As I write this, the Boxing Day schedule is down to 8 fixtures.
If someone offered Arsenal 4th on Xmas Day, they would have taken it.
Yet it’s worth stressing we have played more games than the three teams below us, and if not for COVID we could be 6th.
Let’s be honest if another isn’t playing, your chances of opening a gap on them is pretty high.
The target has to be 6 points before we face the Champions on New Year’s Day.
Burnley 2-0 Everton
Some of Rafa’s youngsters impressed at the Bridge but there’s too many fixtures where their senior players don’t fancy the battle.
They have won once in 11.
The fact that the one time was against was is a missed opportunity for the Arsenal.
Turf Moor on a cold Boxing day is a game you have to fight for and earn the right to play and you can’t guarantee that with the visitors.
Man City 3-1 Leicester
Many say the Carabao cup doesn’t matter, but I sense that midweek could prove crucial for Brendan Rodgers.
Leicester was cruising at Anfield but lost control when they switched to a back 4.
City obviously have the squad to cope with the Xmas schedule better than others.
How many teams could leave out both Phil Foden and Jack Grealish?
Norwich 1-2 Arsenal
It’s nice to see the togetherness of our young squad, although long term I think they need more senior players to help them finish in the top 4.
The next target for this young team is consistency.
It reminds me when we had a young Fabregas, Nasri, Van Persie, etc…
In crucial moments of games and seasons they needed experience to offer them game management to get over the line.
I maintain the fixture list has been kind and continues to be up until New Year’s Day.
Southampton and West Ham at home and Leeds away is not enough to quantify if it’s okay to just freeze out Aubameyang and not try and get the best out of the resources we have.
Spurs 2- 0 Palace
Hate to say this but Conte has improved Spurs to the point is make them favourites to finish top 4.
Compare how he approached playing Liverpool to others.
He bravery invited their full backs to bomb forward, leaving space for his players to counter-attack.
Plus, Kane and Son are starting to find their mojo.
He even had Deli Ali playing well again.
West Ham 2-2 Saints
There’s already a sense that West Ham have been running out of steam, they haven’t got the squad to cope with the schedule.
I never back the Hammers in fixtures they are expected to win.
Villa 2-2 Chelsea
Chelsea are dropping silly points.
The test of a good manager is how you deal with adversity.
In his first bad spell Thomas Tuchel is complaining how his squad can’t cope with injuries and Covid.
I think a top coach accepts the situation, acknowledges everyone is going through the same adversity and gets the best out of the resources he has.
Making excuses just creates a negative mood around the squad.
Brighton 1-0 Brentford
Two teams who often play well but don’t win due to a lack of end product in the final third.
Will go for home advantage
Newcastle 0-1 Man United
Eddie Howe would have viewed Liverpool and Manchester City as free swings. His hope is that the two defeats haven’t undermined the small confidence he gave his defence.
It shows the standards of the league that the Toon has won only once, yet are only three points away from safety.
They got two fixtures to play till they can start spending money.
Man United have the knack recently of winning even if not playing great.
LAST WEEKS TABLE
Remember the top 32 qualify for next year’s World Cup predictions
keV 82- 119
Sue P 117
Samson A – 114
Rob 49- 109
J gunner 109
Easy guy 104
Dan Kit 102
Ernie Blaze 100
Uzi Ozil 96
Loose cannon 85
Oslo gunner 82
K Tyson 82
BA Thea 65
Gunner Rey 54
Die hard 52
Indian gunner London 44
Mark 2.0- 28
Kelvin A- 26
Jo Gunz 22
J Legend 20
Third Man JW 18
Anti keV 15
Anti virus 13
Leno happy 10.
Ezegou Kevin 9
mubz ug- 9
Quincy Okebe 7
football lovers 6
Arsenal Why 6
Joe Ginner 5
Big Sam 5
Steve Shaffelbury 2
Good luck peeps