It was being reported in the football media a few days ago that Arsenal were already preparing to offer the manager a new contract, despite Arsene Wenger having signed a three year extension just last summer. So even though the Gunners are going great guns and looking as though this might be the year we finally regain the Premier League trophy, most Arsenal fans think this news is a bit premature.
So this is it Gooners, Arsenal’s last game of the current season is very close now and Arsene Wenger needs his players to dig deep for one last performance against Aston Villa at Wembley to make sure that history is made by the club and the manager today.
So as Wenger aims to become only the second manager to win the famous old trophy six times and the only man to do it since the war, his team selection today could be the most important ever. And with the Gunners having the chance to go past Man United to be the most successful club in FA cup history, we need him to get it right.
This is no time for Arsenal fans or the players and manager to be feeling as if the season has been a success, even though the Gunners improved our position in the Premier League table. At least not until the FA cup is confirmed as coming back to north London with us this evening.
That is the reasoning of the England international Jack Wilshere anyway, who has suffered another season of disappointment on the personal front. As reported by the Daily Mail, Wilshere feels that Arsenal could and should have finished the season as runners up to the champions Chelsea.
It was starting to get a bit twitchy for Arsenal fans in recent weeks, even though the point against Sunderland on Wednesday had made sure that we would finish above Man United and go straight into the Champions League group stage, no passing go and no playing two play off games.
So the Gunners were under pressure to beat an in form West Brom today, or we were for about five minutes until Theo Walcott picked up the ball on the right of the penalty area and unleashed a fearsome shot that gave Myhill no chance. Arsenal were already looking good and confident and that early goal settle any nerves.
With Arsene Wenger having spoken about consistency and cohesion in the build up to this last but one game of the Premier League campaign, most people were not expecting many changes to the Arsenal team. And with the Frenchman having selected the same line up for the last six league games in a row, it could easily have been seven.
But a touch of flu for Laurent Koscielny means that Wenger is likely to start Gabriel and I do not think the changes will stop there. I am actually expecting Wenger to pull a bit of a surprise on Sunderland and their manager Dick Advocaat who will surely have prepared his team to nullify our passing and creative game.
Arsenal fans have had more than enough of seeing the likes of Nasri, Clichy, Cole and van Persie being sold to Premier League rivals over the last 10 years, especially when all of them have gone on to help their respective sides to win the trophy that we have not lifted since 2004.
So it is good to hear that Arsene Wenger is as determined as the rest of us not to have to endure that sort of pain anymore. There have been Arsenal transfer rumours this week that Manchester City are hoping to sign Jack Wilshere as part of a big summer of rebuilding, but Wenger has told them not to bother, as reported by the Daily Mail.
Arsenal were linked with the transfer of the French international central midfielder Yohan Cabaye before he moved from Newcastle to the French champions PSG last year. And then the wealth of options in the centre available to Laurent Bland led to suggestions that their young star Adrien Rabiot might be heading to north London, either permanently or on loan.
But both of those players are now featuring more regularly for PSG and that along with their need to comply with the FFP rules means that they may be ready to sell their Italy international star Marco Verratti , according to a Metro report.
Arsene Wenger has seen the young terrier Jack Wilshere go down with another ankle injury, but the Arsenal boss is still hopeful that the England midfielder will have a long and successful career, despite Wilshere playing less than 100 games since he made his debut six years ago.
“We knew he would have surgery,” Wenger said. “He’s focused to come back and finish the season well.
“His injury is a consequence of a very bad tackle that was not malicious. He deals very well with tackles and kicks but nobody would’ve dealt with that tackle.
Even though Arsenal fans were maybe a little more confident than usual, we also know that Manchester United are always a tough team for us to beat and our form so far this season is hardly inspiring enough to give us much confidence.
And that was proved right as Arsenal somehow lost a game we dominated, once again. Even the United captain and scorer of their second goal on the break looked surprised that they had won as he gave his post match interview. And the stats certainly support him saying that they rode their luck.
Despite all the talk in the media about the Premier League clash between Arsenal and Manchester United having lost a lot of it’s glamour and importance in the last 10 years, the match at the Emirates stadium today is massive, there is no doubt about it, especially for both clubs.
To be honest, with Liverpool, Everton and Tottenham all struggling as well, there is a good chance that both clubs will finish in the top four, but whoever wins today will take a big step towards it and lay a big blow on their rivals. Arsenal could finish as high as fourth place if we win, while a loss could see us drop to as low as 12th place, so it is clear how important it is to win.