Arsenal may be favourites but Top Four is far from easy…

Arsenal are currently in the best position to grab the Top Four spot ahead of our rivals, and although our rivals dropped points in the last few weeks, this will also happen to us over the course of the next 15 games in this topsy-turvy merry-go-round of a season.

This is the way the table stands right now with just six points between five teams…..

4 Previous rank: 6 25 12 7 6 40 32 +8 43
5 Previous rank: 4 26 12 6 8 45 34 +11 42
6 Previous rank: 5 23 13 3 7 36 26 +10 42
7 23 12 3 8 31 31 +0 39
8 23 11 4 8 21 17 +4 37

With 15 games (for Arsenal and Spurs and Wolves) to go, there are still a possible 45 points up for grabs, so there is only one certainty, and that is that nothing is certain. Who would have thought that Arsenal would win at Wolves, and then Spurs would lose to the same opponents at home? And then the bigger shock of Tottenham winning at Man City?

All any team can do is keep trying to get more points in every game and hope our rivals slip up. And every game against another rival is like a Cup Final!

As Arteta said after yesterday’s win: “It’s a long way to go but we are a little bit closer today because we have won our game and that’s what we have to do. You can see with the results how tough it to win in this league. We have to go on Thursday again. We need to prepare really well because against Wolves it’s going to be a difficult match and we’ll need to perform well to win and play better and better and better. That’s the aim.”

“We want to win every game as I said before and obviously, that’s in the back of something and we want to try to get a big purpose to the season and that is certainly one of them but we know that we cannot look too far ahead. Things change very very quickly, it’s really difficult to win matches in this league and we have to focus on tomorrow. Train tomorrow, train well, review the match and go again and prepare well against Wolves.”

So  the Wolves game is yet another six pointer, and we should be confident after winning at Molineux, but I’m sure that Wolves will be feeling more confident after beating Spurs as well.

It’s a damn tough season, there is no doubt about it. Let’s just hope that things keep going our way…

WATCH Arteta’s FULL press conference after Brentford win.

Tags Top Four


  1. I don’t think anyone is a favorite at this point. None of the clubs listed have shown any consistency.

    Arteta is right to just focus on the next game. Focus on your next opponent and 3 points, don’t worry about the other clubs and points they gain or lose.

    Good news is that we control our own destiny in terms of the top 4. Top 6 would be an improvement over last year, but a disappointment considering where we are currently in the table.

    If we get a CL spot, we will need massive business in the Summer to compete in CL.

    2 strikers, DM, B2B midfielder, backup RB.
    I don’t think Cedric at RB or Xhaka in midfield will be good enough. We lack a DM to sit defensively and protect back line.

    Interesting end run to May, and our finish will determine the Summer business I’m sure.

    1. Sorry Durand but you are factually wrong to say no team is the favourite.

      I do know and agree with what you are trying to say but to state “no team is favourite” does your argument no favours. A clear wrong statement will never gain acceptance from folk for the wider and, I believe, correct things you say after that unfortunate opening incorrect sentence.

      Right now we ARE the favourites and I BELIEVE RIGHTLY SO.

      The betting industry is founded on there being favoutites in all sports and events. It is factually the case that favourites exist, though that does not mean they all win , of course.

      1. Fair point Jon, I get your meaning and you are correct with an excellent point as an example.

        As far as being the favorite, that may exist for today, but in 2 or 3 weeks there may be another favorite.

        A more accurate statement would have been this:

        “I don’t believe one club will remain the favorite for the remainder of the season to finish in 4th.”

        It would be premised that all those mentioned have lacked the consistency to remain the favorite for the remainder of the season.

        I’m sure the odds put out by the betting industry will reflect this in short time.

        1. Oh Indeed Durand! That is far morelikely to be true though it would mean we fall away as favourites from our present favourites(for fourth place) position.

          Of course we MAY harden to find ourselves having shorter odds as favourites but using all the possible fourth place candidates and watching how all those several clubs odds change all the time, esp after and during matches is advantageous.

          Currently on Betfair, we are around 11/8 in fractional terms (though Betfair works on decimal) . MAN UTD, after beating Leeds today are second and close behind us, with Spurs next.
          I bet on how odds move, both ways, in long term markets and trade the “ups and downs”(back and lay and vice versa) and only rarely trade individual games and even then almost always only in running when I am watching on screen. Some weeks ago I layed City when they were almost impossibly low odds to not win the PREM. Now I could buy them back at odds of 10/3 ON but will wait until Liverpool play and beat Leeds on Wednesday when Citys odds will lengthen, though they will remain firm favourites.

          Trading odds IS betting but is betting with far greater safety than individual games and gives far more opportunities for profit, though losses need to be factored in, as it is the long game that counts.

          RATHER LIKE THE PREM ITSELF, compared to a cup competition

          BTW, I always caution people not to bet, except for pin money, UNLESS they thoroughly understand how bookies operate and how odds work. Knowledge of the teams is only one part of what you need to know. The maths side is very important too, and more than many non pro bettors ever realise.
          Bookies are pros and virtually all non pro bettors are rank amateurs, so it is not surprising that punters lose money and some are addicted too, sadly.

