We go into a slow weekend, waiting for the results of others’ games as we twiddle our thumbs and twiddle them again until we host the Latics on Tuesday. What’s a good Gunner to do but to hope, however spitefully, for the best of all possible results? Here, then, I present a short wish-list for this weekend’s fixtures, presented in no particular order of importance…
- Chelsea at Aston Villa: no-brainer. A win for the Acorns would help us out a great deal by keeping Chelsea two points ahead of us. The Acorns could use a win to stave off relegation (and I’d like to see them keep Benteke, among others). With a win over Wigan, we’d seize control of 3rd place with one game to play. We’d go into St. James’s Park to end the season knowing that we’d not simply claimed a 4th place finish; for the second year in a row, we would claim a second-straight 3rd place finish. Take that, Roman!
- Spurs at Stoke: at first, a tougher call as we sort through whom we root against. Spurs for the history, or Stoke for the style? On one hand, I don’t buy into the anti-Spurs venom as much as a “true” Gooner should. On the other, I despite Stoke on many, many levels. I played high school footy against other schools whose players were looking for an outlet after being cut from their (American) football teams. As a result, I can’t stand the Neanderthal tactics Stoke employs. Nevertheless, I would happily accept a Stoke victory on Sunday, which would clinch 4th place for us, help Stoke escape relegation, and all but confirm another St. Totteringham’s Day this year.
- Wigan at Man City (FA Cup Final). I’m not sure which way to go on this. It has no direct bearing on the Prem. With no points at stake, I’m torn between hoping that Wigan win and suffer a hangover-cum-letdown that permits them to accept relegation and hoping that Wigan lose and completely give up on the season. It’s dicey. Relegation is tough, even with the FA trophy in hand. Should Wigan win the cup, will they press on to avoid relegation, or will they bask in the glory? If they lose, will they come out swinging on Tuesday? I’m going with my core principles, rooting for the underdog. By the time Wigan plays, we’ll hopefully be celebrating wins for the Acorns and Potters, so any carry-over from Wigan’s FA crucible won’t matter. However, balancing wishes and reality, I’m going for a Latics win, followed by a hangover so immense that we massacre them on Tuesday.
Right, then. It’s quite good to sit back just a bit and watch the weekend’s proceedings while knowing that we control our fate. Win out, and it doesn’t really matter what Chelsea or Spurs do. Come on, you Gunners!