The Title Race: Can We Win It? (Complete with all the number crunching…)

Posted: March 28, 2010 by CurtisAtHome in Uncategorized

A disappointing (though not unpredictable) draw to Birmingham has left Arsenal in a vulnerable position in the Title race.
So, are we still in with a chance?

Although there is definite cause for concern, the time for doom saying hasn’t yet arrived; it’s important for everybody to stay positive but realistic as we look to the remaining fixtures in the season. Firstly, the sad thing is we’re no longer masters of our own destiny. However, there is still a decent amount of football to be played, and a few key opportunities for points to be dropped by all of the top three.

So do we still have a realistic shot? Yes, but it’s an outside bet. I’ve looked ahead across the entire top three’s remaining fixtures and highlight the possible pitfalls for them and us. With the table as it stands, the title is still winnable, ASSUMING we can avoid dropping points.

The Title Race (as it stands)

__________________Played__Pts
1st – Manchester United:    (32)      (72)
2nd –                    Chelsea:    (32)      (71)
3rd –                     Arsenal:    (32)      (68)

With six games left, there are still around 3 games per team where, REALISTICALLY, points can be dropped. I know many will say that, on the day, anything can happen in any game in the Premier League, and whilst this evidently is proved true sometimes, I’ve picked the games which I deemed plausibly may result in a draw or a loss.

Sat 3rd April

Manchester United v Chelsea

Sunday 11th April

Blackburn v Manchester United

Wed 14th April

Tottenham v Arsenal

Sunday 17th April

Manchester City v Manchester United
Tottenham v Chelsea

Sat 24th April

Arsenal v Manchester City

Sat 1st May

Blackburn v Arsenal
Liverpool v Chelsea

Plausible Points Dropped Per Team:

Manchester United: 0-7
(Manchester United v Chelsea, Blackburn v Manchester United, Manchester City v Manchester United)
Realistically, we could hope for a draw/loss to Chelsea at home, a draw with Blackburn away, a loss to Manchester City away.

Chelsea: 0-5
(Manchester United v Chelsea, Tottenham v Chelsea, Liverpool v Chelsea)
Realistically, this would entail a possible loss to United away, a draw to Tottenham away, and a draw with Liverpool away. However, it is plausible that Chelsea could lose its games against Tottenham and Liverpool.

Arsenal: 0-7
(Tottenham v Arsenal, Arsenal v Manchester City, Blackburn v Arsenal)
This would entail a possible loss to Tottenham, loss to Manchester City, and draw with Blackburn. These are the crunch games, and if we avoid dropping points in these three, we still have a chance.

Game by Game:

The Manchester United vs. Chelsea game is critical, and with both teams in great form, they will hopefully cancel each other out. A draw from this game (with us presumably beating Wolverhampton at the Emirates) would leave the table looking a LOT more positive:

__________________Played__Pts
1st – Manchester United:    (33)      (73)
2nd –                    Chelsea:    (33)      (72)
3rd –                     Arsenal:    (33)      (71)

A draw really is the only positive outcome of this, we can’t afford either side to take all three points.

The next game round is also important, and involves the critical fixtures of Blackburn Rovers vs. Manchester United, and of course the London derby of Tottenham Hotspur vs. Arsenal. Blackburn is very formidable at home, and we could hope for a draw from this match if the fates are in favour of us. IF we win over Tottenham, the table would stand as (assuming Chelsea topple Bolton at The Bridge):

__________________Played__Pts
1st –                      Chelsea:    (34)      (75)
2nd –                    Arsenal:    (34)      (74)
3rd -Manchester United:    (34)      (74)

The following week plays host to two more important fixtures. Manchester City vs. Manchester United, based on recent meetings between these teams (and considering City’s destruction of Chelsea), has the potential to be another fly in United’s ointment. Also, Tottenham Hotspur vs. Chelsea could prove troublesome for the Blues. Arsenal are in action away at Wigan , which shouldn’t prove too much of a problem. here is how the table would look, assuming that United DREW with City, Chelsea DREW with Tottenham, and presuming Arsenal beat Wigan.

__________________Played__Pts
1st –                      Arsenal:    (35)      (77)
2nd –                    Chelsea:    (35)      (76)
3rd -Manchester United:    (35)      (75)

Not looking to bad, is it? However, it’s smooth sailing from here on in for United, so we have to hope they drop all these possible points (or more!) before this point.

Next round features the crunch game of Arsenal vs. Manchester City. Now, this is an entirely winnable game, as it is at home, although it is definitely one of our tougher matches over the next 6. Also, there COULD be problems at Old Trafford with Tottenham coming to town, so we could hope they might snatch a point. however, let’s assume that all top 3 teams won their games this week; Chelsea vs. Stoke, Arsenal vs. City and United vs. Tottenham.

