Arsenal head into the rearranged Premier League clash with West Bromwich Albion at the Emirates tonight knowing that only a win will do. Anything less than all three points will keep our top four rivals Manchester United from being within touching distance, after they did what Arsenal failed to do last weekend and beat Crystal Palace last night.
First of all I would just like to say thanks to Alan Pardew and the Palace team for rolling over for United after giving their all against the Gunners, just like Stoke did with Spurs on Monday and many teams seem to have done all season, saving their best performances for us.
Anyway, moan over and we just have to get on and make sure that the season does not get any worse. United moved to within a point of us in the table with their win and so even a point would keep them just one result from overtaking Arsenal and with us facing a tough trip to relegation battling Sunderland on Sunday, a win against the Baggies is vital tonight.
Louis van Gaal gave his opinion of what his team needs to do to catch and finish above Arsenal, or Man City for that matter as the Dutchman does not really care who misses out on the Champions League as long as it is not his team. As reported by Sky Sports the United manager believes that his side needs to win their final four games, which are at home to Leicester, away to Norwich, away to West Ham and at home to Bournemouth. But he believes that if they do keep winning then the pressure could tell on Arsenal or Man City.
Van Gaal said, “We are putting pressure on them throughout the season. At the end of the season it counts much more. I’m very happy. We have four matches to go and we must win them all. Then we have a chance.
“I want to always play attacking football. In this season we have attacked in every game but maybe in a slow tempo sometimes. Our opponents have received playing a compact defence – it’s not so simple to disorganise our opponents, but today we did it.”
Well I am not so sure about the last bit Louis. In fact it would be a travesty if his dull and not very good side finished above the Gunners, despite all our flaws, but is he right to think that 12 points from the last four games might just see United into the top four?
We would then need 11 points from the five games against West Brom, Sunderland away, Norwich at home, Man City away and Aston Villa at home to finish on the same points total of 71. Three wins and a draw would not be enough, so is van Gaal right?