Yesterday Mikel Arteta said in his press conference that the Arsenal players under contract will be at the club next season. A big fat white lie if ever I’ve heard one. What’s he supposed to say though? He’s certainly not going to tell the media that player x, y or z is leaving, not unless they’re out of contract. To do so would have been disrespectful and rather silly. I doubt for one minute that he expects any Arsenal fans to believe that the group of players currently at the club will be at start the new season. Some will of course, the majority I suspect but as he’s said recently, change is needed if Arsenal are to improve and he expects the board/owners to back him. If they don’t, how can he do his job probably?
He also said he’d made mistakes which he’ll learn from. Yep, one doesn’t have to be a footballing genius to spot mistakes but with the season drawing to an end, what’s important is not making the same ones this summer or next season. That goes for the players too. School boy errors all over the pitch have cost us points. The most obvious being the Wolves fixture away from home where poor finishing cost us a clear victory and with it, an opportunity to build momentum. We can’t change the past of course but we can learn from it. I say we, but I mean the players and manager.
Arsenal play Crystal Palace tonight and Roy Hodgson, managing his penultimate fixture for his club, his last at Selhurst Park, will make it difficult. In fact Arsenal have struggled to overcome Palace for a few seasons now but why I just don’t know. I watched a bit of their match against Aston Villa at the weekend, one minute they were trailing, the next they’d secured all three points. Benteke, Zaha and Mitchell with the goals. Palace will have 10,000 of their fans back in the stadium this evening, certainly enough to give their players a boost and their manager a good send off. I hope Arsenal ruin his night of course.
Luiz misses this one with a hamstring injury and Xhaka is a doubt too but the rest are fit. Folarin Balogun and Arthur Okonkwo trained with the first team yesterday but I doubt we’ll see either in the squad. Yes, I’m trying reverse psychology.
Lastly, Daniel Ballard had another good game yesterday as his Blackpool team thrashed Oxford 3-0 at the Kassam Stadium so unless Blackpool have a disaster at home, they’re heading to Wembley for the League One playoff final. Good luck to them, it’ll be a great experience for our up and coming central defender/midfielder.
With a bit of luck, Toots, West Ham and Everton will all lose tonight. At least then we might have a chance to nick that 6th place on the final day. That’s if Arsenal can win later of course.
See you in the comments.