Well, that’s all over for now. Even with the United States stealing a point in its away game with Mexico, I couldn’t get very worked up about the international break. The best that can be said is that no one got hurt. Sorry, Nacho, even your assist in Spain’s 1-0 win over France comes in second. Most of our other boys didn’t play or didn’t do much for good or naught. Rosický, Vermaelen, Mertesacker, and Koscielny played a full match, Giroud subbed in late, and that’s about it, thank you very much.
We can now go back to the business of chasing down Spurs in our quest for 4th place and otherwise making the universe right again. Along the way, perhaps we can restore Pluto’s planetary status. I did say “making the universe right again,” after all.
We’ll take a closer look at Reading later in the week, including an analysis of their new manager, Nigel Adkins, who wasn’t quite good enough to finish the season with Southampton even though he’s brought them up from League One back to Premier League status for next year. Although Southampton has languished just above the relegation zone this year, it seems harsh to have sacked the man after what he’s done for the team. Having just been appointed to lead Reading on Tuesday, who knows what kind of impact he’ll have on the team? Will this invigorate a team that had lost its way under Adkins, or will the team arrive at the Emirates in disarray? We’ll see. For now, it’s worth noting that, despite sitting in the relegation zone, tied with QPR, Reading has held its own, coming very close to some famous results: losing 1-0 at Liverpool, at Man U, and at Man City, drawing at home with Chelsea, losing 4-3 at home to Man U, and losing 2-1 at Man U in the FA Cup. Some tight affairs, no doubt. Yes, we’ve put home 12 goals against them in two matches, but they’ve notched 7 of their own against us.
In other words, we’d do well to prepare for this one as if it’s going to be a tough one rather than glorified scrimmage. More on that later…