First off, I’d like to thank guest columnists Chary and Grimbo for their columns this weekend, it was a welcome break for me from the blog to have others writing and I know that a lot of you enjoyed both articles immensely as well. It’s just one week and three days before I’ll be over in London myself and I owe both lads a pint.
I had a look around this morning and apart from the hilariously myopic Graham Poll hatchet job where he actually asks why Wenger doesn’t complain about the referee giving Arsenal a soft penalty and a spate of stories about why Pompey aren’t going out of business, there isn’t much going on today. So, I had a look at the last 11 League games for Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man U and came up with a little bit of a prognostication of how the run-in will go.
But first, let’s tackle Graham Poll. Seriously, Arseblog suggests we tackle him and I think a two-footed Lorik Cana lunge from behind should do nicely. Poll’s column today is one of the strangest pieces of fiction I’ve seen in a while and it has the tone of someone who has been schooled by the master and instead of addressing the issues in a debate, shifts the terms a bit. It’s the adult equivalent of being shut down over the Hansson issue and saying “yeah??? well, what about the fact that Bendtner was OFFSIDE against Sunderland??? HUH?? What about THAT???”
That’s right, folks, Graham Poll claimed that Bendtner was offside for the goal on Saturday. You can watch for yourself, both Bent and Ferdinand are guarding Eboue and both players play Bendtner onside. It’s an astonishing claim, but not surprising since Poll makes a living now off of people clicking his column and nothing gets more clicks than making up stupid shiat about Arsenal.
I also want to mention the Ashley Cole saga is getting a bit strange. The latest reported affair took place with some councilman’s aide here in Seattle when Chelsea were on their American tour. I don’t really care who he sleeps with or who she sleeps with I just think the whole thing is funny. First, the Independent looks into the girl’s past and notes that she went to “the prestigious Western Washington University” and that nearly made me spit out my coffee. I don’t know if I’d call Western “prestigious.” It’s a University, that you can get in to, if you’re a High School graduate, and you apply.
Maybe there’s a different standard for higher ed in England, but over here, if you graduate from High School and are willing to take on $50,000 in debt you can get a Bachelor’s degree from somewhere. That somewhere is a place like Western, or if you can’t get in there, try Central, or Eastern, or if your grades are really bad you can always get into Wazzu (WSU). In fact, I think the only test that WSU requires is at least a 1.2 on your BAC (blood alcohol content).
So, anyway, Ashley Cole is a slut, but then Arsenal supporters already knew this. After all, he whored himself out to Chelsea.
Right, enough laughing at the tabloids, there’s serious Arsenal talk to be, uhhh talked about. Arsenal, Chelsea, and Man U all have just 11 games left in the season and supposedly Arsenal have the easiest run in. Much of the supposition about the ease of our run-in comes from the fact that our two biggest games in the last 11 are Tottenham and Manciti while Man U and Chelsea have to play each other, Liverpool, City, and Tottenham.
So, I had a look at the table and made the following assumptions:
- The top three will remain the top three because the gap is 9 points with 11 games to go. They will try to win every game because they all believe that they can win the title.
- The next 5 teams (down to Everton) are going to play balls out the rest of the season because they all see themselves as Champions League material or they are Everton and Moyes’ team never surrenders. They will try to win every game.
- The next 4 teams (Fulham, Birmingham, Stoke, and Blackburn) are in that happy zone now. Relegation doesn’t look at all likely because they are at least 7 points clear of that. Those teams are ripe for the plucking.
- The last 7 teams are in the fight of their Premiership lives. Just 4 points separates 7 teams from relegation. They will not go into any battle against any team lightly. They are the spoilers.
- Pompey’s job is not to get liquidated and thus fuck up the entire league table.
So, there are 11 games left, 33 points up for grabs and a 6 point gap to overhaul against Chelsea how do we do it? Well, like I wrote a while ago it’s all about wins.
If you look at the table, the difference between 3rd and 2nd place is that Man U converted one draw into a win. So, what we need from Chelsea is actually a bunch of draws. We don’t need them to lose, we just need teams like Man City, Stoke, Tottenham, Villa, Man U, West Ham, Blackburn, Liverpool, and Bolton to fight hard for the draw. If they draw 5 of their last 11 we could even lose a game and overhaul them.
Chelsea drawing 5 of their last 11 is a tall order right? Hmmm… Man City, Man U, Tottenham, Villa and Liverpool will all be fighting to the last so I don’t think it’s impossible.
Man U has a bit of a favorable schedule, mostly playing their games at Old Trafford but they are also the most vulnerable since their squad relies so heavily on one player (Looney). Moreover, at the back they looked very weak on Saturday and I fully expect that they will finish 3rd this year.
I have maintained all season that Arsenal will push Chelsea for the title this year (though not ruling out Man U) and these last eleven games are the point where they live up to my prediction. The Boss says the atitude is right, the injuries are healing, and the squad looks strong going forward and combined with the easier schedule there’s a real chance here.
Arsenal can get to within 3 on Saturday when they host Manciti and we play Long Throw at the Britannia.