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City

Found 4 results

  1. We have one job now - Win Update to the Table of Doom Table of Doom Fixtures Current points Max Arsenal 80 89 Man City Spurs (a) 79 91 Liverpool’s implosion has seen them drop out of the Table of Doom, something I would not have seen as likely not too long ago when they were fighting like demons for their points. They were battling harder than anyone else and scrambling unlikely victories. Very recently they had their destiny in their own hands and threw it away. We, most likely, will not have our destiny in our own hands at all now. The best we can hope for is that City drop points which none of the pundits deem likely. Jurgen Klopp:I will never understand why he didn't wait till the end of the season to announce he was leaving What I know and what I don't And so Bournemouth, Man Utd and Everton are next. All winnable? Yes. Will it be good enough? I don’t know. Which is the hardest? I don’t know. Will City win all theirs? I don’t know. Will Tottenham take something from City? I don’t know. Are we all going to be Tottenham supporters for one day? I don’t know. The Spuds 1961 double winners beat Man City 1-0 at Maine Road -C'Mon you Spurs I can hear you saying, Gus, do you know anything? Why are you getting your huge salary if you know nothing? So I will concentrate for now, on what I do know. If City win all, there is nothing we can do. They must slip up. However, if they draw then we can win as our goal difference will probably be better than theirs if we win all. A seven goal turnaround in 3 matches is difficult allowing we have to improve by at least three which makes ten. I do know that you have to win by at least one goal. You see, I do know something. A nervous City? But I will give some good news. If, such a big if, Tottenham manage to get something from City it might just give them a wobble at exactly the right time as they face West Ham at home on the final day. City have lost 3 times away and only once at home. Tottenham may well be fighting for their Champions League spot and if they have a good day, something could happen. And that means that West Ham becomes a must win on the final day. A twitchy City could be a vulnerable City. Bournemouth are coming good at the wrong time for us So can we win our three? I have to give you the bad news that Bournemouth are on a very strong run with only 3 defeats since February by Aston Villa, Luton and Man City. They will feel that Europe is now possible. They are in form at the moment and we must kill them off ruthlessly. We do not need a hard game from them, and we know what they will do. Defend like demons and try to give Dominic Solanke the ball. We will need to be good for 90 minutes. No idiocy like David Raya as one goal may decide this game. No glory glory Man Utd? Man Utd? They will give us more chances I reckon but they also make chances every game. They have a tough looking last 4 games with a resurgent Palace away, us at home, Newcastle at home and Brighton away. They could end up with nothing from these games and they will be aware of that. 6th place is there for them if they win matches and they are running out of time. I have a feeling we may need a clean sheet for this one. Ten Hag will try to get them to defend and hope for a breakaway even though they are at home. They have players who can score from sudden breaks. This is one game where tactics can make a huge difference. We must hope that Arteta is the man here. They don't have Best, Law or Charlton Everton on the last day. The good news is that if we win the previous two, this match is live no matter what happens. If City win all they will be two points ahead but probably with an inferior goal difference which means if we win and they draw we are the champions, my friends. If, by any chance, City have already been beaten by Tottenham, then they will be one point behind us, and if they draw, we can get away with a draw. Of course we can never know that as a draw can turn into a win at the last kick of the match. If they get a draw in any of their matches they will be level with us on the last day but we should have a clear goal difference which means two draws gives us the title. Saliba and Gabriel vs Dominic Calvert-Lewin Is the glass half empty? The danger to assuming we will have a superior goal difference is that City could run up a hatful against Wolves and Fulham in their first 2 games to catch us up and we win by one against Bournemouth and Utd. The most optimistic scenario is that City suffer a bad run and hand us the title before we play Everton. It seems like absolutely nobody believes that can happen. I have been around football long enough to know that you cannot predict matches. If you could there would be no betting companies. City got beaten when they had the initiative against Real Madrid. And they badly wanted that two time in a row Champions League. Just like they badly want this four time in a row Premier League. We are Arsenal and we must show it One thing I do know for sure and that is no Gooner wants to hand Man City the title as Liverpool has. We did that last year, made it easy for them. We are now the last man standing in the Table of Doom. Liverpool cannot get 86 points and their next two are the Spuds at home and Villa away with both teams scrambling for the Champions League. They may not get many more points. I will never understand why Jurgen Klopp announced his retirement mid season. The way they were playing they could have won it this season. He has tarnished his legend. How did retaining that trophy work out for you City? At the start I asked many questions that I couldn’t answer. So now I will give you my opinion. We can win this league. I feel City will drop points but I reckon only in one match. So 2 or three. We must win three and I think we will. It will come down to this, and we must be ready. It is also that the only time City may drop points is on the last day against West Ham. We will only know that we must win in that scenario. Are we winners? Yes we are.
