Crystal Palace v Arsenal: Let’s make a bad week even worse for the Spuds

In football fandom tribalism trumps all and there is no act considered too petty if the opportunity to score a point is at stake.

While our own season may be something of a smouldering ruin, there is life enough left in it that we might be able to cause problems for others, chief among them our north London rivals, Spurs.

The now very-public desire of Harry Kane to leave for a team that actually wins things is a source of considerable delight for Arsenal fans having watched so many of our own depart for pastures new over the years. That same piece of news is undoubtedly a worry for Spurs fans meanwhile, who sit staring into the abyss of mediocrity that they worked for years to clamber out of.

In what has been a turd of a season for white half of north London, news of their talisman’s malcontent is yet another fly in the ointment. Delicious.

What better incentive is there, then, for Arsenal to go to Crystal Palace and get a convincing win? Sure, our results may have no direct impact on what Ryan Mason’s men are doing but the chance to ramp up the pressure on a team absolutely notorious for folding is too good to miss.

As it stands, we sit four points behind our rivals with two games to play. Our final two are Palace (A) and Brighton (H), Spurs welcome Aston Villa before travelling to Leicester on Sunday. I smell blood.

Finishing above Tottenham in no way represents a satisfactory season but it does heap misery on their fans and kick them while they’re down. It’s exactly the sort of pettiness football fandom is all about.

Of course, wanting to take six points from our remaining games and having it happen are two entirely different propositions with this Arsenal team but, with the pressure off, they are in a good place to make it happen. With no fresh injury concerns and having had considerably more time off than their opponents on Wednesday, they are also in good physical shape.

If naught else, and leaving aside the pettiness, each Premier League place further up the table we finish brings a few million more into the bank and, with a difficult summer ahead for the club, every penny could make a difference.

There is also the small incentive of finishing with more points this season than we managed in the last. A tiny, near-insignificant victory but a victory nonetheless when we look back on this season as a whole.

Last year we managed 56 points, this year we currently have 55. It is not beyond this team to lose both of our final fixtures, of course, but nor is it beyond them to win both convincingly and that should serve as motivation for them. There is still the possibility too of some European football next season if the miraculous should happen and all those above us go a bit ‘Spursy’.

There has been a quite remarkable collapse in form from some of our rivals in recent weeks so it’s not beyond the realms of possibility, even if it is improbably.

If we can look forward to little else, we should look forward to the possibility that the looming spectre of Arsenal should cause Spurs to do what they do best. It is our duty to revel in their misery.

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