After Spurs’ 2-2 draw at Stamford Bridge, Arsenal have their own fate in their hands this season. Win the next two games, and Arsenal will finish among the EPL top four, a feat seemingly unlikely at the start of the season, especially after the 2-0 defeat against Swansea, which left Arsenal languishing in 10th, and making the start to this season the worst ever for Arsenal under Wenger.
Wigan are again in a relegation scrap, this one will probably be tough to overcome, since the team above them, Sunderland, have a 4 point lead over them, though they have played a game more than Wigan. Wigan, though are not giving up, they surely will not want to be the first team to have won the FA cup and get relegated in the same season. No team has ever won the FA Cup and have been relegated in the same season.
Roberto Martinez though has fired up Wigan to try and save their season for the umpteenth time, and they have responded by almost beating Tottenham, but Boyce’s own goal ensured that points were shared. They then won away at West Brom, in a 5 goal thriller, and suffered a defeat against Swansea in another 5 goal match, but that was partly due to the fact that they had to play with 10 men for almost 20 minutes, after Ronnie Stam went off injured. Beating Manchester City in the FA cup on Saturday is surely going to boost their morale. Wigan are missing important players like Maynor Figueroa, and Ronnie Stam, so it will be tough for them to avoid relegation.
The previous league match between Arsenal and Wigan this season, at the DW stadium, resulted in a nail biting 1-0 win for the Gunners, courtesy of a Mikel Arteta penalty, after Jean Beausejour felled Walcott in the area.
Beating Wigan and Newcastle is a much for Arsenal if they want to be playing in the champions’ league next season. A draw to at home to Wigan will mean that to qualify, Arsenal will require Tottenham to only get 1 points from their game against Sunderland, and then, we must also beat Newcastle away from home in our last game of the season. Losing against Wigan, and winning at St. James’ Park, would mean that Arsenal would require Spurs to lose their last match to Sunderland.
Safest bet is winning our last 2 games. I can’t really emphasise enough on the importance that beating Wigan carries for our Champions League aspirations. It might be tough, seeing how off the boil we have seemed in recent games (QPR, Fulham, Everton). A performance like the one against QPR in our last EPL game may not be enough against a Wigan side that have shown to be tough customers to many teams in the last 6 EPL games. If we turn up like the Arsenal played Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena or in the one that played the first half against Man United then we have a big chance of blowing away Wigan to pick up three available points.
But for that, we need to score goals, with Arsenal having scored only 1 goal in each of the past three games, with the one against Everton being a goalless draw, the job can’t be any tougher. Giroud’s suspension certainly has a lot to do with our lack of goals, unfortunately we cannot afford to not take whatever goal scoring opportunities we have as it stands now.
By the way, I would like to congratulate Aaron Ramsey on winning the Arsenal Player Of The Month, with Santi Cazorla, Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud the only other recipients of this award so far this season. He has numerous critics but the majority of the fan base agrees he certainly deserves winning the player of the month.
Written By Manan Agrawal