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Which teams will make the top four next season, and how will we line up?

By Tony Attwood

Sports Keeda today say, “The Gunners start their campaign on August 12 against reigning champions Manchester City at the Emirates, before making a short trip to London rivals Chelsea a week later. If Wenger was still in charge, most supporters would have expected precisely no points from these two fixtures.”

This is either realistic or the normal sort of doom-laden Sgt Jones of Dad’s Army material that we have come to expect from the anti-Arsenal Arsenal.

And actually no, I think it is not right (as you would expect).  Because last season we were brilliant at home – something the media and their 40 a day story generation blog machines, have utterly refused to acknowledge, even now.  I keep publishing the home record from last season, in the vague hope that eventually some journalist somewhere will stumble across it and think, oh yes, actually that was a terrific home record, but no.  We get sentences like that above.

Here is the home record one more time.

Pos Team Pld W D L GF GA GD Pts
1 Manchester City 19 16 2 1 61 14 47 50
2 Arsenal 19 15 2 2 54 20 34 47
3 Manchester United 19 15 2 2 38 9 29 47
4 Liverpool 19 12 7 0 45 10 35 43
5 Tottenham Hotspur 19 13 4 2 40 16 24 43
6 Chelsea 19 11 4 4 30 16 14 37

Why they refuse to acknowledge this is beyond me but the simple fact is that if Arsenal could improve their away form just a little, so it is back to their average away performance of recent years, things would change.

Last season we won four away from home.  Over the previous four seasons, all of course under Mr Wenger, we wonder 8, 9, 10, and 11 games away from home.  Each time we got something between 30 and 35 points instead of the 16 away points next season.

So if the new manager can just take us back to Mr Wenger’s average away performance of the previous four years (and surely most of the Wenger-hating “supporters” (I use the word in its broadest sense) will expect that, then we would without any other changes have 16 more points.  Which would take us up to 78 points, and third place, assuming none of the other clubs changed in any way.

But will the others change?

Of course Man City are a stunningly powerful team.  And their away record was terrific too which is why they won the league.   They scored 45 goals and conceded 13 away from home – relevant since we are at home to them in the first game.

If matters continue as per last season, with our home form, and given that Man City will still have some players coming back to fitness after the WC, there might well be a chance.

Anyway, more to the point Sportskeeda give us their version of the line up for this match…

Leno

Bellerin Sokratis Chambers Monreal

Torreira

Ramsey Ozil

Mkhitaryan Aubamayang Lacazette

 

There are some interesting choices there.  Ramsey, it is assumed, will re-sign.  But against Manchester City would we play Ozil and Ramsey?  Should we not play Torreira and Xhaka against an attack like theirs?

And in that front line, why not play Auba on the wing where he has played and has been effective at drawing off the defence leaving Laca more space in the middle, which means Auba can move in when he sees the gap?

The writer ends… that Arsenal will be the “dark horses for a top-4 position”.  So that means 5th or 6th, but with an outside chance of rising up.

Let’s consider this: although obviously we are a long way from the new season, by looking at where we are now…  The first column obviously gives last season’s positions.

Pos Team Possibilities…
1 Manchester City Barring a middle east war, the collapse of the oil price, or a coup I’d expect Man C to win the league by a mile, once more, since they can buy whomsoever they way
2 Manchester United Scoring 38 goals fewer than Man C and buying a defender and midfielder this summer doesn’t make me think they can launch an attempt to overtake Man C.  But Top 4, yes of course.
3 Tottenham Hotspur No new players so far and scoring the same goals as Arsenal even with SuperKane the Wonderboy.   What could go wrong?  Kane get injured or tired?  New Stadium jinks? Could be.  Could drop out of the top four.
4 Liverpool Spent £146m nett.  Chances are with that spending they will overtake Tottenham.  Maybe even Man U.
5 Chelsea Had the worst home record of the top six and scored the fewest goals and then bought a midfielder  Stadium project off.  Owner lost his work visa.  18 players out 1 in.  New manager.  I have my doubts about their being settled enough for top four.
6 Arsenal New manager, scoring more goals in the latter part of the season with the new forward line, new defence which looks like it can address the away for issue.  I’d say top four for sure.

In short I think Arsenal have a good chance of holding onto their home form, and getting the away form back to normal, plus I think two clubs are facing particular problems at the moment.

Of course I am usually very wrong, but at least it gives some people a laugh, and my predictions are never quite as bad as those stories about the 110 players we are going to buy in the summer.

 

16 comments to Which teams will make the top four next season, and how will we line up?

  • CorporateMan

    Man City can buy whomsoever? Well, the couldn’t buy Jorginho.

