The Only Way is Up

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By ‘ABW Guest Blogger’ Rory L. (@RoryLanganAFC)

Monday the 9th of February. A blue Monday if ever there was one. Back to work, school, reality and all with a terrible hangover from the weekend before – the hang over of the North London derby. An infuriatingly frustrating loss at the hands of that lad who is apparently ‘One of their own’. It’s never O.K. to lose to Spurs, but it is unacceptable to be well beaten by them. The barrage of abuse we have all faced from Spurs fans today had me thinking to myself, how could Arsenal let this happen?, but I quickly realised we will have the last laugh as always.

Sure, we lost the game we all want to win the most and they’ve mugged 4pts off of us this season, but our prospects for this season are looking good. We will finish above them in the league because, well, we just will, we are better than them. We are up against a beatable opponent in the last 16 of the Champions League, a match a spurs fan would sell their mother to be in, and on paper at least, one would be forgiven for thinking the FA cup is extremely retainable. Thinking on these terms, I’ve decided to write this blog to take a look at what’s left to play for this season and why we can leave this derby disaster in the rear view mirror.

The Premier League: On the eve of our match with Leicester City at home, a very winnable game especially with their controversy from the match with C. Palace, we sit 5th in the table with 42pts. With 24 played and 14 to go we are 14pts off the leaders, Chelsea. Will we catch them? Probably not. Can we close the gap? Absolutely. At Arsenal we are well used to putting in the hard graft in the penultimate stage of the season and into the finish and usually end up in 4th place, maybe 3rd, but with the top 4 being so open this season and with Citeh on a poor run of form, there is no reason we can’t finish 2nd, presuming we can win all of our remaining games, a task made possible by our merciful fixture list which contains 9 teams in the bottom half of the table.

The Champions League: The Champions League is always a tricky one. We are well capable of beating AS Monaco, though it will be tough, but we all know it won’t be getting any easier from there on. It will be nice to get past the last 16 for once after 2 Bayern beatings over the last 2 years but I don’t really see us getting past the semi, but hey, I would love to be proven wrong. I will say however that although I don’t believe City are as good as Bayern, Real and the likes, if we can play like we did in the 2-0 win at the Etihad, we can be a nuisance and a threat to any team in the world. I can’t see us winning the Champions League any time soon, but we have seen in recent years that underdogs can definitely make the final, Dortmund and Atleti being fine examples. I love the Champions League, as does every football fan in the world, so I hope we can get as far as realistically possible.

The F.A. Cup: The FA Cup is ours. We are the cup holders, the champions, the title defenders. We should be retaining the cup, there is no real excuse especially with the shock results of the 4th round. We can beat Middlesbrough, we can beat Liverpool, West Ham, Stoke and all the teams remaining in the cup. I am fully expecting us to retain the FA Cup title and can you blame me? As a club we need to be moving forward and most certainly not backwards, especially looking at where we used to be and where we have been for the last 9 years.

So I’m not expecting any real shocks for the most part of the season. What I desire most is simple – improvement from last season. All you can ask of your team is to constantly improve and while we may not be capable of bettering the multi-billion spending clubs, we certainly should be capable of competing with them.

Thank you for reading!

Disagree? – @RoryLanganAFC

By ‘ABW Guest Blogger’ Rory L. (@RoryLanganAFC)

This is Rory’s second guest blog for us here at ABW – go give him a follow and let him know what you thought. ~OG

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