Man C creep closer, but it was a jolly day out all the same.


By Tony Attwood

It was a pleasing and jolly day out, but of course, a little spoiled by the aftermath of seeing Manchester City creep ever closer.  Liverpool could still win the league, but won’t.   Arsenal could still come third, but won’t.  But I fear that Manchester City will overtake us at the last, and continue to do so, until the 110 financial cases against them are finally ended and we know the result.  After that, who knows?

But it is, as it has been, a wonderful season with some fabulous football, even though for a while Bournemouth did all they could to stop it.   And I see they are full of complaints even now with the Mail now screaming, “Shambolic VAR is SLAMMED again after ruling out …”  Still it takes their mind off the loss of the West Midlands mayoral elections by the party they so vigorously support.

 But it was always thus.  See for example “It was ‘obvious’ Spurs would overtake Arsenal” in Goal , and “Spurs ready to overtake Arsenal in with multiple other examples.

Tottenham, the new stars on the horizon, play Liverpool away later to day, and Newcastle and Manchester United could still overtake them, to push Tottenham into that Conference spot once more, but even I admit it seems unlikely.

But overall it was a jolly day out, leaving Arsenal on 88 goals with two games to play – exactly the number of goals we had at the end of last season.  Thus every chance of beating that number in the final two matches.

Arsenal scored 97 in winning the league in 1952/3 which gave a goals per game ratio of 2.31.  But Arsenal’s current ratio is 2.44 – the highest level of goals per game since the three consecutive league titles of the end of the Chapman era in the early 1930s.   But at that time Arsenal were letting in around double the number of goals scored against Arsenal, so when we add in issues relating to the defence this is the greatest Arsenal team of all time in terms of on-pitch performance.

And yet even a couple of weeks ago the club was being slated by the media and so-called supporters because Arteta refused to rotate the squad.  That commentary, along with the narrative that Arsenal desperately need a centre forward to score goals shows the depths of insanity that the media and their followers will sink to, to find something to say against Arsenal no matter how good the club.

So it looks to me, like we might have to settle for second for the second season running.  But if that is the case we might still look back and recall that between 1998/9 and 2000/01 Arsenal came second in the league three times in succession, and were called the “never men”.

The club then won the league twice in three years, including one double and an unbeaten season.   Although ultimately then as now, the media and supporters turned on the manager because, well that’s what they always do.

And how different that is from Tottenham where the media will continue to talk about the stadium, and fans talk about the club somehow being the richest or having the most profitable stadium in the country.

Of course a victory over Bournemouth will not get much of a mention in the broader history of the club, and maybe this season won’t if, as I fear, Manchester City overtake us at the last.   But maybe enough of those 110 charges against that club are found to be true, their expenditure over previous years might finally come to account.

That won’t give Arsenal the title if we do come second because there are no allegations against Man City as I understand it, over the last two seasons, and anyway they could still be let off all 110 complaints.  But we might like to remember that we are still the top scoring club in the league (again although Manchester C might overtake us at the end) and we have the best defence in the league, and the best goal difference, and those last two survive the last minute surge by Khaldoon Al Mubarak and co.

And we can reflect upon the fact that Tottenham are 23 points, and 21 goals behind Arsenal while having a goal difference that is a staggering 47 worse than Arasenal’s.   Now there is a club that needs something of a transformation this summer.   I wonder if they will spend the cash that some of their supporters are so certain that they have in abundance.

10 Replies to “Man C creep closer, but it was a jolly day out all the same.”

  1. If we come second, the minimum of 2 points denied us by the multiple VAR outrages away at Newcastle will have proved decisive.

  2. Very good point John L thanks for that. I was so involved with my thoughts of a rather jolly time at the game yesterday that didn’t strike me. Cheers

  3. I can see a scenario creep up where the winner of this season’s PL scores the decisive goal in added time of the final game.

