Today’s final home game of the season against West Brom holds rather less significance than we thought it would a few weeks back. Everton’s poor run of form towards the back end of the season, including a defeat to Man City yesterday, means that we’re now guaranteed a top four finish.
With nothing really to play for now in the League, it’s time to take the pressure off the players a bit and finish with a flourish. It’s still massively important that we win our last two games and take some form going into the FA Cup final on May 17th.
It’ll be nice to finish the League season with nothing to worry about. The last two seasons have seen us pull off nerve racking victories against West Brom themselves and Newcastle away in order to qualify for the Champions League. There will be no repeat of that this season but the game against Norwich will be massive for them as they look to stay up. West Brom aren’t guaranteed to stay in the division either so they’ll be looking for a result. Therefore it’s important to keep our heads and not lose our concentration but judging by our recent form, that shouldn’t be a problem.
Last time out against West Brom we drew 1-1 at the Hawthorns despite going behind. Looking back on that it seemed a decent result at the time due their performances against some of the other top teams. However, judging by their league position it’s a game you’d expect to pick up three points from. We can’t afford to dwell on what’s gone by though because overall we’ve had a very good season.
Today could be Bacary Sagna’s last ever game at the Emirates in an Arsenal shirt. That’s unless he signs a new contract which I must admit looks unlikely now. If he does go it’ll be a huge disappointment because he’s been back to his best in 2013/14. The line-up will probably be unchanged from the games against Hull and Newcastle as Ozil and Ramsey look to continue their fine form. Kieran Gibbs and Oxlade-Chamberlain remain out, as does Jack Wilshere. Therefore Nacho Monreal will continue at left back.
Despite the club not having anything to play for, the players do. They’re playing for their place in the side come cup final day. An example of that are the likes of Lukas Podolski and Santi Cazorla who have really picked up their form now that Ozil and Ramsey are back in the team.
To be honest, we shouldn’t really have any trouble seeing off West Brom today. Their sacking of Steve Clark earlier in the season was a little bizarre, and Pepe Mel hasn’t exactly done the best job you’d expect from a manager.
These last two games for Arsenal though is a chance for the players to go out there, enjoy themselves and hopefully boost the goal difference a bit.
By Matt Dawson