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  • The Table of Doom returns  

    Can anyone take this away from the Citizens?                                                                              
    Table of Doom
    Man City (h)
    Spurs (h)
    Villa (a)
    Man City
    Liverpool (a)
    Arsenal (h)
    Villa (h)
    Spurs (h)
    Man City (a)
    Villa (h)
    Spurs (a)
    Spurs (a)
    Man City (a)
    Arsenal (a)
    Liverpool (a)
    Villa (h)
    Man City(a)
    Arsenal (h)
    Liverpool (a)
    And so the Table of Doom returns in a much tighter scenario than last year and, while last year I was counting down from Arsenal, now we are looking at Liverpool. I have decided that only these five can win the league as I believe 86 points is the target this year so we are left with these teams. Manchester United, the best of the rest can only get 83 points. Only Liverpool and City can win by winning all their matches, as ourselves, Villa and Spurs need the top 2 to drop points. However, they will, as I can’t see any team winning all until the end. Whoever can put the strongest run together will win it.

    Klopp's team are in the strongest position - or are they?
    As before, any team that cannot reach the leader drops out and I will update weekly. Once again, if I make any mistake in my calculations please let me know, as one generous reader did last year. The great thing about a blog is that I can update straightaway.
    Five for five
    I am pretty certain that the Champions League chase will be these five as well, barring a collapse and a lower team making a late run. There could be five places this year as well so Arsenal are looking very good.
    Liverpool have crucial matches close to the end and they could be the decisive factor. Man City have almost all home games and they are really good at home. I will put City favourites based on past experience. Villa have all away and that might be important also as they have not been great on their travels.
    They have earned the right to be favourites
    In my previous blog here I speculated that around 86 points should be enough this year which gives City and Liverpool a bit more scope than the rest. We can afford to lose 8 points from 15 matches and 45 points. A tough ask as the 2 and 3 points extra for Liverpool and  City mean they can maybe lose 3 matches but we can only lose 2. Away to City could be a huge game for us if we are still in it.
    We must put away the little teams
    Now I will turn my attention to the Champions League. Last year 68 points was enough as Liverpool in 5th had 67. and I am going for it again. Arsenal need 19 points out of 45 and that would be a collapse, little above relegation form. As long as we put away the little teams we will make it comfortably. Man U, Newcastle and Chelsea falling apart has meant that the Champions League struggle looks easier this year. Man Utd, West Ham, Brighton and Newcastle in the next 4 positions are, I feel, the only teams capable of pushing for top four. If five places are available then it could be tighter as maybe Villa or Spurs could collapse leaving a space for one of these to run into.

    Can Arteta finally become The Man?
    Truly, I don’t feel that Villa or the Spuds will do so. Man Utd are the closest at six points behind Tottenham but they have to play all the big teams, go on a long winning run and a collapse of one of the top five to get there. I doubt it, judging by their form.
    Will the new rules help?
    As for the rest, they need to find consistency, they have all got tough matches to negotiate and produce a level that they haven’t so far, and clawback a lot of points. It is hard to see that happening. The only conclusion is that the top five will be the top five, and the only doubts are the positions and how many places are available. Either Arsenal and City could win the Champions League but it won’t open up a fifth space as they will qualify through the Premiership. However, it might be enough for England to qualify under the new rules if Arsenal and City go far in the tournament or the other English teams do well in the other trophies.

    A European Cup winner could finally make it back onto the big stage
    Bizarrely, though, there could be 5 places and they are already won as none of the rest seem to be capable of a sustained run. Possibly 5 Champions league spots and only 5 teams really challenging for them. A bit of a joke, really.
    City never wobble?
    So, back to the Premier League. Arsenal and Liverpool only play 3 of the others, the rest play four. Could that be significant? City seem to have the best position as they play almost all at home and they usually win there. Villa, by contrast, have 4 away and that might be tricky as they are struggling a bit away. The Spuds have 2 home and 2 away but the 2 away are City and Liverpool. I will be surprised if the Spuds and Villa can keep their momentum going to such an extent that they win the league. Most likely they will drop away a little. But I suspect that they will take positions 4 and 5.

