So, some bookies are now making Man City favourites to reclaim their title, which hasn’t been the case for many weeks.
I’m surprised by some of my peer’s reaction to us drawing at Anfield, where Liverpool’s home form and our decade long record at the stadium suggested that a victory was unlikely.
Some in the media have used the words such as ‘bottling it‘. Yet can winning 7 and drawing on Merseyside out of your last 8 fixtures truly be ‘bottling it?’.
The irony is if we ‘bottled it‘ anywhere it’s when we lost at Everton, were held by Brentford and failed to show up for the second half against Man City.
The irony being; readers who were upbeat about those sequence of results seemed to have gone the other way about a 2-2 draw with Liverpool.
It seems some Gooners got humbled at the weekend, no more talk of ‘when and not if ‘we ended our title drought.
It’s almost like some of my peers woke up from underneath a rock and realised how hard it is to finish about Man City. Pep Guardiola has set such a high standard that a draw can feel like a defeat, that you have to be immaculate in the run in, that one slip up can cost you everything.
The Champion’s current winning sequence is 9 consecutive wins, and on paper have an easier run in then us. Even their trickier away matches at Brighton and Brentford could be their last two at which point our fate could be sealed.
To be fair, the likes of Gary Neville warned us this is what happens this time of the year on the blue half of Manchester.
Our destiny though is still in our own hands. If we win every match from now till the end of the season, we will be Champions. Six victories and 2 draws (as long as one is at the Etihad) would also be enough. Given that we still have to visit Saint James Park, that’s not ideal.
Last Sunday simply confirmed what we already knew that the probability is that we have to get a result at the Etihad, and I don’t mind that. We have waited nearly two decades for this moment, so it’s not meant to be easy. Most moments that are worthwhile are not meant to be.
Yet some of our fanbase keep trying to find an easy way to navigate past Man City and none exists. Hence why Jurgen Klopp only has one winners Prem medal despite recording points totals in the high nineties.
The latest theory I have heard is that we can still top the table even if Man City beat us on the 26th of April if we improve our goal difference.
You can get odds of 11-10 for the Gunners to win the Prem, but I can only imagine what you would be quoted for us to do that on goal difference.
Our rivals are currently 5 goals better in that criteria, so I have listened to some supporters implore Mikel Arteta to tactically go all-out attack at West Ham and at home to Southampton.
Of course, two clashes with struggling sides could indeed lead to wins by big margins, but we are not in a position where we can take anything for granted. Win our next two and we go to Manchester at least 9 points ahead. I’ll bite your hand off for two scrappy 1-0 wins.
If anything, Man City are more likely to add to their superior goal difference. When’s the last time they failed to at least score 3 in a game?
Meanwhile if they could hand pick an opponent this weekend it would probably be Leicester, without a win since February.
Plus, if City beat us that again impacts on the goal difference column.
- City are 5 goals better than us in terms of goal difference having played a game more
- On paper they have the easier run in – play mostly sides in the bottom half of the table
- If they beat us at the Etihad, logically that would improve their goal difference
So sorry Gooners, there’s no avoiding this, no getting away with it.
We want to finish above City, we are going to need a result at the Etihad.
We won’t be winning the Prem on goal difference!
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