A little note from the Ed before you start. Last time around the Wikio rankings of blogs of a footballing nature had Untold at number 88 in the world. A derisory number and one that caused much gnashing of the teeth.
This time (in figures about to be released) we have risen to number 10 – a number far more in keeping with the high quality writing, exquisite insight, deep rooted moral judgements and plain stupidity that is regularly found on this site.
I’m sorry to butt into Dark Prince’s article in this unseemly manner, but I am just about to break out a celebratory cup of tea, and thought I would like to offer you a cup.
Anyway, back to reality – Ed
Don’t be daft. This is Untold. Reality is on hold – Ed’s subconscious.
Oh shut up – Ed
And you shut up too – Dark Prince.
What should be our target this season and what we have to do!!
By Dark Prince
After the loss against Chelsea, most of us would be wondering on how we could close the 7 point gap or more importantly whether we could win the title this year. It’s too early in the season to answer this question but its always in the beginning of the season where we set our targets.
So what should be our target to win the league?? Is it that beating Chelsea and United is good enough to make us win the title?? Bcoz I remember couple of season ago where we beat both United and Chelsea but still could not win the title. Certainly, we have to beat both of them atleast once to show our true title credentials but with the constant injury troubles hovering over our team, we shouldn’t expect our reserve team to beat an always fit Chelsea or United team.
So can we win the title even if we cant beat Chelsea or United?? And I believe the answer is ‘Yes’. It will certainly be difficult but its highly possible. A league championship is more like a marathon race, instead sprint. It doesn’t matter how you perform against specific teams or how good our start is. Its all about ‘Consistency’. And I’ve heard Lord Wenger advocate this word more than anyone else.
So what is it that should be done?? We as fans always look at the points and numbers on the table to see how we stand, so I think its important to keep a certain number of points as our target.
So how many points would be sufficient to win this league?? 80?? 90?? 100?? We have won the league with points as low as 78. Our Invincible season saw us winning the league with 90 points. And the Mourinho season for Chelsea have saw them winning by 95 points. But if we look at past decade of the league, you’ll see the the average points for winning the title has been 88. But overall, to be on the safe side, I believe that the target has to be 90 points. And the most logical and realistic way to achieve this is by the following numbers:
28 6 4 90
This is what we should aim for this season when we look at the league table.
28 wins, 6 draws, 4 losses, 90 points!!
Now that’s something I’d like to see beside Arsenal’s name on the table, regardless we win the league or not. Speaking of which, every time a team has reached 90 points in EPL, that team has won the title.
Now, technically speaking, it is still quite possible to do this even though we had a bad start. But we do have some hard work and I think its time we start winning big against teams that we never thought we would lose against.
First, talking about our losses. Having only 4 losses seems tough, especially when we are playing in the toughest league in the universe. But we have the history with us to go through the entire season without a defeat. So its possible by our standards. Looking at our current season, it is just 7 games in and we already have 2 losses – Chelsea and West Brom. So who can we expect to lose against in the remaining fixtures?? United at old Trafford perhaps and maybe even Man City at Eastlands. So that would fill up our quota for the loss for this season.
Then coming on to the 6 draws. We already have 2 draws – Liverpool and Sunderland. It would have been nice if we had beaten Sunderland. But its still acceptable. Now whom can be draw against? The obvious ones that come in my mind are Chelsea at Emirates and United too at Emirates?
I know many fans, at this point, will think that I”m being an idiot suggesting that we cant beat Chelsea or United at home. But just think what will happen if we have another string of injuries and then again face Chelsea or United with our reserve team. I really believe that even with our reserve team we can draw against Chelsea and United at home.
That leads to the last 2 games to draw. Who do you think it could be? It certainly has to be some away fixture. We do have some pretty tough away fixtures left – Fulham, Spurs, Stoke, Everton, Birmingham, Bolton. Maybe even include Wolves in this list (you can never know what would be the injury list after this match). But we can only allow 2 of them to get a draw and looking at last year’s and this year’s performances, I’d say that the 2 teams would be Spurs and maybe Fulham.
So what can we conclude from this? I’m not saying that we will lose against United at Old Trafford or that we cant beat Chelsea or United this year. All I’m trying to say is that we don’t lose our title hopes just because we cant beat these guys with our half of 1st team injured. We don’t need to beat them to win the league.
As Lord Wenger would say, the match against Chelsea is never decisive in the title race. But what we need is ‘Consistency’. Its not the matches against United Or Chelsea that determines our title hopes, but rather its our matches against other teams that will decide. The way we will be remembered to win the league by beating Chelsea and United, the same way we’ll be remembered for losing the title by losing against teams like West Brom or Wigan or Blackburn.
This makes me feel more bad that we lost one game to West Brom because these teams, however well they play, should never be allowed to beat us. I believe that even our reserve team have enough of quality to beat West Brom or any team from the bottom half of the table. We can’t do much about that result now but we have to learn from our mistakes. We had the easiest run in for the final 7-8 games for last season and yet we lost a couple of games in them.
Now is the time for us to show our dominance against these weaker teams. I think we should perform in the same way as we performed against Blackpool. No-nonsense game, full domination and full control from start to finish, taking our chances and making quick decisions when it comes to passes and shots. We cant expect the team to open up their defences to let us in, instead we have to force open their defence. And we already know that playing neatly or dominating the whole game doesn’t mean that we win. We have to score goals to win. When I say we win the game by scoring, it should be that we win with a margin of a least 2 or 3 goals. Because I really don’t want our team to soak up all the pressure in the final 10 minutes when we are 1-0 up.
Coming back to our targets, i think our team has to step up a level now. Looking in to our future fixtures, I can see the Man City away game in on Oct 24 as a game which we have to win even though I put this game as loss in our targets. Also the November fixtures also look like a headache because we have 7 games in the span of 22 days, out of which 5 are away games including Everton, Wolves and Villa and 1 home game is against Spurs. We can’t afford to lose any games from this. In fact we cant even afford to draw against any of them. All these games have to be won if we want to win the league.
On a more positive note, we can expect Cesc, Van Persie, Walcott and Vermaelen back by then. Hopefully they’ll be back by the City game because we can win against any team with our actual 1st team. More importantly, we showed that our reserves too can match up against a team like Chelsea at Stamford bridge, though they came up short. So overall I still have lots of confidence in our team. What we have to avoid is to drop points against anyone below us in the league and also put a stop on our injury list. For many years we’ve seen our best players getting injured for a massive part of the season. Now its has to stop. We’ve already suffered the impact of injuries this season. Hopefully, this should end soon and then I can see our team play with the same flair and finishing that we started this season with.
Keep the faith fellow Gooners!! 🙂
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