    Two tough away games for the Spuds
    Liverpool have won a lot of matches this season without being all that impressive too often. It is credit to their fighting spirit and appreciation of what it takes to be winners that they have ground out enough wins to leave them top. For a team that is obviously in transition they have done extremely well but that, and Klopp leaving, may mean that Arsenal can overtake them.
    Arsenal to become tough boys?
    And the big boys? City? If they win their game in hand they will go top and they don’t normally surrender the league. If Rodri, De Bruyne and Haaland stay fit, they do look the best team in it. They haven’t always looked at their frightening best this season and they have dropped 17 points so far. They will need to improve on that to claim the title. But Arsenal have dropped 20 so we need to improve even more than them.
    And, while I feel like a broken record mentioning this, we have not had a strong end to the season under Arteta. I one hundred percent guarantee that we must have a very strong finish this season to win the league. 37 points out of a possible 45 is a tough ask. We could lose that on our 3 matches against our top five rivals let alone on the other 12 matches.
    We had 54 points at this stage last season. We dropped 15 points from our last 15 matches to get 84. I have spelled out what we have to do to win the league. We must have steel in our backs, a streetfighters capacity, and some luck to go our way.
    Can we win the Table of Boom?
    And yes, I am aware that my target of 86 points to win the league and 68 to qualify for the Champions League could be out. I will be very surprised if I am far out, though. Both targets may be higher or lower. The only thing I feel we can be confident about is the Champions League qualification. That is within our grasp even with an average end to the season.

    Can Arteta fulfill all my dreams at Wembley?
    And the two big prizes we are still in? For the Champions League we may need only to be really good in 4 matches, 3 of the legs and the final. That would do me. Wembley would be a great place to win. I would call Wembley the Table of Boom for us even if we don’t really come close to winning the league. Topping the Table of Boom would make me so happy.

    Арсенал записа убедителен успех с 3:1 над Ливърпул в мач от 23-ти кръг на Висшата лига. Победата бе от изключително значение, защото на теория тя върна Лондончани в борбата за титлата. Точни за Арсенал бяха Букайо Сака в 14-та минута, Габриел Мартинели в 67-та и Леандро Тросар във 2-та минута от добавеното продължение на мача. Единственото попадение за гостите от Мърсисайд дойде в 3-та минута на първото продължение на срещата, което бе записано като автогол на Габриел Магаляеш. Въпросният гол бе изравнителен в мача, след като Сака бе дал преднина на ''топчиите''.
    Успехът бе абсолютно заслужен за играчите в червено и бяло, като опасностите пред вратата на Давид Рая бяха сведени до минимум. Сред всички, със своите изяви определено се отличиха Жоржиньо и Габриел Мартинели. В последствие именно Жоржиньо бе избран за играч на мача.

    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    С този си успех Арсенал събра 49 точки и в момента заема 2-то място във временното класиране. Първи остава Ливърпул с 51 точки, а 3-ти е Манчестър Сити с 46-точков актив. ''Гражданите'' са и с 2 мача по-малко спрямо Арсенал и Ливърпул. Още подробности от мача в следващите редове:

    Стартов състав и резерви:

    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    Статистика от мача: 

    Фото кредит: Premier League Official

    Видеорепортаж: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gxId8M-NmWg&ab_channel=Arsenal

    Микел Артета след мача: ''Това бе едно изключително представяне от наша страна. Бяхме превъзходни във всяко едно отношение. Играчите, отиграванията, комбинациите, привържениците, атмосферата - всичко това придаде за едно наистина страхотно изживяване. Успяхме да създадем доста опасности пред вратата им и бяхме наясно с това, че ще трябва да бъдем клинични. Вкарахме три гола, но можеше и повече. В крайна сметка, те се оказаха напълно достатъчни за една впечатляваща победа над един изключително силен и доминантен противник. Важно е да се отбележи и това, че след изравняването в края на първото полувреме, успяхме да дадем страхотен отговор. Именно това е характера, който всички ние искаме да наблюдаваме. 
    Сега ще се концентрираме върху подготовката за мача в неделя. Това е - мислим за мач за мач.''

    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    В следващия си мач Арсенал гостува на Уест Хям. Това ще се случи тази неделя, 11 февруари, от 16:00ч. българско време.

    Арсенал е домакин на Ливърпул в топ сблъсъка от програмата на Висшата лига за 23 кръг. Срещата може да се окаже от изключително значение и за двата отбора, които ще се изправят един срещу друг за 3-ти път в рамките на малко повече от месец. Гостите от Мърсисайд са и лидери във временното подреждане, като разполагат с 51 точки към момента. Възпитаниците на Микел Артета пък заемат 3-та позиция с 46 точки. Арсенал и Ливърпул вече ни предложиха един изключително интересен сблъсък във Висшата лига, който се състоя през декември на Анфийлд. Точките бяха поделени след 1:1, а малко след това именно хората на Юрген Клоп отстраниха ''артилеристите'' от турнира за ФА Къп след 2:0 в Лондон. Сега сякаш заряда на поредното изпитание пред ''топчиите'' е още по-голям в сравнение с въпросното отпадане и настроението около Емиратс Стейдиъм крещи ''Задължителни три точки!''. При всички положения евентуалното им спечелване би затвърдило възхода (повторния такъв) на Лондончани. Да, в последните 2 мача за първенство Арсенал регистрира следователно и 2 успеха, съответно срещу отборите на Кристъл Палас и Нотингам Форест. В тези два мача ''артилеристите'' демонстрираха завидно спокойствие, като със сигурност те ще се нуждаят от нова порция такова срещу отбор като Ливърпул. Непреодолими съперници не съществуват, не и когато се казваш Арсенал! Всички привърженици се надяват неделната вечер да се окаже просто стъпка към още по-светлите дни.
    Още подробности преди мача в следващите редове:

