Monday, January 18, 2010

Gunners with a brutal stretch ahead

The premiership title might be decided against Arsenal by Valentine's Day.  Between now and then is just a brutal stretch (after the return Bolton match on Wednesday).

1/27: at Aston Villa
1/31: home to Manchester United
2/7: at Chelsea
2/10: home to Liverpool

Anything less than 4 points from those 4 matches and the title might be out of reach.

The good news is that the 5 matches after that are all against the bottom half of the league.  The bad news is that those 5 "easier" matches come right when Arsenal is playing their Champions' League tie against Porto in the middle of the week.  With their injuries and the importance of Champions' League matches, dropping points against the bottom half is likely.

I think smart spending this window would actually be for veteran players who can provide motivation against Wolves and Burnley, not the flashy move that makes the back page.


Kanu said...

Very tough stretch, but there are some silver linings: mainly that they get Chel$ea without Drogba or Essien, and no one has terrorized Arsenal so much over the last 4-5 years as him. Also Pool are in disarray, and Villa suddenly are not the Villa from autumn, they are dropping points left & right.

I'm setting par for these 4 matches at 5 pts; anything beyond that is gravy.

Also, I think all these teams still have to play each other, it's just not as concentrated for them as it is for Arse.

Then again, Arsenal's problem the last 3-4 years hasn't really been with dropping lots of points against the big 4, but rather dropping points to the teams in the lower half of the table.

If they win today and go top, and even if they don't, I'd look for Arsene to put out damn near a b side against Stoke in FA cup this weekend ahead of this league stretch.

Kanu said...

Oh, and as far as a signing, Arsene won't sign anyone else, but just say that players coming back from injury (Bendtner, Walcott, etc) are "like new signings", as he is wont to do.

In truth I think Sol Campbell is well past it but fits your last paragraph to a tee; will be a great locker room influence (provided he doesn't quit & leave the stadium at halftime when 0-2 down to West Ham).

Gerrard said...