Can Arsenal Overhaul Tottenham in the Premier League?

No caption needed

The pragmatic among you may answer that headline question by saying: “Who cares? The Europa League is our priority, followed by finishing as high up the league table as we can. If that happens to be above Totnum, great. If not, it doesn’t matter.”

But most football supporters are not pragmatists. We think with our hearts as much as with our heads and I, for one, would love to believe we can finish ahead of the degenerates this season.

Obviously a lot will hinge on the outcome of our home game against them on March 14th. We are five points behind them at the moment so clawing back three points in a head-to-head would really put the pressure on.

What about other grounds for optimism?

Firstly there’s the sense that we are starting to play better, with greater attacking intent and with more of the squad starting to find their form. When we lost in the Swamplands in early December we were in a run of terrible form and playing with the offensive threat of a marshmallow. Now we are scoring goals and making chances.

Secondly, we have a slightly easier run in than the enemy. Here are the respective remaining fixtures for the two sides:

Arsenal

Burnley A 

Spuds H  

W. Ham A  

Liverpool H  

Sheffield Utd A  

Fulham H  

Everton H  

Newcastle A  

WBA H  

Chelsea A  

Palace A  

Brighton H 

Tiny Totts

Palace H  

Arsenal A  

Villa A  

Newcastle A

Man Utd H  

Saints H  

Everton A  

Sheffield Utd H  

Leeds A  

Wolves H   

Villa H  

Leicester A 

Neither team faces the dominant champions-to-be Manchester City again in the campaign, but the Spuds have to play the teams currently sitting at 2nd and 3rd in the EPL (Man Utd and Leicester). The highest currently-placed team that Arsenal will face is Chelsea, now sitting 4th.

The average league position of our opponents (based on the EPL table before this coming weekend’s games) is 12.3, whereas the average league position of the Spuds’ opponents is 10.4. It may not matter a huge amount and league positions will obviously change, but it’s something.

Finally, we have grounds for optimism in the person of Totteringham’s head coach. Jose Mourinho is one of the most successful managers ever in English football, but he also leaves a trail of carnage in his wake. He is capable of alienating key players, dividing the dressing room and turning the squad against him. Let’s hope that pattern continues.

From a Spud perspective, they have managed a few good results after the woeful slump they went on immediately after topping the table for a microsecond.

It’s like they got a brief glimpse of what it looks like to be top of the league and immediately realised that this was not where they belong, like a street urchin peering through the window of a fancy society restaurant. Their results and form soon made sure that they won’t be visiting that pinnacle again any time soon.

Nevertheless, they have – like us – qualified for the last 16 of the Europa League and they’ve won their last two EPL games – a thrashing of Burnley and lucky win over Fulham (they needed an own goal).

So, what do you think? Can we end the season with bragging rights over our neighbours? Does it matter?

RockyLives

13 Responses to Can Arsenal Overhaul Tottenham in the Premier League?

  1. LDH087 says:

    20/21 Spurs currently ahead (by 2 places)
    19/20 Spurs finished 2 places above arsenal
    18/19 Spurs finished 1 place above arsenal
    17/18 Spurs finished 3 places above arsenal
    16/17 Spurs finished 3 places above arsenal
    15/16 Arsenal finished 1 place above Spurs (1 point diff).

    I wouldn’t be getting too excited and wait to see what transfers Arteta can bring in in the summer. A few reasonable matches doesn’t mean that Arsenal are the team that they once were, there needs to be a lot more work and rebuilding before they can ever get there again…

  2. RockyLives says:

    No excitement here LD, just a bit of hope and some small shoots of recovery.

  3. RC78 says:

    I think we will finish behind Tottenham, unfortunately.

    Thanks for another fine post 🙂

  4. fred1266 says:

    What you all think of Fulham disallowed goal smh

  5. RockyLives says:

    Didn’t see it Fred – was it dodgy?

  6. LB says:

    If we finish above them we will naturally take all the bragging rights available and if we don’t, of course, the whole thing will be unimportant.

  7. MPH says:

    After such a large gap at the start of the season and the grief…”mind the gap” “we’re going to win the league”… I seriously hope we do finish above them!

  8. RockyLives says:

    LB
    That about sums it up for me too 😀

  9. RC78 says:

    I reckon we can take about 23 points from the remaining games. That would give us a grand total of 60 points. What do you think?

  10. RC78 says:

    That would be 4 more than last year, 10 less than the season before

  11. jjgsol says:

    If we want to progress this or any season, we are going to increase the number of shots on target above the meagre and pathetic amounts so far this season.

    I appreciate that there are many fans and bloggers who find this suggestion exasperating, but I trust they will all agree that the only way to win games is to score goals and the only way to do that, except for the occasional outrageous deflection, is to hit the ball in the direction of the goal.

    Getting 2 or 3 shots on target in a game is not good enough and that is what we have been doing for most of the season.

    Our progress up the league is, therefore, dependant on actually getting into a position to score goals,

    So, for example, sending over cross after cross to no one in the middle will not get us top 4, top 6, above the scum or even in the top half of the table.

    A win against an injury-hit team, even one above us in the league, is a sign of nothing, other than for a change, we managed 5 shots on target and scored with 3 of them,. Hip hip hooray.

  12. RC78 says:

    Jigsol – I think for the league, you are right – it is about creating chances. In Cup games, it is usually about keeping a clean sheet…

    Creating big chances and putting chances away have been a challenge for us, for sure. I think the main issues are:

    A. Not having a great Right-Back
    B. Partey’s injury record
    C. Auba’s weird form this year
    D. Not having a “Giroud-type” of player to help us in some games

    I feel that our left wing is OK when it comes to creating chances
    Tierney – Auba or
    Tierney – Martinelli or
    Tierney – Willian

    I feel that our right wing is not OK, mostly because of Bellerin but the form of Pepe or Willian there has not been great either. So for me, we need a better RB for sure.

    In the middle of the park, I think that we shouldn’t ask more from Xhaka. He is doing OK but we clearly have missed Partey. He has hardly played for us this season and neither Willock, El Neny and even Ceba has been able to create chances through the middle.

    However, I feel that ESR has been good for us, playing as some kind of 10 and so far, Odegaard has not been a disaster. Now, there are some free players this summer like Depay that could be good to monitor and from what I hear, Arteta still wants Aouar who can play as an 8 or as a 10…

    Laca has been decent since the X-Mas break up front and Auba and Martinelli can also easily play there BUT we have lacked aerial presence at times in the box and Nketiah does not provide that so…I hope we can get a CF in the mould of Giroud.

    So all and all, I agree that we need to create and put away our chances. My feeling is that we have some proven quality players (Tierney, Saka, Auba), some reliable players (ESR, Laca) and some players that could bring the X-factor (Martinelli, Pepe, Willian) and for sure we need a fit Partey in the middle of the park.

    We definitely a better RB and a big CF to add more threat to our game. However, in some games, we demonstrated that we can play well and create chances and I feel that already with a better RB and fit Partey, we would be in a much better place when it comes to creating and scoring chances.

    Leno – RECRUIT, Holding, Gabs, Tierney – Partey, Xhaka – Saka, ESR, Auba – Laca

    For the Right-Back, there is Emerson who plays at Betis on loan from Barcelona. He has been impressive.

  13. RockyLives says:

    New Post

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