    2. Have to agree Durand. Or perhaps it’s better to say that although theoretically we are slight favourites today, tomorrow it will be somebody else, and the day after somebody else again, which is basically the same thing! Five teams huddled together fighting for one spot. Too close to call, and I don’t doubt that all of them are also approaching every game their own “cup final”. There will be blood…

  2. We’re just three points ahead of Spurs

    As I said many times before, Conte is lucky to have Kane, a CF type he’s always had at Juventus, Chelsea and Inter. Even if Kane gets injured, he still has Kulusevski who can play similar role and balances out Spurs’ front line

    We obviously can’t rely on Lacazette and Nketiah for that kind of job, so Arteta and the coaches should come up with a more creative attacking plan. We’ve been struggling to make shot-on-target in the first halves of the games this year, therefore I only expect a narrow win against Wolves

    1. Arteta favors creating chances from the wings rather than through the middle. He relies too heavily on Saka creating from the right or Odegaard overloading that side, or Tierney overlapping and crossing to Laca who is poor at headers.

      I’d like to see more through the middle and runs behind, something Martinelli can offer.
      We have been predictable in our attack and creating chances, partly explaining why we struggle to score.

      We all see this, just surprising we don’t mix things up a bit, or have a plan B in place.

      1. You’re very right. We’re too predictable and when a smart team closes those holes, we get lost totally in the game.

        We need to offer something different with different teams to put them off. Saka’s game is too predictable and even that of Odegaard on whom we rely for most of the creativity.
        i think bringing in Martinelli for Laca could place teams like Chelsea and spurs in difficulties. If not, it’s gonna be difficult for us. They have smarter managers who can easily break our system

      2. Yeah, we’ve made too many ground passes and long crosses, despite not having good headers in the front line. Man City/ Liverpool are more creative with their head flicks and short lobs

      3. One notable weakness we have among our talented attacking players is a lack of physical height and power. Giroud was the last player we had with this in abundance but he lacked pace bigtime and also his mobility suffered, though for a big man it was decent.

        But how many big, tall and well made men have pace, power AND mobility?

        I’d say only the very few and really expensive world class players like Haaland. We cannot shop in that market while Kroenke owns us, so it will be an ongoing problem for us and for almost all Prem teams too, City and possibly Chelsea too.
        And in time , sadly, probably Newcastle too, who are imo going to finish well away from the relegation candidates, come MAY.

  3. The difference are too small to even call arsenal a favorite to finish top 4, thats merely 3 point advantage over spurs, “potentially” 5 points advantage over man united

    Lets not forget that our games in hand are vs spurs, chelsea which we may not get any point at all from it,
    lets be realistic, how good arsenal performance wise when vs big six team recently?

    I would prefer we call arsenal underdog in top 4 race and then suddenly surprise everyone rather than calling arsenal favorites in the beginning and then disappointing at the end.

    We definitely not yet at the point when we can be confident about top 4 finish, far far from it. It only take one loss next game that spurs are already in the same shoes as arsenal.

    Considering the amount of games left, i would only consider arsenal favorites when we have 7 to 9 points clear from closest competitor.

    1. YOUR LAST SENTENCE IS FOOLISH IN THE EXTREME. In the unlikely scenario that we are 7-9 points clear of ALL our current rivals, fourth place would be a near certainty, esp as few games would be left to play.
      If you doubt this, then IF(WHICH IS VERY UNLIKELY) that situation occurs, I ask you to check the bookies odds at that time. You will see they will be MASSIVELY AN ODDS ON NEAR CERTAINTY.

      1. Jon your putting way to much faith lets be realistic, every other team competeing for top 4 has a striker capable of putting their chances away whilst were dependant on the wings, and keep putting crosses into a striker who collects deep or has a significant height disadvantage against CB.

        It is close to call but has people have said before our record against the top 6 is poor,

        I believe it will come down to GD and those matches against top 6

        1. Jay JAY, What is is exactly that you think I “am putting too much faith in”?

          My several posts above this were merely speaking of odds and that we are currently bookies favourite is not simply my opinion , it is also fact!

          I do not much disagree with anything in your post, except that I THINK YOU MISUNDERSTOOD WHAT MY POSTS SAID.

          I certainly did not say that we ARE going to win fourth place but only that I think we are rightfully favourites. There are important nuances there which you have plainly failed to distinguish.

  4. Need to try and get maximum points from our upcoming fixtures against the teams we should be beating on paper because our games in hand are Liverpool (h) Spurs and Chelsea (a) where are recent record are very poor and it’s not inconceivable we get little to no points from those three games.

  5. Been a very strange season for all the teams going for the 4th spot, very difficult to call!

    As soon as one looks like they are taking charge then they give it away.

    One thing I will say it that I can’t see us being given an easier ride for a top 4 spot than this season in the next 5 to 10 years.

    If we can finish 5th and be above Spurs I could say we are progressing….anything less and we’ll need to move on to a new manager.

  6. From what I’ve read,not many pundits have us finishing in the top 4.despite their predictions changing every week,the only constant is Arsenal finishing outside top many of us,I think it is still too early to make predictions and I would rather have us as underdogs.

  7. Man Utd. and the Spuds will be our chief competitors for the 4th position. United were lucky to win against Leeds and City did not play to their best against the Spuds so both results were not good for Arsenal. However if we keep winning our own games and focus on improving our performances we should be able to make the top 4 although it will be difficult and will come down to the last few games.

  8. Man Utd are proving why they are the favourites. Almost never play well, but are still in 4th.

    If they can play this bad, and so consistently, yet still be in 4th after 2/3’s of the season, just imagine what they’ll do if they find some form.

    Our only hope is that with the games in hand, we can accumulate the most points out of the teams going for 4th.

    1. Which is unlikely to happen I’m afraid. Against Chelsea, club world cup champions and spurs with a resurgent form. Some may say I’m negative but I’m a realist, I say things the way they are.

        1. Ofcourse yes, do you how much boost that will be to them? When last did we win City, United, liverpool, Chelsea?

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