Premier League Matchday 38 is a day of mixed emotions.
On one hand, the last matchday of the season can be a bit sad. After the day is done, we’ll all have to wait another three months before the next opportunity to watch another match of importance. Sure, there will be plenty of friendlies featuring England’s most famous sides — some as early as next freaking weekend — but there’s a big difference between those watered down affairs and the intensity of a league game that actually means something.
On the other hand, round 38 can also be exhilarating. Last year’s final day saw Manchester City crowned champions and Bolton Wanderers relegated instead of QPR all within the dying moments of the season, making for a conclusion to the season that many consider to be greatest of all time. Of course for those teams relegated on the last day, maybe I should have placed them in the sad paragraph above, but I digress.
This year, things won’t be quite as dramatic as they were last year: the champions have already be decided and the losers relegated. But all 20 sides are still active today at the same time. And while the most that’s at stake today are a few Champions League places and pride, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t expect a full range of emotions.
For me at least, the highlight of the day has to be the tussle between North London rivals Tottenham and Arsenal for fourth place.
If the Gunners win away to Newcastle, they’re in. If they win with a scoreline of 2-1 and Chelsea ties 0-0, then the two will have to play a 39th game to settle who get’s third. And while that may be exciting and unprecedented (at least in the modern era), I would very much not like to see that scenario play out… because if it does, it means Spurs have no shot at fourth place. Instead, I’m hoping for a Spurs win and for the Gunners to drop some points to the Geordies, which would be enough to mathematically put Tottenham through and lift Spurs to a finishing place above Arsenal for the first time in my memory. Newcastle owner Mike Ashley has even promised his staff a £1 million bonus if they’re able to knock off the Gunners today, providing some extra motivation to a team that technically has nothing to play for since they secured their safety from relegation last week. Though given recent form of all the teams involved, it seems unlikely that Arsenal fans won’t get to celebrate their precious St. Totteringham’s Day… but what’s life without hope, right?
So what emotions will I be feeling today? A lot of that depends on things sift out. But no matter how they do, it’s important to remember that this is just the end of a season and not existence itself. Just trust that I’ll be watching through my fingers and cursing at the television like it is.
Tomorrow begins another season, and it may be even greater than this one.