  2. Is 35 or even 30 the new 40? Key: The year, the teams and their final points total at 3rd from bottom, since the Premier League began. 1993 Palace 49 1994 Sheff Utd 42 1995 Norwich 43 1996 Man City 38 1997 Sunderland 40 1998 Bolton 40 1999 Charlton 36 2000 Wimbledon 33 2001 Man City 34 2002 Ipswich 36 2003 West Ham 42 2004 Leicester 33 2005 Palace 33 2006 Birmingham 34 2007 Sheff Utd 38 2008 Reading 36 2009 Newcastle 34 2010 Burnley 30 2011 Birmingham 39 2012 Bolton 36 2013 Wigan 36 2014 Norwich 33 2015 Hull 35 2016 Newcastle 37 2017 Hull 34 2018 Swansea 33 2019 Cardiff 34 2020 Bournemouth 34 2021 Fulham 28 2022 Burnley 35 2023 Leicester 34 One thing is certain from looking at the final 3rd place from bottom in the Premier League since it started is that 40 points is becoming a distant figure. The first 3 seasons had 22 teams and more matches but 40 wasn’t even a safe position. This season if Luton finish 3rd from bottom they may have less than 30 and we could be heading into an outlook where 30 is the new 40. The big teams have fixed the game so that they get more points and the lower ones must fight for scraps. It is looking like a record points haul for the top four this season. The mighty get more, the weak get less. Does this not give the lie to the oft quoted line as the “Most competitive league in the world”? Palace 1993 would have been dreaming of Europe all season now with 49 points Now I reckon that for Arsenal fans, sitting nicely on top of the league at the moment and due to stay there for a while as there are no leagues at the moment, and if we beat City on March 31st we will stay there even longer, that they give little thought to those teams on the bottom. Is this a fair approach? A drop in points and a drop in stature The big teams have huge squads, money to burn, and do everything they can to get any margin in their favour. The only reason they give any thought to the little teams is that they do grab a few points from the entitled monsters. They have worked steadily to make sure that even those few scraps from the master’s table are denied them. They have succeeded. Their points are dropping year on year. In football it's the other way round Does competitiveness matter? Is it ok that only 10 teams have ever qualified for the Champions League despite up to five being allowed to qualify? And a Leicester may never qualify again? In the nineties, despite Manchester United being mostly dominant, they usually won the league with far less points than are required now. Teams were taking points off each other from every section of the league. How do big teams make everything better for themselves? But now, draws are becoming rarer. The big teams beat the little ones and points are hoovered up. In the nineties, the teams had smaller squads and the first 11 could be easily named. Arteta is a bit of an exception as few players change except by necessity but it is hard to name the first choice 11 at most teams now. 5 subs is a ridiculous concession to the big teams as they have many players who could come on and force an opposing team, who are doing well, to change their tactics mid-game. Extremely talented players are bought up, leaving the talent pool lower down far scarcer than it used to be. Jean Marc Bosman changed football I declare that we need to go backwards to make a fairer league. Restrict squads and subs and stop allowing loans which were brought in to allow the clubs have huge squads. If players can’t get into their own team they would move on, allowing lower clubs to have them as it was forever in the past. It may surprise my younger readers but loans were only allowed as we know them since 1996 after the famous Bosman ruling in 1995. Players would move to a lower team for the sake of their career and often become a club legend as they got better as they got older. Players get paid to do nothing Of course, it still happens as we see with Cole Palmer but talent was spread better in the past and this new system of big teams scooping everything and fixing everything behind the scenes so they always get more and more advantage is actually bad for the sport. There are players who spend their days as a bit player to take a good salary and pick up trophies in which they played only a small part in achieving. I highlighted it at Arsenal here where up to 15 players should go if they are serious about their career but some won’t. Same as at all the big clubs. Sport should be about pushing yourself to achieve the highest you can, not sitting on a bench counting your money. Current 3rd from bottom Luton could go down with less than 30 points It seems like 30 is the new 40 and soon it will be twenty is the new 40, and then what, ten? If you get a miserable total of 11 points you stay up? I am sorry, not for me. It would be easy to make the game fairer but the game is rigged. And unfortunately, Arsenal are one of the riggers and that makes me sad. Update to the Table of Doom Table of Doom Fixtures Current Max Arsenal Man City (a) Villa (h) Spurs (a) 64 94 Liverpool Spurs (h) Villa (a) 64 94 Man City Arsenal (h) Villa (h) Spurs (a) 63 93 And so the big change has happened with Villa and Spurs considered out of the race for the title even if they win all their games from here in. 83 is their maximum but probably around 70 points will be their final tally. They will play a big part, though as they both play all contenders and it could well be the team that beats both that win the title. And there is only one contender clash left, us and City in which Liverpool will probably be hoping for a draw. A win for us would be the sweetest in a long time and it is our next match. A draw is our minimum as City normally finish strongly. It is there for us, though, if we finish like an express train, stopping for no one. Ciao Like I said last week, if Spurs or Villa find a way, by the top teams dropping points, then I will put them back in, but I really cannot see any possibility for them to win the title. The City game is too early to be a true clincher but it could be very crucial. Liverpool host Brighton and that is a game they should win to make us nervous. If we win and then beat Luton we will have had a good spell at the top. I hope the boys get a taste for it and stay there till the end. C’mon the Arse!