    Начален час: 18:30 българско време;

    Стадион: Емиратс Стейдиъм, Лондон;

    Телевизия: Диема Спорт 2;

    Рефер на двубоя: Антъни Тейлър;

    Новините в Арсенал: В групата за двубоя няма да попаднат имената на контузените Юриън Тимбър и Томас Партей. Фабио Виейра и Такехиро Томиясу пък остават под въпрос до последно, а завръщането си в отбора отбелязва Мохамед Елнени след отпадането на Египет в турнира за Купата на Африканските нации. Всички останали имена са на разположение за селекция, като изненади свързани с промяна в това твърдение не се очакват. 
    През седмицата Арсенал обяви сключването на партньорство с базираната в Дубай компания за луксозни недвижими имоти Sobha Realty. Част от условията в сделката водят към това, че тренировъчната база на клуба, позната ни досега под името London Coelny, вече е преименувана на Sobha Realty Training Center.

    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    Микел Артета преди мача: ''Това, което се изисква от нас, е да бъдем хладнокръвни в действията си. В последните два мача срещу този съперник се представихме повече от добре. Сега обаче ще ни е нужно нещо повече, за да ги победим. Трябва да бъдем ефективни и да действаме освободени от всякакъв вид напрежение. Те са страхотен опонент и много добре знаем на какво биха могли да бъдат способни. Със сигурност се чувствам развълнуван, защото усещането да подготвяш своите момчета за мач срещу Ливърпул е невероятно. В крайна сметка обаче, ние ще се изправим срещу тях у дома, а това е още един повод да усетим подкрепата от нашите привърженици. 
    Срещу Палас и Нотингам демонстрирахме, че дните ни в Дубай са се отразили положително. Сега искаме да затвърдим това. Пред нас има още дълъг път за вървене, но за да стигнем до края, трябва да направим всичко възможно, за да спечелим възможно най-голям брой футболни мачове. 
    През настоящата кампания вече победихме няколко от топ отборите във Висшата лига. Намерението ни и сега е такова. Да запишем нова победа, която разбира се няма да дойде никак лесно. Ще се наложи да се постараем доста здраво, за да я извоюваме. Това е положението.''

    Фото кредит: Арсенал

    Игра с прогнози във форума на ASCB: 


    Current Premier league managers and their possibility of not being there in August
    Arsenal Mikel Arteta Likelihood of being fired  5% Likelihood of leaving 30%
    Aston Villa Unai Emery Likelihood of being fired  0% Likelihood of leaving 20%
    Bournemouth Andoni Iraola Likelihood of being fired  15% Likelihood of leaving 30%
    Brentford Thomas Frank Likelihood of being fired  0% Likelihood of leaving 70%
    Brighton Roberto De Zerbi Likelihood of being fired  0% Likelihood of leaving 70%
    Burnley Vincent Kompany Likelihood of being fired 80% Likelihood of leaving 0%
    Chelsea Mauricio Pochettino Likelihood of being fired  75% Likelihood of leaving 20%
    Crystal Palace Roy Hodgson Likelihood of being fired  100% Likelihood of leaving 0%
    Everton Sean Dyche Likelihood of being fired  5% Likelihood of leaving 20%
    Fulham Marco Silva Likelihood of being fired  5% Likelihood of leaving 50%
    Liverpool Jurgen Klopp Likelihood of being fired  0% Likelihood of leaving 85%
    Luton Rob Edwards Likelihood of being fired 60% Likelihood of leaving 0%
    Manchester City Pep Guardiola Likelihood of being fired  0% Likelihood of leaving 35%
    Manchester United Erik Ten Hag Likelihood of being fired  80% Likelihood of leaving 10%
    Newcastle United Eddie Howe Likelihood of being fired  25% Likelihood of leaving 30%
    Nottingham Forest Nuno Espirito Santo Likelihood of being fired 70% Likelihood of leaving 0%
    Sheffield United Chris Wilder Likelihood of being fired  95% Likelihood of leaving 0%
    Tottenham Hotspur Ange Postecoglou Likelihood of being fired  0% Likelihood of leaving 10%
    West Ham David Moyes Likelihood of being fired  5% Likelihood of leaving 5%
    Wolverhampton Wanderers  Gary O’Neil Likelihood of being fired  5% Likelihood of leaving 40%
    Go or please stay
    If the table above is right 11 managers could be gone by the start of next season as they are 50% or more likely to go whether sacked or leaving themselves. I suspect that managerial change will be a huge factor for the Premier league 2024/25. Bizarrely, all could be gone and a complete sea change happens. Jurgen Klopp’s announcement has just followed on from a host of big clubs struggling at the moment and major countries looking for managers with Ireland being the biggest prize of all .

