This Time Next Year... as Long as Arsenal Win and we win an extra 47 games
Last game of the season time and we pitch up at The Etihad to play the deposed Champions. Deposed or not, they’re still a very good side and they humped us at St Mary’s earlier in the season. Also, there’s the small matter of them having won their last 5 games in a row. This could well me Manuel Pellegrini’s last game as they failed to mount a title challenge and were shit in the Champions League again. He doesn’t seem to have much idea tactically where it seems to be a case of picking 11 players and telling them to get on with it. As long as one of those players in Mangala then the opposition have got a chance. I don’t like Zabaleta either as he’s a nasty bastard but on the other side of the coin they have Aguero who is a fantastic player and Yaya’s not bad either as long as he’s running towards the opponents goal and not diving about. David Silva – yeah, he’s not bad either… oh… and Joe Hart…. And Lampard… shit, shall we go home?
It’s been a week or so of nauseating Sky Sports led, jerking off over a player leaving the English game. That of course was Steven Gerrard who was leaving mid-table Fucking Liverpool. A more deserving case is Frank Lampard who has been competing at the very top end of the English game for just as long and with considerably more success. He’ll score today – he always does against us. The week for Saints has been relatively quiet with all the right noises being made about going for the win today to give us a chance of finishing 5th as opposed to the 7th we currently occupy. There is also the small matter of finishing above the Spurs and Liverpool twats.
We’ve had our award night this week with José Fonte carrying off both the Players and Supporters Awards. Other winners were Big Vic getting the Presidents Award, Matty Targett getting the Young Player Award and Shane Long getting goal of the season for his long ranger against Villa last week. For me, Graziano against QPR should have walked it. Not only was it a fantastic goal but it won us three points whereas Long’s, though a great strike, was the 5th goal in a 6-1 win.
Having won 6-1 last week I was expecting an unchanged team aside from Superkelv coming back in for Gazza to give him his 300th appearance. A move like this could find you accused of sentimentality as Gazza played well last week but there really is not much between them so it's not really a problem. It was a surprise however, to see Filip Djuricic starting the game and JWP relegated to the bench. Even before the game has started we look lightweight in midfield with basically 4 strikers on the pitch. I guess we cannot be accused to not going for it. J-Rod has made the trip to the ground where he cocked his knee up but he’s not made the bench with the club deciding wisely not to risk anything and that a full pre-season before starting games is a better idea.
We start really well and after a minute or so, Pellé nicely plays in Djuricic on the left and he beats di Michelis who just trashes him. Remarkably, considering that we’re away to a big team, the referee Chris Foy gets the book out straight away. Foy is refereeing his last game today before retiring. He’s 52 but looks about 72. With no JWP in the side, it’s Davis on the free kicks and he swings it in way too high and Hart punches it out to the opposite wing.
We carve out a great chance soon after and again it’s Pellè who plays it to Shane Long who nicks it past Zabaleta and is clean through on Hart. He opens his body out and tries to curl it past him but succeeds only in half hitting it straight at him. It sums up Shane perfectly. Can score from 40 yards but when you really need him to score from 10 yards… no.
We are of course not going to have things all our own way and we are going to have to ride our luck at some point. This we do on a couple of occasions as Steve Davis gives the ball away to Yaya who gets tackled but the ball finds its way through to Aguero who slams it wide when he really should have scored. Next up is a real let off as Yaya cuts along the top of the box fro the left and hammers a shot straight at Superkelv which he totally fails to deal with and flaps it straight to Aguero. His shot is expertly clawed away by Davis who got up so quickly to get away from the smell where he shat in his shorts when he dropped the first shot. The rebound is still live but Aguero swings at it and slams it wide. He’s shit isn’t he?
Saints are looking decent through midfield and on the half hour we carve out an opening as Djuricic feeds Pellè who finds Big Vic about 20 yards out. Instead of shooting which he should have done, the big man feeds Long on the right whose cross is easily punched clear by Hart and Yaya Toure is now galloping up the pitch as we desperately try and get back. Pass, pass, pass, Silval out to Milner on their right, a low cross and slammed into the roof of the net first time by Lampard. It really is a good clinical goal and a perfect example of playing on the break. Wankers.
Having taken the lead, City look to bury us and Silval immediately puts Aguero through against Davis but once more, the pensioner spreads himself to block the shot as Aguero proves that he’s just a shit Shane Long. Talking of Long – well he gets himself on the end of a Clyne cross after Big Vic has run over Silva to win the ball. The momentary excitement as he met the cross was immediately killed by the offside flag. Needless to say – it missed anyway.
Having let Yaya gallop up the pitch once, we decide to give it another go as Bertrand plays a weak ball inside which gets picked off and we are treated to Yaya vs Vic as they hare towards our goal. The balll again finds its way to Aguero who this time gets tackled by Alderweireld before he can shoot and Davis takes off again to tip the resulting deflection round the post.