__________________Played__Pts
1st –                      Arsenal:    (36)      (80)
2nd –                    Chelsea:    (36)      (79)
3rd -Manchester United:    (36)      (78)

Bear in mind the possibility of a United draw, though it’s unlikely. We will have to play well against City, too.

The next crucial matches feature what could be a difficult game for Arsenal away to Blackburn, and a possibly upsetting encounter for Chelsea at Anfield. Going on the assumption that Arsenal WINS all their games, we are in good shape if we overcome Blackburn at Ewood park. Liverpool generally turns up for the big games, so we could possibly hope for them to grab a draw if they play with fire and pride. With Torres, anything can happen. Let’s assume Chelsea draw, we beat Blackburn, and Manchester United beat Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.

__________________Played__Pts
1st –                       Arsenal:    (37)      (83)
2nd – Manchester United:    (37)      (81)
3rd –                      Chelsea:    (37)      (80) /82 if they beat Liverpool

And so end the possible ‘slip-up’ games for the Top 3. As you can see, I’ve based these calculations on the grand assumption that ARSENAL WIN EVERY GAME from here on in. So really, our fate, primarily, lies in our hands, and we will have to be a lot more focused than we were at Birmingham. Just focus on getting our job done, and then we can hope for these favourable results. Note also, not all of the games that COULD cause losses have been predicted as losses; I’ve been pragmatic and assumed, for example, the Liverpool might grab a point, when it is possible they could beat Chelsea.

So have a read over, Gooners’ and stay positive. The season certainly isn’t over yet. If we play well and win all our games from here on in, than we are in with an EXCELLENT chance. We’ve got our slip up out of our system, and we have the easiest run in, so let’s go for it.

Join the discussion on the Arsenal Action Forum,

Curt.B

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Comments
  1. spit yo game says:

    Forget it,it’s done and dusted for us…

  2. COME ON ARSENAL! says:

    Yes mate, quality article.

    Stay positive, lads, we can do this!!
    Think of the momentum we had before Birmingham, a decent result against Barcelona, beat Wolves, we’ll still have a chance for the Champions League and Premier League – probably just 2 points behind Man United if it ends all square.

    COME ON ARSENAL!!!

  3. arsene wenger says:

    throwing that game away today ended our hopes, sami from hero to villain, manuel almunia from hero to villain

  4. doggmeister says:

    Wishful thinking? I hope we win, but it pains me to say that whoever wins between man utd and chelsea at old trafford will probably win the premiership…however, you never know, and manure and chelski could get as bad a slice of luck as we have been dealt all season in terms of injuries and refs

  5. Frank Entry says:

    It was never in our own hands!
    Almunia is not a title winning goalkeeper, end of!
    Name team who have won the league with a shit indecisive keeper?

  6. Dan says:

    Any game is a possible points dropper.

    Just look at us last week… should of been a big win to boost goal diff but a dodgy ref decision/ defensive mistake and the game could of gone either way.

    Football isn’t played on paper, it’s played on grass.

    YES WE CAN!

  7. James says:

    You had to write all that baloney to tell us Arsenal have to win all 6 games and Man Utd & Chelsea will have to fuck up? lol

    Man Utd and Chelsea are better than Arsenal, they are more likely to win their 6 games than we are, even though they have harder games. It’s over. The title race that never should have been for Arsenal. Next season Man Utd will not have half their defence missing for three months, Chelsea will spend £100m and so will Man City. Liverpool will be back.

    What will Wenger do? Fuck all probably. We’ll still be watching that fucking idiot in goal, and that useless twat Denilson, and England’s next great load of hogwash Walcott.

    And Wenger will say I dont have any money, while the club rakes in another £100m and he tops up all these loser’s wages, spends another £8m on 16 year olds that loan in Spain for 2 years before coming to Arsenal and doing fuck all (Vela) and maybe Gallas, Fabregas and Arshavin leaves and are replaced by Ramsey, Wilshire and Djourou.

    This is Wenger.

    • Dan says:

      Fuck off you emo prick.

      Ramsey will replace Cesc one day and any with a footballing brain knows Rambo is going to be brilliant.

      Wilshere may well replace Arshavin one day though i see him as a cm in the 4-3-3 but nevertheless, Wilshere is a great talent.

      Your negativity is embarrassing. Liverpool will be back but we’re shit… go fucking support them then you plastic, fair weather bitch.

      • arsene wenger says:

        il just be glad to see ramsey kicka ball and go in for a 50/50with confidence again,they said eduardo would be 100% and he is not even 50%

    • Curt.B says:

      Hey man, its not helping anybody to get pissed now. Stay on the teams side, regardless of what issues you have with Wenger and his decisions, and the club’s decisions in general. They are real issues, certainly, but now is not the time to get pissed.

      On the day, it was our players who screwed up at Birmingham; for example, i heard somebody blaming Wenger for Arshavin missing almsot every shot for the last two months, and claiming Wenger had ruined him by playing him in a 4-3-3. What the ruck diference does it make what formation a guy is in when it comes to striking a ball?

