How can Arsenal not be favourites for the title, Gary?

Arsenal: With 50 points in the first round, how can they not be favourites? (Hi Gary!)

Arsenal reached 50 points after their win over Neville’s Manchester United, with the Gunners sitting in 1st place in the table and +5 from Manchester City with a game in hand. So how can it be, with such a score, that they are not considered the favorite?

No one can say that the spectacle Arsenal put on in the game against Manchester United is the best they have shown this season.

They were nervous in the first half, turned the game around without being clearly superior to their opponents, were leveled by a Ramsdale error and were asked to manage a difficult situation for themselves. The fact that although they were ahead, 10 minutes later, the pressure was on them again.

And yet, the youngest team in the league in terms of average age had the acumen to do it. They pushed, looked even harder for the goal and finally they scored with Eddie in the final minute, with the Englishman becoming the first player in 15 years to find the back of the net against the Red Devils from the 89th minute onwards.

The final whistle blew and Arsenal managed to have played all their first round games at the end of the day with very little loss of points. They only lost to Manchester United at Old Trafford, drew with Southampton at St. Mary’s and drew with Newcastle at home. The only game in which Arsenal has not managed to score a goal.

So in these circumstances, the Londoners have accumulated 50 points and become the 5th team and the 4th different team to do so, exactly halfway through the league.

What are the precedents in the Premier League era? Chelsea in 2005-06 under Jose Mourinho and Manchester City with Liverpool from 2017 onwards.

Initially, the Citizens did so in 2017-18, while Liverpool are the only club to have done so on two occasions, in 2018-19 and the following season.

In the first, they lost the title in an epic 98-97 points duel with Manchester City and in the second they won the league for the first time in the 21st century, reaching 99 points.

We won’t say that Arsenal will reach these levels of scoring, but in any case, they should be counted as favourites. It is unnatural not to realize it. Their run is in the Premier League history books and Mikel Arteta’s side clearly have the edge to reach their first league title in 19 years!

Dimitris Manakos


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31 Comments

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  1. He didn’t say anything wrong.

    There IS a long way to go …
    Man City know how to win..
    This Arsenal team hasn’t won a title. (Yet!).
    Couple of injuries could derail us

    He said wait till April which I think most sensible Arsenal fans would agree with !

    COYG

    1. It’s not about what Gary Neville said. It’s about his intentions towards Arsenal which we all know. Fact is that even though we are topping the table now, it will only be until after the game against City that we will be sure whether or not we are truly favourites. A loss for us will mean the race is well and truly on. A win for us will mean two things:
      1. We will have more points gap between us and city
      2. Our team has the mentality and quality to defeat anyone in the league, and by extension, Europe
      Point number 2 is what we should be looking out for as it will be the biggest decider

      1. We all know that 50 points might not be enough especially when man city is chasing pack. So it’s not about the points but the gap that we can extend at the top which we can only do by defeating them. Arsenal may be favorites or not but it’s quite apparent that title is ours to lose and after all the path that we have come across it would be utter disappointment for football if Arsenal lose the title.

      2. That’s exactly right. We all know that City can go on a winning run which includes beating us in the process. Plus Arsenal imploding due to injuries and other factors. However, whilst we Arsenal fans acknowledge it as a possibility. Neville hoping for it to be a matter of fact. His intention is down to his dislike and malevolence towards Arsenal. Even if we do win the title, he’ll still not see us as worthy champions. Himself and other players not just ex United and some of the footballing media and punditry world will all contest that we won it on merit but, will probably have the readied excuse that other teams were experiencing difficulty due to changeover of management, not being able to secure targets, player due to injury or their usual form was amiss and we were competing in an unusually, under par premiership this season. They’ll give Leicester credit for their one hit wonder on the premiership title but if we win it, it would have been gifted to us!

      1. And yet when we say there is always an agenda against Arsenal we are told we like conspiracy theories too much.

        Any one with two eyes and a brain can see such an obvious thing since forever.

    2. I agree – getting over the line and actually winning the title is different from accumulating points in the first half of the season. The pressure ramps up the closer we get to the end of the season, so it’s easier said than done. That’s not to say we can’t do it or won’t do it, it’s just another barrier we need to break, and it’s a significant one.
      I don’t think neville said anything wrong, he didn’t write us off, just said that city have the experience of doing it, so while it’s still very possible for them to overtake us, he makes them favourites.

      1. And he also said United will still finish above us too. A team who is 11 points (that can increase to 14 points) behind us having played an extra game and who finished 11 points behind us last year.

  2. It’s not really surprising that Gary finds it’s excruciatingly difficult to find anything positive to say about Arsenal. In science there are extrapolations and in life, logic and projections. Why is it that the run to midway through the track means nothing, but negatives in history mean everything? Wishes must not be disguised as facts used in formulating projections. That’s bias..

    1. I don’t get that. Why would he find it easier to say anything positive about city or Liverpool? I haven’t noticed any negative feeling towards arsenal – right or wrong, it’s an attempt at a sober analysis.

  3. I don’t consider Arsenal favourites. We can win the league but until we beat City at home or away and or have an insurmountable lead I wouldnt consider ourselves as favourites.