    Just because it makes marketing sense…

    Wonder what will be done to get to that script in terms of referee and VAR appointments. After all, the PL is the best reality TV show on earth….

    Am I being cynical…. ?!?!

  4. In this instance VAR did actually her job.
    The penalty: the ref made his decision and gave a penalty. there was no doubt the keeper committed with his outstretched leg and missed the ball and Havertz foot and the keeper’s leg made contact. So it wa no obvious error from the ref so VAR could nothing but agree with the on field decision.
    The not given goal: the ref gave a foul against Raya. He blew his whistle late but he gave the foul (if he was convinced it was a foul he should have blown immediately – but the standard of refereeing from PGMO…. well….) . On the images it was clear to see the Bournemouth attacker didn’t attack the ball but attack Raya. So there was a foul on Raya (a small one, one could argue) so again VAR couldn’t overturn the decision on the field.
    In fact the only time could have overturned the decision from the ref was tha studs up tackle on Saka that could have ended his season and maybe next… that was a clear and obvious error from the ref (who was maybe looking at it from the wrong angle – that makes a big difference) and should have resulted in the ref going to the screen next to the field and hand out a red card.
    So all in all VAR did what they had to do apart from the red card incident. And ht media…. they now f*ck all but love to have a go at Arsenal. Tell me somthing new….

  5. About City…. we are hoping for one of the ‘hams’ to do us a favour…. If not we know we are the real champions. $ity will always just be the “115 champions”

  6. I ask why has it taken 10 years or more for these issues about Manchester City’s accounts to be brought to Court? After 10 years plus of supposed FFP clubs are apparently adjusting their spending. The 2 clubs who breached FFP the most-City and Chelsea- have not been touched and the League have taken no action against either, but have hammered far lesser breaches by smaller clubs.

    The lack of timely action means City have been allowed to amass a far stronger squad than anyone else. Yes they are a great team now with a great coach but the the lack of action on FFP has given them a gigantic advantage over everyone else.
    At this time of the year City’s players some of the very best, highest paid players are the freshest in the league. Why? because City are the only club who can afford to rest such players for long periods during the season. without detriment to their results.

    The outcome of the premier league championship is now utterly predictable and is the same every year. It is diminished to the level of the Bundesliga where Bayern won 11 consecutive titles from 2013 to 2023. Eventually, fans and investors will lose interest knowing they are playing in a competition where the winner is fthe same every year and their team is playing for second place every year.

    Its no surprise given the endless propaganda from the media selling their products that City fans have deluded themselves into thinking their transformation from a fringe side to perpetual winners has all been achieved on merit alone. The same fans who have quickly developed a sense of entitlement that has resulted in them becoming some of the least sporting fans in this country.

    Arsenal have had a fantastic season and we will have done exceptionally well to make second place in this competition.

    The Premier League would be a far better competition if it was competitive and the winner was not a forgone conclusion.

  7. 63 minute Liverpool! 4 Totts 0

    I am curious to see if Sp*rs can get their act together for their last two home games. As much as I would like to see them get a result against Man City, I don’t expect it. But, I would be extremely disappointed if I were a Sp*rs fan and they continued playing this poorly. The players have got to know that they are playing for their jobs…as is their manager.

  8. The October champions elect are losing yet again and I can’t wait for the excuses from their media chums . My take on this is next season they’ll actually go for relegation. A good strategy considering Arsenal’s resurgence , no embarrassing defeats and the chance to go for a beer for their fans who love a beer from one of those funny beer pumps and they can watch American footie into the bargain .
    The Sick parrots in their white elephant arena.

  9. We got out just rewards from them Spuds that we wanted . Those 3 points ! Hoping that they do us a favour is beyond their capabilities ! I just hope that we win our last two games , without conceding a goal . Hope we cap it off in style.
    If City drop points , that’ ll be God given gifts !
    Up the Gunners !

  10. The best one liner I have seen is
    “Well it worked against Ross County “

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