Last month, the lovely mrs. pdb and I took a road trip. We drove from Portland to San Jose to see the Timbers take on the Earthquakes. Driving down, we stopped for gas once, in, uh, let's call it Medford? or Grants Pass? Anyway, at the southern border of Oregon, more or less, and then we kept on drivin', down to San Jose. We got to San Jose and pulled into the hotel with the car's computer saying we had approximately six miles of distance's worth of gas left in the tank - I'd love to say I planned it that way, but in reality I just got lucky, because it was late and I didn't want to stop for gas three miles before our destination, so I rolled the dice. So we arrived at our destination running completely on fumes.
At no point during the last bit of our trip were we ever in danger of running out of gas; the Bay Area is fully civilized and has gas stations everywhere, so we could have stopped, but we really wanted to get to the hotel, so we carried on with what we had. We weren't exactly running a huge risk, but we did get where we were going with nothing left in the tank.
Which brings us to tomorrow's Arsenal match. Arsenal, to put it in terms of my trip, are just about to Milpitas, and in about 10 minutes, the gas light will come on. They'll get to the end and be done, and that'll be that - they're not in danger of a collapse, they're still basically solid, and oh my god have you seen Aston Villa both on and off pitch if you have then don't ever say Arsenal are a mess ever again because oh my god.
Annnnnnnnnnyyway, Arsenal are still status quo on the injury front; Wilshere played for the U21's (and scored!), but it remains to be seen whether he'll be in the side this weekend, and we should more realistically expect him in Sunday's game at Sunderland.
West Brom are doing whatever the English equivalent of playing out the string is - they're in 14th place - 10 points clear of the drop zone - and out of the FA Cup, so they really sort of have nothing to play for tomorrow. Which doesn't, of course, mean they'll just show up and go through the motions - they'll have seen how Arsenal's recent form is and probably be feeling confident of turning up in N5 and getting a result.
It's up to Arsenal to make sure that doesn't happen - Arsenal are as much playing for pride as anything else, and the recent dropped points haven't helped them solidify their grip on a Champions League place (among the other things it hasn't helped), so maybe tomorrow will be the day they find the gas station and, to further beat the metaphor of my road trip to death, end up in San Jose with more to show for it than fumes in the tank and a sore butt from driving 11 hours.