper: Big, confident, occasialy evil man…..Wojcech 2nd choice

    manager: Arsene the great.

    Versatile rotating squad.




    Can there be a bad attack?

  65. deano says:

    Im excited again….If we can avoid catastrophic voodoo curse like injury epidemics repeating themselves.

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