Arsenal 1-0 Leicester
What I like about Arteta is that you can tell he has a clear vision of how he wants us to play. Whether that’s switching from a back 4 to a 5 or Aubameyang joining in with the striker from the left, It’s clear there is an identity. I never got that feeling with Emery. Whether our manager is backed by the owner to have the right players to follow that ethos is a debate for another day.
The problem here is our squad could get carried away with their win at Wolves and not have the correct mentality for Leicester. Apart from the weekend the Foxes have lost their mojo and I think it’s a good time to play them. We have to win to have an outside chance of catching them but most likely we will run out of games.
Palace 0-2 Chelsea
Every time at this stage of the season there is a side accused of being on holiday’. That honour goes to Palace who are not in a relegation fight but also not in the hunt for a European spot either.
So Suddenly everyone wants to play the Eagles. Chelsea are a good footballing team but as their manager admits have had moments where they switch off (last week at West Ham). If concentration is strong the Blues should win comfortably.
Watford 2-1 Norwich
Wow, what a huge game for Watford. Surely a fixture they pencilled in as a great chance to boost their survival hopes. Win and they put massive pressure on Bournemouth and Villa to get a result later in the week. The issue is the Hornets are playing like a side affected by the pressure of being just a point above the bottom three, which I didn’t think was the case when Nigel Pearson first arrived. It might be good for them that Vicarage Road will be empty to avoid the nerve and apprehension. Losing would be a huge blow mentally.
Man City 2-0 Newcastle
Man City have actually lost more League games than us. That’s not me boasting, just amazement given the football City play at times. What it should teach their opponents (including us in the FA Cup) is you can get at them if you are positive. In other words, you must believe you can get a result, don’t just park the bus and be negative. That’s what Newcastle did when they faced City a couple of weeks ago but now safe on 43 points maybe that will give the Toon the freedom to be more expressive.
Sheffield United 1-1 Wolves
If Sheff United lose they will give up their slim hopes of qualifying for Europe, if Wolves lose they might start to worry as well. Many are now assuming that the amount of games is finally catching up with the Wolves squad, having not looked themselves against us, but they are entitled to an off day like everyone else. A draw would suit Arsenalwhich kind of shows how far we have fallen I guess.
West Ham 2-1 Burnley
I have said it for weeks. Every side near the bottom was losing so whoever could win first would gain such a huge advantage mentally. West Ham beat Chelsea and suddenly looked so much more confident at Newcastle. This would be a huge step towards survival.
Brighton 0-2 Liverpool
Even when beating Villa, Liverpool looked like a side going through the motions. It’s only natural after nearly two years of playing with massive pressure they would lose their edge, now playing fixtures with nothing at stake.
That’s why I take no notice when the likes of Talksport want to scrutinize points totals to compare Champions. Let say Liverpool don’t match City’s 100-point mark. That doesn’t mean Liverpool’s title is any less impressive. It just means they won it with games to spare and went on holiday. Brighton are safe so kind of in a similar position.
Everton 1-1 Southampton
Monday Night was a good reflection of where Everton are currently at. Spurs let them have the possession in the second half, but they seem to lack belief that they can win those type of fixtures.
Southampton can go above their opponents with a win, which is quite a turn around for a side who were worried about relegation before lockdown. Ralph Hasenhuttl deserves more credit for getting the very best out of his players.
Cherries 2-2 Spurs
This is going to sound strange for a team who conceded 5, but I think there were positives for Eddie Howe to take from the loss at Old Trafford. The Cherries looked like their old selves, yes kind of naive but at least having a go, which they haven’t been doing recently. If you’re going down, go down swinging, because they haven’t got the players to park the bus and frustrate. If it’s ‘you play, we play,’ they have the players to get a result. But that defence though …. Oh, don’t think I’m not going to acknowledge Jose’s comments. I’m just waiting closer to the NLD.
Villa 0-2 United
Villa for once looked like they had a defensive plan on Sunday, and while they did eventually concede there was something to build on. It could just be that it was a good time to go to Anfield, but Dean Smith needs to find confidence where he can. Holding a Liverpool side going through the motions for 70 mins is one thing. Facing a United side who finally look like Man United is going to be a harder task.