Arsenal vs Aston Villa 2016
What a game for Villa to end their ever-present Premier League status with.
Bringing with them haunting memories of the FA Cup final, Arsenal always seem to comfortably beat Villa. Perhaps we could bring back Antonio Luna on a short-term deal?
Wenger’s position is loosely under threat, and in the unforgiving atmosphere of the Premier League, he’ll be keen to end the season with a big win.
At least Eric Black will be glad he doesn’t have to continue such a thankless job.
Wenger on his future
“It is completely wrong. I don’t know where this comes from. You can treat that as an invention.
“It is absolutely false. They could have checked with the club and it would have been denied.
“I think about the next game. I have full commitment for as long as I am under contract.”
“What I focus on is to respect my contract and envisage what I will do after. I understand people are interested in that but it’s not important?
“I will see where the club stands at the end of my contract.”
(Note: Wenger didn’t mention Villa at all. Not that we can blame him…)
Black on Arsenal
“We need to be disciplined and show an immense amount of energy. We must be switched on.
“The game means something to Arsenal – and it certainly should mean something to us too. It’s a big challenge this weekend but one we are looking forward to.
“I spoke to the chairman on Friday morning and he thanked me for keeping the ship going. But come Sunday, I’ll just wait and see what happens.”
Arsenal have scored 14 goals without reply (in all competitions) in the last four meetings
1st Feb 2015 Arsenal 5 Villa 0
A thrashing at the Emirates proved to be one of Lambert’s last games in charge.
Arsenal – Last five matches at home: W 3, D 1, L 1
Villa – Last five matches away: L 5
One to Watch
Facts to Sweep Under the Carpet
Villa’s record against Arsenal is not good. The Gunners have lost only three of their last 34 league meetings against Villa, and will be seeking their fifth consecutive league win in this fixture for the first time.
Not only are Arsenal unbeaten in nine league games, history smiles down on Wenger’s side – they have won their final league match of the campaign in seven of the last eight years.
As well as the form of Sanchez, Giroud always enjoying playing against Villa. Having scored in each of his last five appearances against the Villans (in all competitions), he found his scoring boots last weekend in Arsenal’s draw at Man City.
It’s remarkable just how bad Villa’s season has been. We’re the only Premier League team not to have scored more than two goals in 2015/16, and we’ve led in just eight league games this season.
Considering that Arsenal have scored 14 goals without reply against Villa (again in all competitions) in the last four meetings, it could be a difficult watch.
“I’ll just wait and see what happens” – ERIC BLACK
Why Villa Have Got This Game in the Bag (for the optimistic)
You have to be a true optimist to find any signs of encouragement in the stats and history books. But there are some. Not many, but some.
We mentioned that the Gunners have lost only three of their last 34 league meetings between the sides, and it’s one of those strange stats that all of those victories occured at the Emirates.
An equally curious statistic is that the last team to beat Arsenal on the final day of the season was Birmingham City – of all teams.
We all remember the brilliantly bizarre Luna goal, which serves as a reminder that literally anything can happen in football.
A final day upset at the Emirates would be typical of Villa’s crazy season. Can Black’s side offer some hope for the future?
Farewell, the Premier League.