Goals, trolls, banter and intense drama, football usually reserves its best course meal for the end of the working week but over the course of three weekdays, beginning with that grand-stand FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford, there is a renewal of that argument why we should all quit our jobs and just live each day watching the beautiful game.
The culmination on Wednesday night was largely unexpected but if watching Spurs lose brings joy to an Arsenal fan, witnessing a downgrade of Chelsea must be the definition of happiness. It seemed one significant event that brought together all in the world who wish well for football, with comments and tweets from pundits and players alike, even Wayne Rooney and one-time spur, Ossie Ardiles.
Chelsea’s bus crash leaves Arsenal as the only remaining London team still with some hope of *in whispers* European success but the deafening silence resulting from the absence of any tweets from Arsenal players would give you the right belief that the players know well not to lose their focus at this moment.
In truth, Arsenal should have good reason to be confident now, after the events of the past three days of football. Wenger’s team had begun the fest with a great win over United while PSG did a remarkable one at Stamford Bridge and in-between those, Schalke came within the distance of two nostrils to dump Madrid outright at the Bernabeu. Such performances should give the Gunners belief that something noteworthy could yet happen when they go to the Stade Louis II next Tuesday.
But before Tuesday comes Saturday and while every gooner would want Arsenal to make progress in this year’s Champions League, we also know that the race for the top four has to come first and slipping up against West Ham cannot even be contemplated. Good momentum has been built since the first leg defeat, with three wins in a row and if the deficit is to be over-turned, keeping calm for a fourth against Sam Allardyce’s team must be the priority.
More to the point, it is poised to be a significant weekend in which further daylight could be established between Arsenal and the chasing pack, with Southampton going to Chelsea and United and Spurs attempting to cancel each other out. The results of both games – both draws, I suppose – would be of more significance than the midweek blockbuster actions.
And until all of that works according to plan, with a good win over West Ham the most important, only then will the DVDs from Monday through Wednesday become truly valuable.
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