By Walter Broeckx
As we approach the final dash to the finish line after the international break I think it would be good thing to compare the games the top 3 has to play.
I will include Chelsea in this because after beating Manchester City they might be in it with a chance. But if they would this would mean that they would be giving Arsenal a bit of a helping hand as they also have to play against Tottenham and Manchester United. The number behind each team is the current position in the league they have.
|Blackburn (H) – 13||West Ham (A) – 17||Stoke (A) – 10|
|Blackpool (A) – 15||Fulham (H) – 12||Wigan (H) – 20|
|Liverpool (H) – 6||Newcastle (A) – 11||WBA (A) – 16|
|Tottenham (A) – 5||Birmingham (H) – 19|
|Bolton (A) – 7||Everton (H) – 8||West Ham (H) – 17|
|MU (H) – 1||Arsenal (A) – 2||Tottenham (H) – 5|
|Stoke (A) – 10||Chelsea (H) – 3||MU (A) – 1|
|Aston Villa (H) – 14||Blackburn (A) – 13||Newcastle (H) – 11|
|Fulham (A) – 12||Blackpool (H) – 15||Everton (A) – 8|
Much is being said about “an easy run in”. But what is exactly an easy run in? Is playing against bottom teams easy? It might be easy but I think this year is much different. The way things are going for the moment almost half of the teams can get relegated. So in fact playing teams from 10th position can be very difficult.
In former seasons we had 4 or maximum 5 teams who had to fight to survive. And then you had maybe some 7 or 8 teams who just played their games because they had to play them. They couldn’t play for an European place, they couldn’t get in trouble to go down. So those where the teams you had to play if you wanted “an easy run in”.
But this time of the season the only teams we have in that position seems to be Bolton and Everton. They are safe in the league, have not a real chance of going in to Europe. So playing them could be an advantage. And Arsenal has to play Bolton, and MU and Chelsea have to play Everton. So not a real advantage there for any team.
Playing against the other top teams is tricky. And I count the teams in the current top 5 as top teams. Because if you win such a game you get a big bonus, lose such a game and it could be game over. We have to play Tottenham and MU. Mu has to play against Chelsea and us. And Chelsea has to play against MU and Tottenham. So once again not a big difference for any team.
So this means that the other games are going to be played against teams that more or less in some cases must look over their shoulder to keep out of trouble or to get out of trouble. And I think those could be the most difficult games of them all. Those teams will try to park the bus and more in front of their goal in the games against the top teams to get a point. So it will be very difficult to break them down. So it will be vital and important to score as soon as possible to open those teams up.
What also could make a difference is playing away or at home. Arsenal has to play 5 games away from home and 4 at home. This doesn’t look good but if we keep in mind that we are the best away team in the league so far we just have to keep that up till the end of the season.
United hasn’t been that good away from home and so we can hope that they also keep this up till the end of the season.
Chelsea has 5 home games and 4 away games in their run in. They only lost one home game this season and the rest of their defeats was on the road. So I think we have to hope for some more defeats on the road. But then again not at United really. If Torres keeps his “good” run till the end of the season well that would be nice.
So I don’t know if there is any easy run in for either team. Maybe Chelsea has the easiest (but then again not that easy) but they also are a bit behind in the table. It will come down to just trying to win each game as it comes. Fight from the first till the last minute, don’t start sloppy and stay strong till the final whistle.
Oh, and hope that our best players stay fit, come back soon if out injured for the moment and we get decent and unbiased refs.
- Last season the table after 3 games was headline news. But probably not this season
- 117 players tipped as coming to Arsenal before the window closes
- Why Arsenal recruited a new defence first, then a new attack
- After two games we can start to make one or two judgements
- Winning the opening two league games is not that common for Arsenal