    If these win La Liga Real Madrid will surely need a manager
    What it means is that successful managers at small clubs, and De Zerbi, Frank, and Silva spring to mind, are going to be thrown into the mix for Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Germany and many others, but crucially, managers at big clubs like Arteta will also be in the frame. I have rated him at 30% to leave. Barcelona will come calling for sure with Xavi on the way out. Will he go? I don’t know, but logic dictates that it is easier to win big trophies there than at Arsenal. Real and Barcelona win most things in Spain and even in Europe. He may feel that he is the right man for the job. He is not short of confidence as he applied for the Arsenal job with no experience.
    Home is where the esteem lies
    To be a big man in your own country is always a huge factor. Roy Hodgson made his name abroad but was always looking to prove himself at home, and he was never regarded with the same respect as he was in other countries.  Arteta may go, people, and that will only please the Arteta out brigade which, I still feel,is a minority of Gooners. I am not sure who can come in and do better. I want him to stay.

    Jurgen Klopp - will he really go?
    You will notice I have put Klopp at 85% to leave. I feel I may even be generous as I reckon they will put huge pressure on him to stay. However, the announcement may lead to a dip in performances and perhaps he will go. He should get Champions league, though, and that is a prize for the Kop this year. Assuming he goes and Alonso comes, as is speculated, it means both Bayern Munich and Leverkusen could be looking for a manager.
    Pep to Barca? Erik to nowhere?
    Pep’s position could be anything, the Fair Play sanctions could come into play and they get relegated or even kicked out. A bad end to the season may also happen. Barcelona could be a nice homecoming. If the second outcome happens it leaves a vacancy at City which is still a big draw for an ambitious or established manager. A very bad sanction could leave City unattractive to a big name.

    Pep- Tiki-taka Barca
    Erik Ten Hag needs a very strong finish to retain his job. I suspect he won’t and that leaves a position at Man Utd, which is still one of the big achievements to tell your grandchildren. Unai Emery and Ange Postecoglou are the big Premiership names currently in the top five who will assuredly come into the frame for the top positions mentioned above. Surely they will want to go to a great European team whether in the Premiership or not? Is Arsenal a top European team? Probably they are on the cusp but Villa and Spurs are definitely not.
    Who are certain to go?
    If Pochettino doesn’t have a strong end to the season he will also be gone leaving a vacancy at Chelsea – still the most successful 21st Century English team, and the merry-go-round continues.

    Ange Postecoglou - to go to one of the top clubs?
    If you were to ask me who will go by next August, I would say Klopp, Ten Hag, Pochettino, Kompany, Wilder, Espirito Santo, De Zerbi, Frank and Hodgson are close to certs. If you put down all of them in an accumulator you would make good money. There will be too many top teams looking for managers for De Zerbi and Frank to stay. Silva also must be a target. I feel that David Moyes is the closest to a cert to stay. He won’t be offered a top job and he would need a really bad finish to be fired.

    Poor Chris Wilder looks doomed
    I wonder what the odds would be on all change? Retirement money I reckon. It could happen. Go for it!
    Arteta out and Barcelona in?
    I will finish on Arsenal and Arteta. He won’t be fired. He will be in the frame for all the top jobs. I am not sure whether he would get more money at Barcelona where he is seen as maybe the best candidate short of Pep coming back? He has been working on a long-term plan at Arsenal, with so many top young players locked into extended contracts that he can create a working dynamic where players play together hypnotically, which could mean he could create the best team in Europe. It leaves the pull of his boyhood team, his home country, and this may be his one chance at it. If Arsenal go a bit backwards now under his stewardship he won’t be a candidate in the future.

    Roy Hodgson - great foreign days but thrown out this year?
    I would say he would be tempted. Against is the certainty that only success is what matters at Barcelona. If you don’t win all and quickly your career there will be over. The uncertainty over their finances may also be a factor. I feel he won’t go but I am certain he will be offered it. I think the deciding factor is that he has been allowed to pursue his vision at Arsenal and that will not be the case at Barcelona or any of the other big names mentioned. I could be wrong.

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