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Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Final Knocking

With the amount of negativity in the air before a ball was even kicked this season, if we were told at that time we would have two league games left and still be in with a mathmatical chance of taking the title, I think it's safe to say we all would have been delighted to have taken it.

To have enjoyed a good lead however, and to play so well in some crucial games before coming away with nothing, I think we all know that for some reason it's just not been our season.
Although a little 'gung-ho' at times, our trip to Derby pretty much summed up our season on the playing front I feel.

From a supporting point of view I am disappointed the Rams have been relegated. Any trip to the Midlands beats the countless long journeys we have to the North, even in a midweek game I found myself tucked up in bed back in Kent before 1.00am. The atmosphere is good at Pride Park too and with pre-match proving smooth and enjoyable I will be extremely happy should they bounce straight back next year and rejoin us come the 2009/10 season.

Going forward on Monday night, at times our football was simply breathtaking. Don't get me wrong Derby are not bottom of the Premier League for no reason but in addition to the six goals we did grab we could have netted at least another dozen. The four-goal victory will certainly help our situation should Chelsea slip up in their final two games and we finish level on points with them, as unlikely as that is of course!

To concede another two goals however, is disappointing and for me perhaps highlights our weakness, certainly in the latter part of the season.Successful teams are built around a water-tight defence. In the last three months of the season we have really struggled to keep a clean sheet.

As a team, I'm sure Arsenal will learn from this season's experience in all departments and come back even hungrier to succeed next time round.
For now however, I fully intend to thoroughly enjoy our last home game of the season as Everton come to the Home of Football in search of points to secure European football at Goodison next season.

When we kick off we will already be aware if our unlikely (at this stage) Premier League dream is still alive but with Chelsea's match not taking place until Monday the game will be hugely important whatever has happened at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Whatever happens in the last two games I for one am very proud of the steps we have made this season.

Keep dreaming... you never know! ;-)

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