May 042008

In a little over an hour, the final game at the Emirates this season will kick off, as Everton, still seeking a UEFA Cup berth, arrive to play an Arsenal side now officially out of the title race after United’s win yesterday.

A few weeks ago, this match looked important to both clubs, but if Chelsea win either of their last two games, we can’t come second, third already having been wrapped up, while Everton only need a point from two games to secure their place in Europe after Villa’s loss yesterday.

So what could’ve been a vital game has now become what will hopefully be a partypiece. Three years ago Everton came to Highbury in the same situation, and were trounced 7-0 with Bergkamp leaving the field to choruses of ‘One more year’, and although the same result is highly unlikely against a decent Everton outfit, some fun could be had.

Ironically, that 7-0 win featured Mathieu Flamini’s first goal for the club, and the same fixture this season may see him wave goodbye to the home fans, in a way reminiscent of Edu, who scored a penalty on that day before leaving at the end of his contract in the summer. He got a great send off, and Flamini deserves one too – not just for this season, but for all the fill in jobs he’s done in his time at the club, especially at left back in the run to the Champions League final.

So thanks Mathieu, and let’s make today a good one.

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