The idea that Man U have the advantage over Arsenal in the run in, is twaddle

by Tony Attwood

There is a growing proposition in newspapers and elsewhere that Arsenal don’t really have any advantage over Manchester United because their two “games in hand” are rather difficult – Tottenham and Chelsea away.  In fact that suggestion is that Manchester United have the advantage, although quite how that is the case is not made clear.

Here’s the table on Friday afternoon…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 26 20 3 3 63 17 46 63
2 Liverpool 26 18 6 2 70 20 50 60
3 Chelsea 25 14 8 3 49 18 31 50
4 Manchester United 26 13 7 6 44 34 10 46
5 Arsenal 24 14 3 7 38 27 11 45
6 West Ham United 26 12 6 8 45 34 11 42
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 25 12 4 9 24 20 4 40
8 Tottenham Hotspur 24 12 3 9 31 32 -1 39

If the teams with games to spare win their spare games 2-0 the table would be…

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 26 20 3 3 63 17 46 63
2 Liverpool 26 18 6 2 70 20 50 60
3 Chelsea 26 15 8 3 51 18 33 53
4 Arsenal 26 16 3 7 42 27 15 51
5 Manchester United 26 13 7 6 44 34 10 46
6 Tottenham Hotspur 26 14 3 9 35 32 3 45
7 Wolverhampton Wanderers 26 13 4 9 26 20 6 43
8 West Ham United 26 12 6 8 45 34 11 42

Now that looks quite encouraging for Arsenal and bad news for Manchester United and Tottenham, and the media will never accept such a scenario.  So somehow it needs to be suggested that Arsenal will lose their two games in hand.

Of course, the mindlessness of this notion is pointed out on occasion, as with the Twitter account that told Sky Sports News “Manchester United is a more favorable candidate for that 4place due to her mental stability”

Equally bonkers was the comment on the same site that says, “Funny how most of these guys think arsenal games in hand are against chelsea,wolves,spurs and you expect them to beat all this teams”

The fact of course is not just who Arsenal play, but rather who the other clubs vying for the famously “not a trophy” position are playing.

By which I mean, it might well be that Arsenal are very likely to lose these two matches, but that is meaningless unless we look at who the other teams vying for fourth are playing.  After all, it is likely that if Arsenal are going to lose against other members of the traditional big six, then so might Tottenham, or even Manchester United. 

And yet the pundits are calling on people to see seeing Arsenal as favourites not to get into the top four, by selecting two from the games remaining as “Arsenal’s games in hand” as if somehow they are separate from all the rest.

But obviously, these are simply two more games in a list of games – and any sensible discussion would consider all of the games each team has to play rather than just pick out two games that Arsenal have to play.

So let’s try what the media pundits and their fellow travellers refuse to contemplate.

We have games against Watford, Leicester, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Southampton, West Ham, Leeds, Newcastle and Everton, all of which are potentially winnable.

We have games against Liverpool, Manchester United, Tottenham and Chelsea where points might be dropped because of the quality of the opposition, or the pressure of the occasion.  

So what about Manchester United?   If we put the games into same two sections and use a similarly crude way of dividing up the two clubs we find that Manchester Un have winnable games against Watford, Leicester, Everton, Norwich, Brentford, Brighton and Crystal Palace.

They have games in which points might be dropped against Manchester City, Tottenham, Liverpool, Arsenal and Chelsea.

So in this very simple and crude comparison, Arsenal have 10 winnable games which if we won them would give us 30 points, Manchester United has seven winnable games and five difficult games, giving them 21 points.

So the notion of “Arsenal’s two games in hand are against Tottenham and Chelsea” and thus Arsenal have a problem, is typical mindless codswallop from people who realise that their prognostications about Arsenal’s impending doom have now fallen flat and so now they desperately need to cling on to something else.

Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 10 8 1 1 30 8 22 25
2 Liverpool 10 7 2 1 25 8 17 23
3 Arsenal 10 7 1 2 21 7 14 22
4 Manchester United 10 5 4 1 18 10 8 19
and looking at the last 15 games we see the same difference appears…
Pos Team P W D L F A GD Pts
1 Manchester City 15 13 1 1 41 11 30 40
2 Liverpool 15 12 2 1 28 9 30 38
3 Arsenal 15 10 1 4 29 14 15 31
4 Manchester United 15 8 5 1 25 17 8 29

Here we can see the stability that the league has entered into during this time.

Of course, there is no guarantee that we will win against Watford, Leicester, Aston Villa, Crystal Palace, Brighton, Southampton, West Ham, Leeds, Newcastle and Everton, but even if we drop some points there it is quite likely that Manchester United will drop points against Watford, Leicester, Everton, Norwich, Brentford, Brighton and Crystal Palace.

But the big difference is that we have 10 winnable games against lower form opposition, while Manchester United have only seven.

They have five games against other top-six sides, which might be difficult, we have only four.

By any reasonable analysis, Arsenal have the advantage.  Of course, Arsenal can still throw it away, just as Manchester United can, but we do have an easier run-in, and more games.

And yet the publications are out there saying Arsenal can’t do it because they have the tougher run-in.

That is complete mindless twaddle of the type being pumped out up to three weeks ago that Arsenal can’t score any goals whereas in the last 15 games we are the second-highest scorers in the league.

These journalists!  What scallywags they are with their ceaseless lies and falsehoods!


