Arsenal and Tottenham: The Final Day, Previewed

KILLKILLKILLKILLKILLKILLKILLKILL - Paul Gilham

So it's come to this (again). As the season draws to a terrifying close, I talked with Kevin McCauley about how our teams are going to choke.

Much as last year ended, once again Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur are engaged in a grudge match for the final Champions League qualification spot. And much like last year, because we're sports fans, we all (red and white alike) thing our team will lose and the other will win. It's natural. So to that end, I had a talk with Kevin McCauley, grand poobah of Cartilage Free Captain and SB Nation Soccer important person, about what horrors await us after commiserating about how we both want to punch David Villa in his stupid soul patch.

Thomas Wachtel

So, as a Spurs fan and an Arsenal fan, we obviously both go into the final day assuming that our team will lose, and the other one will win.

Kevin McCauley

Of course. That's what being a fan is all about.

TW

Let's start there - how's Sunderland going to beat Tottenham?

KM

Andre Villas-Boas will undoubtedly pick a team that makes sense on paper, but not in practice. Like he has all year, Scott Parker will press the opposition and dribble forward with the ball while his central midfield partner sits deep. Whether it's Tom Huddlestone or Moussa Dembele, they will have no defensive cover despite both being the obvious defensively deficient guys in any team's double pivot. Despite not having Stephane Sessegnon, Sunderland will score on a counter through the middle. Spurs will have no plan of attack other than passing to Gareth Bale and waiting for him to do things. Paolo Di Canio will salute the crowd. 1-0 Sunderland.

TW

I can only assume that by "salute," you mean one of the Roman variety. Sebastian Larsson, as a former Arsenal player, scores the goal?

KM

That sounds about right. Absolutely perfect, in fact.

TW

Thought so. I've thought a lot about how we'll lose to Newcastle, and I can't decide what would be worst. Cheick Tiote will probably score, or something, since I bought him in my FIFA 13 game and there's some kind of cosmic connection between my video game Arsenals and the real one. It's quite frightening.

But I have no doubt it will happen, and Spurs will win. Di Canio promised to beat Spurs, Alan Pardew said he'd be happy losing to Arsenal 4-0. It's preordained.

KM

See, I'm thinking that Newcastle are pretty screwed after hearing that comment. That's why I have no faith that anything will go Tottenham's way. You guys will win 4-0.

TW

All I know is that if Newcastle score first and Pardew celebrates, I may blow a blood vessel in my brain.

If I were a betting man, and I had to pick your game, I'd also go with a 1-0 win - only for Tottenham, with Bale doing that thing where he scores in the 87th minute again. It just seems like the trend lately.

KM

If we win, that's how we'll do it. This Emmanuel Adebayor scoring goals thing is a myth.

TW

I've seen it happen. It's really a hellish sight.

In fact, that's not a bad shout for How Arsenal Lose The Champions League.

KM

Emmanuel Adebayor scoring a stoppage time winner for Spurs while Arsenal lose or draw? It's not happening, but I'd take it.

I think that a Diaby stoppage time screamer is more likely.

TW

Can you score a goal by batting it in with a crutch, or would that qualify as handball?

KM

That is a REALLY good question.

Though, if a balloon scored a goal once, why not a crutch?

TW

A very fair point. And I believe that balloon is going to be playing for QPR in the Championship next year. Harry moves fast.

So who do you have then as Arsenal's goalscorers? Remember, Sol Campbell isn't going to be in the squad, so it can't be him. I think.

KM

Theo Walcott Ovechtrick. 9-0 Arsenal.

TW

I was hoping you'd say Aaron Ramsey, so I'd have an excuse to talk about Aaron Ramsey, but now I've just done it anyway. Theo will probably score in the third minute, but that's just the appetizer for Joey Barton's glorious return and hat trick. Or something.

This is going to be a living hell of a day, isn't it?

KM

Yes. I will probably barf for 2 hours straight.

TW

Yeah. That sounds about right. Though that's how I spend most games. In a weird, nauseous purgatory between "vengeful hope" and "weighted doom."

Because that's sports.

Any other insane predictions? Is one of the teams getting food poisoning, or something?

KM

If I find out anyone ate lasagna on Friday night I will absolutely go ballistic.

TW

As long as nobody puts a pig's head in anyone's locker, or smashes up a car, or generally is Nicklas Bendtner, I think I'll be okay until I wake up on Sunday.

KM

Then, breakfast bourbon.

TW

I'll probably be blind by noon.

Well, thanks for taking the time. May the least awful team prevail.

KM

Sports.

TW

Sports.

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