Nothing is certain but death, taxes, and Arsenal finishing fourth, said Daniel Defoe when gazing upon the Premier League table in 1726. And thus a meme was born.
Almost three-hundred years later, that maxim is being reduced to the just the first two — or replaced by death, taxes, and being angry on the Internet — as Arsenal will finish outside of the top four for the second consecutive season, the 20-year streak from 1996 to 2016 now well in the rearview just like Arsene Wenger’s glory days.
As much as we may poke fun at that, if Chelsea were to finish fourth this season, we would probably celebrate almost as much as Arsenal used to, though I’d hope we’d keep the dressing room selfies to the absolute minimum. Despite the recent resurgence, it’s still not looking likely (14-20% chance, depending on which computer simulation you trust), but it’s hope that didn’t exist at all a month ago. Hope is the worst, of course, but perhaps we have a “lucky charm” to help us make it a reality: Olivier Giroud, who has 4 goals in his last 5 appearances, has quickly become a team leader, and a fan favorite since joining from Arsenal in January.
“I hope I can be the lucky charm for the Champions League race in the final sprint. We don’t have this situation in our hands, but I have experience about these kind of end of season situations.”
A last-minute Arsenal push for the top-four was a consistent feature of the Premier League since about 2006 and Giroud experienced it in just about every single one of his five full seasons at the Emirates. Twice they did in fact finish fourth. Now he wants to recreate that at Chelsea, which is fantastic.
“We need to give everything and wait for the other results. I’m confident because if we play with the kind of mentality we showed against Liverpool, we can have nice things.”
“Sunday was very hard, with the hot weather. We ran a lot because we wanted to block their holding midfielders. Everything was not perfect and it was not my best game, honestly, on possession and retention of the ball. We defended a lot, but the main thing was the three points.
“I have received a really warm welcome at the club from when I first arrived. I felt like I was at home since I came here, like I’ve been here a few years, so for me [to score] was very important.
“When you give everything on the pitch people see that, and even more when you have the opportunity to be efficient and to bring a plus to the team. It’s a nice to get that back from the fans.”
-Olivier Giroud; source: Express
Can we maybe throw in an FA Cup victory, too, in this most Arsenal-esque of Chelsea seasons? Thanks, Olivier!