    • Curt.B says:

      PS.

      You had to write all that baloney to tell me your such a terrible fan that you can’t even support your own team when the going gets tough for them?

      Take a good look in the mirror, you might see somebody wearing a Chelsea jersey.

      Even Liverpool fans are mosre positive than you; at least they get behind their team in hard times.

  8. goonergerry says:

    Winning every game with the players we have available was never a likelihood. We are not just playing aggressive, well organised football teams, but referees as well. Too many odds are stacked against us in England. The game was not thrown by Almunia. How many chances did our forwards miss?

    • looneygooner says:

      Disagree last kick of the ball, a good keeper would have saved that and been alert to it, Alumnia is a disaster waiting to happen, yes we should have scored more but Alumnia should have done better, he has been inconsistence all season, Wenger could have got Given but instead elected to stay with that clown, you could blame Wenger who did have one eye on the game next week, his tactics yesterday were wrong.

  9. arsene wenger says:

    i think we should have started our strongest available team today, mr wenger said the next game in the most important then changed his mind while selecting the team, he is at fault today i think

  10. blaze gooner says:

    *provided arsenal win the following 6 matches*
    i have my wishful calculation too.
    i seriously think a MU loss is better than a chelski-mu draw.
    MU fixtures are easier than chelski’s, like visiting their ‘friends’ blackburn.

    IF mu DO lose = : mu 72 chelsea 74 arsenal 71
    let’s hope mu drop points at man city. it could be done!
    for chelsea, they still have liverpool and spuds — let’s hope for 2 draws, or miracle from jackie when bolton visit chelski lol

    BUT, if MU beat chelsea, that will be a real end im afraid… so we have to kind of support chelski at that game!
    Arsenal should beat wolves first and hope for the best…

    DONT lose the faith yet, as we are still very much in the race! although the hope looks doomer now!

  11. Tommo says:

    That goal was not almunias fault!!! Get off the blame train guys.

    • looneygooner says:

      it was he should have parried the ball over or to the side not into his own net, it should have been an own goal, he is a disaster waiting to happen, I was there yesterday, his kicking, his communication, he isn’t good enough to be Arsenal’s number one and he has been voted the worst keeper in the history of Arsenal by Arsenal fans. a good keeper will get you nine points a season he has cost us nine points this season, the sooner he goes the better and take the clown Fab with him

  12. TVS says:

    Hi, every body

  13. Odiegooner, 9ja says:

    I don’t know d bloom of negativity ringing around here. Just shut d @/&* n get behind d team. And if u can’t **%¤ off to support other teams. These analyses are spot on and as it stands anything can happen. But, even if we fail to lift that trophy come May, I believe we’ve well achieved. I believe our a current positn was long determined by our poor result in d ffg matches: Man U, away. Sunderland, away. Westham, away. Man cini, away and burnley, away. Imagine where we would’ve been had those games gone d right way. I remain a gooner. Regardless…..

    • Curt.B says:

      Can’t understand why some can’t get behind the team, at least until the end of the season. They can have their complaints after that, but right now, they should just be getting stuck in behind the team.

    • looneygooner says:

      valid point but we can’t keep talking about if we had won there or won there it happens to us every season, we fail to kill teams off, the Chavs and Manure do we allow teams to get back into the game because we are not clinical enough in front of goal, look at Nasri for his chance with just Hart to beat, he tries to square for Arshavin who is nowhere near the ball, Rooney or Dogbreath would have put that past the keeper and that would have been 2-0. we need to be ruthless but we rae soft

  14. striker says:

    I honestly believe the title beyond Arsenal.With matches against Spurs and Blacburn to come it could beworse.Ihad always believe a strong defence staarting fromthe goalie.
    IMo alumunia is an accident waiting to happen.

  15. Merse-10 says:

    Man Utd: Chelsea (DRAW), Blackburn (WIN), Man City (DRAW), Spurs (WIN), Sunderland (WIN), Stoke (WIN). 14PTS

    Chelsea: Man utd (DRAW), Bolton (WIN), Spurs (DRAW), Stoke (WIN), Liverpool (DRAW), Wigan (WIN). 12PTS

    Us: Win all 6 (18pts) miss out on Goal Diff
    Win 5, Draw at Spurs (16pts) finish 2 points behind.

    However, if Chelsea were to win at OT and all the other results were the same we’d win it.
    There’s plenty more twist and turns left in the race so don’t give up just yet.

    • James says:

      If Chelsea won at OT they would have 14pts from your games and we’d lose on goal difference you dopey cunt.

      • Merse-10 says:

        Chelsea would have 14pts (85pts), Man Utd would have 13pts (85pts) and we’d have 18pts (86pts)

        Who’s a dopey cunt now Dave?

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