The Champions League chase continues
THE EVERTON game was one of those evenings where it was going to take a moment of clinical efficiency to break down a side that were on a good run of form and fully committed. We lacked that clinical efficiency – most notably when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain opted to square for Giroud rather than shoot.
Seamus Coleman got in what the referee deemed a block. Others might have called it a penalty for a foul on Giroud but it was one of those decisions where the referee could have gone either way and you’d see where he was coming from.
We’re in exactly the position I remember saying about six months ago that we’d be in at this stage: slightly behind Chelsea and more or less neck and neck with Spurs. The only people who ever doubted that latter point were those who, once again, overstated the competency of a club who have been anything but when it comes to finishing above us in recent years.
Whether or not we qualify for the Champions League will, for many, likely be the premise on whether or not they think Wenger should continue. I’m not one of those people because I believe that ultimately we’ve been bobbing around the fourth place cut off point for years and whether we finish just one side of it or just the other side is neither particularly here or there. I wouldn’t have wanted Wenger sacked had Spurs finished above us in 2006 and so I don’t think failure in 2013 would, in itself, be sufficient grounds.
That is not to say I am against change: for a while I’ve feared it necessary. But these are discussions for the end of the season.
More imminently, Manchester United are doing everything they can to delay winning the title until they visit us in just over a week’s time. Should be interesting.