  • Gord

    As I’ve commented on before, the number of teams at the top of the EPL isn’t necessarily 4. Teams that were in the Top-Group can leave and new teams can enter. Last season, it was a Top-6, and Arsenal were still in the Top-Group. It has been seen that a lot of money can get you into the Top-Group, but it is neither necessary or sufficient for a Top-Group team to have a lot of money.

    —–

    France has noticed that Mesut has sparked some soul searching in Germany and possibly elsewhere.

    http://www.france24.com/en/20180723-germany-football-turkey-ozil-resignation-racism-erdogan

    —-

    OT: Corruption

    MensXP “India’s Largest Men’s Lifestyle Website” has a slightly longer article demonstrating the corruption that is FIFA.

    https://www.mensxp.com/sports/football/46419-fifa-runs-rampant-as-the-supervillain-in-a-world-devoid-of-superheroes.html

  • Nitram

    CorporationMan

    Perhaps it should of said: ‘Man City can AFFORD to buy whomsoever’

    I think that’s the point, in case you didn’t realise.

  • Nitram

    Corr: CorporateMan

    Pardon Me.

  • Samuel Akinsola Adebosin

    On the first time of asking at the Emirates Stadium in his first year at Arsenal as the Gunners boss, I think Unai Emery the new Arsenal manager and the new Gunners being signed this summer with more to be signed to strengthen the 1st team adequately and with good fortunes to the Gunners on the injury front during next season in the PL. I am of the serious thinking and belief that Unai Emery and the Gunners he’s building in the shape he wants and in the style he wants them to play will take the Premier League by a whirlwind in the next campaign to not only win the PL Title in his 1st season at Arsenal like Antonio Conte did in his 1st year when he came to Chelsea but could also win the quadruple for Arsenal as well in his the same 1st year as the manager of the club to make history for Arsenal. Thus making the notion of the club finishing in the top 4th in the next campaign a child play. I hope I am not sounding stereotype?

  • Andrew C Elder

    I am definitely not a dreamer. Top four next season would be an achievement but I believe that it is possible. Our away record last season was a disaster and the reason for that was a total lack of confidence away from the Emirates. This is something that Emery has to correct and I believe he will. Strengthening both the defence and midfield together with our potent attacking force should see us through and send out the message that we are no longer pushovers.

  • GoingGoingGooner

    A top 4 finish would be a relief but not a celebration. I am really looking forward to some improvement this year. I think we are solid underdogs and that just might help us out. We expect that there will be a ton of people betting on those NW sides giving us a right thrashing not to mention those other sides in London who represent the best that is England (barf). Passing under the radar will be a relief to those who have only known criticism.

  • nicky

    @GoingGoingGooner,
    I’m firmly in your camp.
    We have a new Manager with new ideas and some new blood.
    There is an air of excitement and anticipation about, which has been absent for some time now.
    As long as we include patience within our 100% support, this coming season, the title itself will not be beyond our grasp. 😉

  • Gord

    Moaninho moans, “Every other team has an easier start to the season than we do”. “We think the referees should take this into account and not charge our players with un-necessary fouls or cards, and to gives us the benefit of the doubt as to how much extra time is needed if we are chasing for a tie or a win.”

    And the awfulicials send a secret acknowledgement, “You know where to send the money and how”.

    And both The (sweet) FA and the EPL haven’t a clue as to what is happening.

    I still wonder how much the brown paper bag the bladder got a week or so ago weighed.

  • Brickfields Gunners

    While I would love UE to win the lot in his first season, its probably not going to happen , so I would love to see an improvement on last season and a cup or two.
    And St. Totteringham’s Day to be rightfully ours . Forever !

  • nick

    Tony
    Can you give it a rest in relation to keep mentioning our last manager in every blog..Its getting a little bit boring..Comments like this dont help also “This is either realistic or the normal sort of doom-laden Sgt Jones of Dad’s Army material that we have come to expect from the anti-Arsenal Arsenal.”
    The results of the opening games of previous seasons were poor and there for all to see but that doesnt have to be the case this season.We have purchased players that are needed to fill the gaps early and it looks like weve had a good pre season for a change.Lets get behind unai and the team and unite on the terraces and give him the best chance of sucess..

  • jjgsol

    Man$ity at home and then chel$ki away.

    Easy peasy or so says moaninho.

    What planet is he living on?

  • Mick

    Lance-Corporal Jones

  • Mick

    Oh and it was Private Fraser who said “We’re all doomed”. Jones was “Don’t panic” which could be applicable after the first 2 games.

  • Preetam

    Nick-run ur own webste

  • nick

    Preetam why dont you run your own ,but get your grammar right first

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