6 goals, 6 points, 6 places: the journey to the Europa League next season



By Tony Attwood

This is a very curious and odd league table at the moment.  The almighty glorious wonderful Liverpool of yesteryear have slipped down to sixth and are hobnobbing it with their neighbours (three points below and two games in hand).

Arsenal and Tottenham (the latter being regularly tipped for great things, largely on the basis that the club told the media that was the case) are 10th and 8th.

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
6 Liverpool 26 12 7 7 47 34 13 43
7 Everton 24 12 4 8 37 33 4 40
8 Tottenham Hotspur 25 11 6 8 41 27 14 39
9 Aston Villa 24 12 3 9 38 26 12 39
10 Arsenal 26 11 4 11 34 27 7 37

Looked at one way, six points between us and the “6th is even less of a trophy than 4th was” position is not that great, especially since the three teams standing in the way of us knocking Liverpool off sixth spot have one or two games in hand.

Our goal difference doesn’t help us, and we’d have to take it that in picking up those six points to get to sixth we’d pick up a few handy goals as well.

One way to estimate how things might go is to look at the form table… this table just covering the last six games is helpfully provided by The Fishy

Premier League Form (Last 6)
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 6 6 0 0 15 3 12 18
2 Chelsea 6 4 2 0 8 2 6 14
3 Wolverhampton Wa 6 3 2 1 6 4 2 11
4 Manchester Utd 6 2 4 0 16 5 11 10
5 West Ham U 6 3 1 2 10 7 3 10
6 Leicester C 6 3 1 2 9 8 1 10
7 Everton 6 3 1 2 9 9 0 10
8 Aston Villa 6 3 1 2 5 5 0 10
9 Crystal Palace 6 3 1 2 5 7 -2 10
10 Fulham 6 2 3 1 4 3 1 9
11 Brighton & Hove 6 2 2 2 4 4 0 8
12 Arsenal 6 2 1 3 8 7 1 7
13 Newcastle Utd 6 2 1 3 8 10 -2 7
14 Leeds United 6 2 0 4 8 8 0 6
15 Tottenham Hots 6 2 0 4 7 7 0 6
16 West Bromwich A 6 1 3 2 5 7 -2 6
17 Burnley 6 1 3 2 5 8 -3 6
18 Liverpool 6 2 0 4 7 11 -4 6
19 Sheffield Utd 6 1 0 5 3 10 -7 3
20 Southampton 6 0 1 5 4 19 -15 1

Sadly this doesn’t give us a lot of encouragement at this point – in the table built on the last six games, we are lower than we are overall – we are 12th.

A slight encouragement comes with the realisation, however, that Tottenham and Liverpool! are doing even worse both in terms of points and goal difference.  Although only by one point it must be admitted.

But, clutching at every straw that appears to be passing by none of the clubs we need to overtake are particularly flying high – and here is the most extraordinary thing, in the last six games we have the best goal difference of all five of the clubs.

Now I am talking about straws and the desperate reaching out for them, because we do need those above us to fail if we are going to swarm up the league and get sixth, and not win a trophy for it.

If it is too much for us then unless we win the Europa we’ll be out of Europe for the first time since 1995/6.  That season we came fifth (a great improvement on the 12th the season before) and as a result clambered back into Europe, where we remained ever since… at least until now.

The recovery from 1994/5 through to the glorious years was, in retrospect, remarkably fast.  12th that season, then fifth, then third, then the second Double.  It almost seems a blink of an eye, although it didn’t feel like that at the time.

So 1995/6, no Europe, and then ever since, Europe, including the second highest number of consecutive years in the Champions League of any team in the whole continent.  Only Real Mad have beaten us on that score.

We’re clutching at straws of course, but sometimes those straws can give us the pull up we need.  Not always, but sometimes.

 

2 Replies to “6 goals, 6 points, 6 places: the journey to the Europa League next season”

  1. Last year 6th placed was achieved with 61 points. To get to 61 points Arsenal need to pick up 24 points from the available 36. Say, 6 wins might do it.
    Don’t know how many points were required for 6th place in other years. But if Arsenal can win the next 2 fixtures, is 4 wins from the final 10 games a fair target?
    All idle conjecture , but with a fully fit squad, why not?

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