I’ve always been committed to giving credit where credit is due, and today I must do the same by congratulating Manchester United on another Premier League title. They did it in flying fashion and have arguably had the race won for a long time now.
Amongst the personnel picking up their medals is of course, Robin van Persie. The reaction will surely be split amongst Arsenal fans who will either feel aggrieved watching him pick up a title after abandoning Arsenal, or happy for a player who undoubtedly deserves it based on his last three seasons of form. Regardless of which camp you’re in, there is no denying that he was an integral part in Arsenal qualifying for the Champions League over the last couple seasons, and in similar fashion he was the key figure in the Manchester United side that lifted the trophy this year.
Anyway, enough about that lot. What matters to us Gunners fans is “How does this concern Arsenal?”
There are two reasons why this impacts us positively. Firstly, by seeing the title secured at Old Trafford we avoided the complete embarrassment that would have followed if United were to win the first-ever trophy on the Emirates pitch. In a stadium that may live to be over a century old that would have been a scar extremely difficult to ignore as time went on. We’re given another opportunity to bring silverware to the Emirates and have the right team lifting it upon its presentation. Let’s just hope Arsene and the management start making moves early this summer to increase our odds of doing so.
Secondly, and also related to next weekend’s game against the new champions, Ferguson’s boys will be much less motivated in a game that is vital to our ambitions of another qualification for the CL. I suspect Sir Alex will play a strong team despite wrapping up the title but there’s no denying that the victory will see their players ease-up a bit; had they come to the Emirates looking to win the title on our patch, we’d certainly be in for a bigger fight. Plus, if Ferguson does decide to rest some players, that too will only help Arsenal in a very important fixture.
The season is rapidly winding down and it’s a melee for the 3rd and 4th positions on the table. We sneaked away with three points against Norwich and Fulham, so hopefully we can take three from United in a slightly more convincing fashion on Sunday. COYG!