13 Replies to “The idea that Man U have the advantage over Arsenal in the run in, is twaddle”

  1. 100% agree with everything you have said.

    Also from a very recent and interesting article on Arseblog:
    “ Arsenal have the 9th hardest remaining schedule (including the games to be played), our rivals for top 4 have the following: Manchester United 4th, Sp*rs 13th, West Ham 2nd, and Wolves 12th.”

    It’s not complicated!!!

  2. Tony,

    I don’t know in which planet you live….. as far as I know Arsenal have been fighting against relegation since game nr 3, have they not ?

    So how can there be talk of not a trophy place ? Avoiding relegation is not a trophy or is it ?

  3. Don’t be surprised, we are playing against the match officials as well while the officials are in the corner of Man United

  4. Here’s a deep dive on those three “games in hand”:

    Chelsea (A)
    Chelsea’s home form this season has been bang average. Over last ten homes games their form is:
    W4 D5 L1
    This is the same form as Southampton’s last ten home games.
    Which begs the question, is Southampton away also a tough fixture?

    Liverpool (H)
    Liverpool’s away form over last ten away games is pretty good:
    W6 D2 L2
    This is the same as Wolves’ away form over last ten away games, before last night.
    And what was the result last night?
    (Arsenal’s home form over last ten home games is W7 D2 L1).

    Spurs (A)
    Spurs home form over last ten home games is pretty average too:
    W5 D1 L4
    This is the same as Arsenal’s away form over last ten away games.
    Doesn’t exactly look like it will be a one-sided affair either, does it?


  5. Watching images of Infantino and Putin on the TV is not a good look for FIFA, although Infantino probably thinks he is immune to censure and criticism, especially from his haven in Qatar.

    Bearing this in mind, you may not be aware of this story, which has been rumbling on for a few years now, but seems to have resurfaced this week.

    zero tolerance (occasionally), maybe

  6. The Arsenal 2 big games in hand away to Tottenham Hs and Chelsea which the media and juniors are talking about and worrying themselves over them. But the scheduled Arsenal 2 big games at home against Liverpool and Man Utd have to be included too anyway. Those are the 4 remaining Arsenal big games of the season that they’ll play. But which I think and believe that Arsenal will specially prepared for, to play them in the big game ways when the time to play them game by game comes for the Gunners to play them in the run-in to the season.

    But rightnow, I don’t think Arsenal are having sleepless nights to worry about over those 4 big games left for them to play this season. If at all anything, i think the Gunners are very relaxed in their minds to not be worrying. More so. after they beat Wolves last Thursday night and went 5th in the table. But if to say the least, they are not complacent. For, the Gunners know that they will eventually have to play those 4 big games when the time to play them comes.

    In the meantime, I believe Arsenal focus is now on their next game away to Watford next Sunday as they go game by game to play the next game and win it. So, I think it is in the imaginations of the anti-Arsenal ,media and Journalists that Arsenal will bottle their aims and ambitions this season to finish in the EPL top-four places .But which doesn’t look like the possibility that will happen to Arsenal this season. But rather, it is looking quite a possible achievement that the Gunners will achieve at season’s end. If the month of February strong campaign they had which saw them won thrice on the trot is something credible to go by and be relied upon. Which I think it is. And it will see Arsenal successfully through to the top-four places finish this season.

  7. , out of top 8 we have to play scum, manure, hammers, chelse and pool. Manure have to do the same and next 3 games after Watford are city, scum and the Pool. Scum have the same except Chelsea but they can’t beat teams that don’t let them counter attack. Hammers have all top 8 except manure. Wolves have just played us and manure. So all of us have at least 5 top 8 teams to play except scum on 4. I think that puts us in driving seat. I was there on Thursday night something is happening with this team and the fans and I really believe we will get top 4.

  8. For me i even see us finishing ahead of Chelsea, i nolonger want to talk ’bout Man U as i can’t see em defeat any of their close rivals. Its high time we talked ’bout the struggle with Chelsea buh Man U nolonger scares. You wait for their next 3 fixtures u’ll witness

  9. @Cleoplus,

    I agree, Arsenal need to look ahead nit back.
    They need to prepare for the next game. That’s all
    And win it.
    And then prepare for the next game.
    Forget the rest, the big pcture. Concentrate on the immediate obstacle.

  10. Also, we play Pool and ManU at home and Chelsk, Totts and Hammers away –
    Totts play Gunners and Hammers at home and ManU and Pool away –
    ManU play Totts and Chelsk at home and ManC, Gunners and Pool away
    Hammers play Gunners and ManC at home and Totts, Pool and Chelsk away.

    Both ManU and Hammers have 3 difficult away games. The Gunners have 2 difficult away games and a better goal difference compared to ManU and 2 hard games and 3 point over the Hammers. This looks like we have the advantage here!!

    Compared to the Totts, we have 2 London derbies away and the Totts have two derbies at home and anything can happen in a derby!! All square here. Finally, both teams then play Pool and ManU but we play them at home and they play them away!! Again, this looks like an advantage here as well!! Obvs. it could all crumble in the end but from where we are now, it all looks positive.


    Man Utd 0 – 0 Brighton FT

    I think you’ve been proved spot on Tony. Well done for saying it how it is, loud and proud.

  12. Man U 0-0 Watford lemme just wait for their next match against Man City. Said their next 3 fixtures before playing the Honets ‘ll define their fate. You just sit back, relax & wait to watch Arsenal tearing up Watford in our next fixture.

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