As half time approaches we create our best chance. Djuricic plays a beautifull weighted ball through to Long who makes a mess of it and it bounces off his heel to Pellè about 15 yards out. He takes a big swings and slams it wide. Fuck it. Half time is here ans so is the news that Fucking Spurs are winning at Everton and get this; Stoke 5 Liverpool 0. Enjoying yourself are you Rodgers – you smug twat. All in all though, it means that we have to win this to have any chance of moving up a place.
We are certainly going for it as the second half starts as Mané is off down the left and crosses behind Pellè who tries a ridiculous diving back-heeled effort which flies over the bar. In truth he’d have been better off leaving it as there were players in the box. Graziano is a big beautiful bastard but he has a bad 10 minutes where he manages to get caught offside four times which is ridiculous. None of them were even close either. We’re having all the play and some delightful stuff between Mané, Djuricic and Davis ends with Long crossing and Pellè being 10 yards offside. It’s a bit like watching Under 10’s playing offside for the first time where there’s always one kid who just doesn’t get it.
It’s time for a change and predictably it’s JWP on for Djuricic with City sending on £28 million worth of Wilfried Bony on for Yaya Toure. We have another great chance as Clyney plays a great ball to JWP who turns and runs before teeing up Long who rolls his shot straight at Hart is rolling-eyed shite fashion. Shane did however cost a lot less than Bony who picks up the ball thirty yards out and just passes it straight off the pitch in a display of complete crapness. Weird – there wasn’t a player within 30 yards.
One of my main criticisms of Saints this year is that we haven’t got enough good crosses in to Graziano who is a superb header of the ball. Today’s variation happens when JWP has a shot blocked out to Long who feeds Bertrand who fires over a wonderful cross…. to Sadio Mané who can’t head a ball for shit. He’s all on his own and 8 yards out but it comes off his nose and bounces apologetically to Hart who makes another save a few minutes later as Long speeds past the lumbering di Michelis before shitting a left footed effort along the ground for Hart to fall on easily.
It’s sub time as Lampard retires to be replaced with Navas, Kimpany comes on for Milner and Elia is on for Davis for us. Kompany must be playing really badly to be benched in favour of Mangala and di Michelis and he immediately fannies around in the box and hesitates to clear and if we’d been alert it might have got interesting.
We are playing with four right up front now so we’re going to give chances up but as long as they fall to Bony then we’ll be ok as he lashes one miles over the bar. Though he’s been off target today as well, Aguero is a constant threat though and he runs at Alderweireld who eventually gets a foot in to give City a corner. The corner results in another corner as Bertrand blocks Aguero’s shot and we’re now into the last minute.
Over comes the corner from the other side and it ends up with Navas on our left. He hammers it at goal as he’s closed down and the ball loops up off of Pellè and lands right on Mangala’s head at the back post and he has the simple job of nodding it across to where Aguero has the even simpler job of nodding into the empty net. Fuck off, lucky bastards. We have one more attack which ends with a JWP cross, Long putting it over the bar and guess what – he was offside anyway.
As the final whistle goes, Fucking Spurs winning at Everton meant that we’d have had to have won here today to have moved up a place and qualify automatically for the Europa League so it was always unlikely. You can always look back throughout a season and find results that should have gone your way but the away defeats recently as Stoke, Sunderland and Leicester have really made it very difficult for us. We’ve finished 7th and to be honest, I’m delighted with that though it would have been sweeter to finish above one of Fucking Liverpool and Fucking Spurs. I guess that you can also point to the fact that against these two Showers of Twats we’ve only managed one point.
I think we actually played quite well today for a game against one of the genuine big boys away from home but the difference in quality was there to see in the final third. It’s not being harsh on Shane Long but if we swapped him for Aguero we’d have finished in the top 4 comfortably. That’s the difference between us and them – that genuine World Class player. You saw what having that player did for Liverpool last year and how they’ve fared without him. Oh yeah – they ended the season getting mullered 6-1 at Stoke and the media finally seem to be getting on Rodgers case and bringing up all his old smug quotes. Serves the twat right. The old ‘lost the dressing room’ phrase comes to mind.
So – all eyes will be on Wembley on Saturday to see if Arsenal win the FA Cup. The good news is that Villa lost again today without scoring and Arsenal broke their recent goal drought by smashing four past West Brom with ex-Saint Theo Walcott being played as a striker and scoring a hat-trick. Surely they are going to have too much for a pretty average Villa side and it’s interesting that Wenger is obviously thinking of playing Walcott up front against Villa, a week after our more pacy forwards ripped Villa to shreds. I wonder if Captain Bellend will play the high defensive line again. Let’s hope so.
Even if Arsenal fail and we don’t qualify for Europe – it’s still been a brilliant season and another improvement on last year which I quite confidently predicted would not happen at the start of the year. If Arsenal do the business though, then we’ll be in action with a Europa League qualifying round before the season starts. Up until the Cup Final though, we have a week of rumour mill and Morgan Schneiderlin again shooting his mouth off in the French media. I won’t miss that if he goes. If he does go then I trust Ronald Koeman to find a suitable replacement.
Remember – whoever leaves – we march on!
PS – Remember – Come on You Gunners!
PPS – Remember – Brendan Rodgers is a smug twat!