By Bulldog Drummond
Although it was largely missed due to the mass hysteria of Chelsea winning the league, there was another match last night: Everton beat Watford 1-0. Rather amusingly Statto has made a mistake in its calculations and have Everton above Arsenal in the league, but just in case that is where you started your viewing, I can tell you it is not the case.
If you want to see the table according to Statto it is here, although they could of course correct it at any time. And I must be fair – Statto.com is a masterpiece of statistics, and they most certainly are allowed the occasional blip.
But as a result of last night the actual table looks as below – and here we have it with two columns added at the end to show the highest and lowest positions that each club could reach if results turned out in the most extreme way (which often they don’t but occasionally they do).
Both Liverpool and Manchester City could overtake Tottenham in second, but such a course of action is unlikely given that Tottenham has a better goal difference and need just one point from three games effectively to secure second place.
Arsenal coming third is slightly less unlikely than Tottenham slipping from second but it means seeing scenarios such as Arsenal winning all three games remaining while Liverpool and Manchester City each win no more than one.
But what about coming in the “not a trophy” position of fourth, and thus re-entering the Champs League. In essence that means that even if Arsenal win all three games one of Liverpool or Man City must only win one match. In theory Man City could win two and still be overtaken, but then Arsenal would have to be winning by large margins and Man City lose their third match by a large margin – it seems not worth considering. Liverpool with just two to play look our most likely target.
And just for the benefit of the aaa naysayers who like to hang around the site, Arsenal’s lowest possible position is sixth, which means that we will either have Europa or Champions League games next season. The fact that West Brom could come as low as 15th reflects the bunching of clubs below them.
But to sink that low would mean a series of results at the end of the season, not seen since 1938 when on the very last day of the season any two from seven could go down depending on the results of that day. In the end, on that final day Grimsby, Portsmouth, Birmingham, and Stoke won, to stay up, while Man City and WBA lost to get relegated. Quite remarkable since Manchester City were the defending champions at the time.
Arsenal won the league – but to do so they needed Wolverhampton to do worse than them on the final day. Wolves obliged. You can read the amazing story of that final month of the campaign in 1938 in the Arsenal History Society article on April and May 1938
But back to the present, Tottenham are likely to finish second this season, just as Arsenal did last season, and it will quite possibly cause outbreaks of wild celebrations in certain parts of the country. For this will be the first time Tottenham have come second since 1962/3 – and thus a remarkable achievement for them. The first time in 54 years. They have however come third seven times – although one of those was in the second division (which got them promotion).
So 54 years with a second to add to their seven thirds.
And what of Arsenal during this period? In those 54 years Arsenal have come top of the league six times, come second seven times and third six times. Of course neither second nor third is not a trophy, but with a 54 year record such as Tottenham have, we can understand it might feel like it.
As for Arsenal this season, our final position, as noted above, depends on Liverpool and Man City. Liverpool have West Ham away and Middlesbrough at home – neither should be particularly tough for them, but Tottenham did have a little mishap against West Ham at the Taxpayers.
Manchester City have Leicester and West Brom at home and Watford away. It is hard to see much of a slip up there, and certainly not two slips.
Of late however Man City have drawn with Man U and Middlesbrough, while Liverpool have these rather interesting results
- Watford 0 Liverpool 1
- Liverpool 0 Southampton 0
- Liverpool 1 Crystal Palace 2
The problem for Arsenal is that neither Man City nor Liverpool have to win all of their matches to secure a top four spot. But then that is exactly the scenario in which clubs do slip up.
- Stoke v Arsenal: players miss training and the scoring omens look awful.
- Stoke v Arsenal. Mike Dean is the referee. A note about what that means.
- Stoke v Arsenal: Injury news, recent form and the clue to what’s happening.