Everyone is hurting. Deeply, too. Everything can change in an instant in this sport and Arsenal went from believing they could be Champions League side to getting embarrassed away at Tottenham in the space of 30 minutes.
It leaves the team with an uphill task. Not just because they’ve lost key figures of the team, but instead due to the shift in momentum.
The Gunners need to travel to Newcastle on Monday to face a side who will welcome back key duo Callum Wilson and Kieran Trippier, and are under the lights for their final home fixture of the season. Given how impressive Newcastle have been in 2022, there will be something of a party atmosphere in the ground.
Arsenal must face the facts with Tottenham, they will not drop anymore points this season and the Gunners must win their games for top four
Even if they do navigate their way to three points against the Magpies the season will conclude with a home tie against Everton, who Arsenal can only hope will be safe from relegation by that point. The Toffees’ goalless draw at Watford means they still have work to do.
And these are the facts that Arsenal must face: Tottenham will not drop points against either Burnley or Norwich. They just won’t.
Their tails are firmly up after their biggest North London Derby win since 1983, and hosting a dreadful Clarets side, irrespective of their own relegation fears, looks a shoo-in for three points. Finishing the campaign off away from home against an even worse Norwich side who’ve conceded more goals than anyone else and have just 21 points all season is, well, even more cut and dry.
There will be no favours in these final two games. Yes, Spurs beat Manchester City away from home and then lost away at Burnley straight after, but it’s a walkover in this game. Harry Kane and Heung-min Son are in frighteningly strong form and there is no conceivable outcome other than a probable trouncing.
Arsenal simply must win their remaining two matches, with whatever they have left. The fact Tottenham play before them in matchweek 37 won’t help, but they can’t allow anything else to cloud judgement. Leaving S James’ Park without three points will consign them to Europa League football next season whether the table says so or not.
What was the biggest game of the season is now over. The ‘cup final’ mentality must not be abandoned though, as it’s win or bust in the north east.
There is a new entry for the biggest game of the season. It’s just days away.