We finish the season with a vist to St James’s Park on Sunday where the only heights that have been reached recently are the interminable climb to the away seats.
Taking the fizz
To say that last weekend’s result and display left everyone at the game and anyone generally who recognises Pochettino as the new Messiah more than a little flat is an understatement.
Good things come in threes
Since then we’ve had one piece of goodish news – the Gooners failed to totally capitalise on the sieve that Citeh employ in defence, one piece of great news – Sunderland’s demolishing of an apparently broken Everton, and one piece of news so unremittingly heartwarming that every time you think of it it makes you forget that we go into the last match of the season on a run of two points from three games having been leading in each of them. Poch is staying. Hang. Out. The. Flags. What a guy.
The heat is off
The point of mentioning Sunderland’s victory was of course that the fate of the Barcodes is now signed sealed delivered & up yours. It’s hard to predict exactly what we can expect from their players on Sunday afternoon but it’s not going to be the display of dogged, bodies on the line defending & commitment that we could’ve been treated to if they still had something to play for. The anger of their fans must be tangible and is surely something that we can play on if we get a foothold in the game, especially an early one – on the evidence of last Sunday we certainly need to play someone with less motivation than us if we’re going to stand a chance of competing for the ninety minutes, we looked knackered. The heat didn’t help of course, exactly the wrong sort of weather for our all action pressurising game.
And it’s goodnight from him?
No injuries that I’m aware of, which means that we’ll most likely be unchanged. Carroll for Mason? Possible. Chadli for Son? Unlikely. Games at this time of year beg the question as to whose last appearance in a Lilywhite shirt might we be witnessing? Add the performance level this season to the number of our possibly in demand players that have been signed up on longer term contracts and there aren’t many candidates. Carroll and Mason are the only ones that spring to mind, though unless we make several central midfield signings they’re both guaranteed appearances next year.
A draw gets us second place
If we can’t get a draw, we probably don’t deserve second place. The spectre of a Townsend strike whistling over Hugo in the final seconds to change the course of destiny is there and even though it won’t be the biggest prize that it effects, the prospect of being denied the runners up prize by One Of Our Own, even a rejected O-O-O-O, is still one that fills me with the sort of fear and dread that can only end up in heavy medication. That wasn’t a prophesy by the way – don’t do it Andros!
Anthony Taylor is the ref.
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