    1. What makes a favourite? Who is more favourite than us? Why?

      Halfway through season we have an 85% win with only 1 unfortunate, unlucky and underseved loss and two upset draws. Our closest competitor has 70% win having played 1 game more, have a pair of 3 embarassing losses and draws only because they are relying on one player to win games.

      If we are not favourites now then we are never going to be for some. Even after lifting our long overdue and deserved trophy come end of the season.

  4. Want to wish Dan a speedy recovery as we await his Sterling contributions, my prayers remain with you.

    Just still reveling in Sunday classic and the mouth watering victory.

    Nothing Neville’s say can dampen this feeling, Paul Scholes, a next Man United legend advise is ten time more important.

    ‘ Two or three more would really boost this team to go on and win the premier league ‘

    Scholes is right but we are well on the way to achieve just that, whether its Onana, Cieciado, McKinney or Zubimendi , everything must be done to bring one to the red side of London.

  5. Love this.. Not forget all the arteta and xhaka out from dan gai.. But my name is in arteta we trust from the beginning.. Now i just enjoy reading all the negative person in this site..

  6. For once, Neville shd find a place in his heart and brain to think, see, feel and also make a postive submission and admissions abt this Arsenal. Stop carrying on passed grudges you had for Arsenal while still a player. Be objective. Arsenal will win Man city at Etihad n we draw at Emirates.

  7. Next, the month of February, we play Everton, Aston Villa, Leicester away. Brentford, Man City home.

    If we first win Everton and Brentford and follow that with a home win against City, it would give us an unbelievably huge gap on City as they play next Spurs away which could see them drop points there. Even a draw against City would serve us well. Main issue will be clearing out Everton, Brentford, Villa and Leicester with 12 points in the bag.

    March will be easier: Bournemouth, Palace home. Fulham away.

    Then April will be the final judgement:
    Leeds (H)
    Pool (A)
    W Ham (A)
    Southampton (H)
    City (A)
    Chelsea (H)
    Newcastle (A), first week of May

    During that Man City’s only “tough” game is hosting Liverpool at home. So we need a good, long cushion for April..

    1. I agree February is a massive month for how the EPL will be shaped. If we can pull out a 12 point gap we have a good cushion. If we can get a 15 point gap by the end of February I would say we are favorites for the title. But, Garry is right in what he says about City because they have been in this position so many times before. This is new territory for us and we just don’t know how we may react if we lose two games and suddenly find City overtake?!

      Confidence is easily broken and difficult to rebuild as the great AW once said.

      For now, I am so proud of Arsenal (from to to bottom) with our season so far. None of us believed we would be in this position so lets just keep the faith and what will be will be! GOYG!!

  8. It’s not his opinion, it’s just the arrogance in which he delivers his opinion. His bias is clearly showing through, and it became even more obvious after last weekends match.

    Well played by Gary, because it’s not just Arsenal people are talking about, but now Gary has slipped himself into the spotlight as well.

    I’ll tune in at the end of the season and hear what he says while Arsenal (hopefully) raise the PL trophy.

  9. If he is saying that Man City will tittle then for a moment I might think of it because we still have to play with them twice..
    Also we have tough fixtures of Newcastle Away, Liverpool away and Chelsea home.
    But he is saying that Arsenal will finish below Man Utd despite Arsenal are 11 points ahead of Utd with game in hand so possibly 14 points..
    I don’t understand how Utd will overturn these points without playing Arsenal now.
    That logic is not something sound minded person would do.

  10. Some people’s reasoning is truly perverted. Why should any reasonable person link Arsenal’s title hopes to beating Man city well knowing that the two games carry a total of just 6 points. Arsenal can lose both games to City and still win the trophy. There is already the precedent of 2015-16 season where Leicester lost both games to Arsenal but still went ahead to win the EPL. Arsenal were runners-up. So I don’t read a mountain out of the clash with Man city. My feeling is that we shall have a 50% win in both games or even better. So take heart.

  11. The bookies who are generally pretty good at this sort of thing make:
    Arsenal Favourite @ 8/11
    Man City 2nd Fav @ 11/10
    Man Unt 3rd Fav @ 33/1

  12. Why giving a hoot about what arsenal haters are saying. Many of those pundits even some section of our fan base are surprised at the success of the team. Some one on JA said, what must be, must be and I believed it 100%. Why placing our winning the trophy on mancity matches? And who says arsenal cannot win mancity? We as fans owes the team our unflinching support. God willing come May, Gary and the like, will eat up their words.

  13. Let’s not kid ourselves man city have been there and done it a lot more recently than Arsenal plus look at the squad depth we can’t match that and think that will be the big difference come end of the season!

  14. I have never undertstood WHY some fans get so enraged about a non Arsenal supporting pundit, who naturally, has a very different take on the title race.
    What does it matter and why do you get upset? It is pointless and nothing changes what will happen.

    GN has an opinion, which he is entitled to have and it is, frankly, childish and immature to concern yourself to such a degree with what a mere outspoken pundit says.

    Ignore it, as I do. The world will go on just as it did before, you know!!

  15. He can be a tool and he likes to take some shots at Arsenal, has always done so.

    Now, if you said we are a favourite for top two, I am right there.

    Favourite to win it all, not til we play city at least once in the league. If we can win or draw then, all other things being equal and we don’t lose a key person, we are favourites.

    City just scares me, despite their “wobbles”.

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