  3. The Table of Doom returns Can anyone take this away from the Citizens? Table of Doom Fixtures Current Max Liverpool Man City (h) Spurs (h) Villa (a) 51 96 Man City Liverpool (a) Arsenal (h) Villa (h) Spurs (h) 49 97 Arsenal Man City (a) Villa (h) Spurs (a) 49 94 Villa Spurs (a) Man City (a) Arsenal (a) Liverpool (a) 46 91 Spurs Villa (h) Man City(a) Arsenal (h) Liverpool (a) 44 89 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.
  4. Thrashings are good for you? He came back from this one So Manchester United get a true hammering against Liverpool but what will it all mean? Maybe very little other than a song for the Scousers to sing every time they get to play the Red Sevens as maybe they should now be called. I would still put a good wager on them finishing above Liverpool in the league. I am also confident that they will get that Champions League spot that may elude the Merseysiders. Why so? Because they have had quite a few humiliating defeats even this season and bounced back. This time Brighton 2-1, Brentford 4-0, Manchester City 6-3 and lowly Aston Villa 3-1 gave them defeats they weren’t expecting. They still put together a run that gives them a chance at the title. Mikel Arteta’s team were destroyed by Everton 5-1 at the end of last season plus 5-0 to City and 4-0 to Liverpool. Not to mention being beaten by Brentford. Where are we now? You can sing it if you like. I decided to take a look at high or bad defeats for the Arsenal to see how they affected us. I went back in time to George Graham but could only find 6-2 to Man Utd in the league Cup 28/11/1990 as a true thrashing. George got a heart attack if we conceded goals but he still threw that defeat off to win the league that season. Arsene Wenger the boomerang Arsene Wenger was with us a record length of time and accumulated quite a few whippings. All very painful and generally against big rivals. But we bounced back, didn’t we? Wenger was beaten 4-0 away by Liverpool on the 6/5 1998 but it didn’t stop us winning the league and cup that season. George Graham - with his hand on the ball you know what matters He was tonked by Chelsea next season in the League cup 5-0 but we came second in the Premiership, nicely above them. The fans were hurting badly after these defeats but our team came back from it all the same. On the 25/2/2001 Man Utd gave us that horrible pounding of 6-1 but we were unbeaten in our next six. We finished 2nd and did well till the end of the season. The end of the season is all that matters Next season Blackburn beat us 4-0 in the League cup but we won the league. Wenger and Arsenal had the resilience to shrug off bad defeats. We didn’t have another real trouncing until 2008 when the Spuds beat us 5-1 in the League cup. But what did we do? Came a close 3rd in the league with 83 points, nicely in the Champions league and the hapless Spuds? 11th! Yes, you read that right. They would take being beaten by us any season if they qualified for the Champions league and we didn’t because that is what really matters. Man Utd fans will feel the same about Liverpool if that happens this year. They also beat us 4-0 in the FA cup that season. Our 2 biggest rivals beat us in one season but we are the Arsenal. We always survive. He never let his head drop for long Of course on the 28/11/2011 came the worst defeat I can remember. 8-2 to Man Utd. We were devastated but probably Wenger said to his team, when he calmed down, you went to Old Trafford and scored 2 goals, we haven’t done that too often. We shrugged off that defeat to come 3rd, Utd only came second despite destroying us and we finished above the Spuds in 4th. Man Utd would love to come second this year and they might yet. They will probably come 3rd, though. Beaten by three giants in the Champions League AC Milan beat us 4-0 at the San Siro in the Champions League that season but we nearly came back at home winning 3-0. The ability to throw off a bad defeat is necessary for a good team. In 2014 Liverpool hammered us 5-1 and Chelsea 6-0 but we won the FA cup and qualified for the Champions League. 2 heavy defeats to big rivals and we still had something to cheer about at the end of the season. We are always winners Bayern Munich gave us three 5-1 defeats in the Champions League including a really bad one at home. The first one in 2015 didn’t stop us making it through to the knock out stages where we were beaten by the superb Barcelona. And we did beat Bayern at home 2-0 plus we came came second in the league, our top finish in some time. We knocked Aston Villa over 4-0 in the FA cup final to round off a pretty good season in the end. A hard time for sure The next 2 in 2017 were really hard to take. Last 16 in the Champions League and we were right with them in both first halves. They obliterated us in the second both times. 10-2 over the tie. Bayern, what are you doing to us? But we beat Chelsea in the FA cup final, and finished with five wins in a row to lose out closely to Liverpool for the final Champions League spot with 75 points to their 76. I would take defeat for ultimate victory So, the Arsenal way of losing badly is to come back, to not let it define their season. Mikel Arteta has shown us he knows how to lose the Arsenal way as those defeats last year have shown. Yes, the fans heads were on the floor but he knew he had a special squad of players. It is his job to lift them and us. He has done that. Being knocked out of both cups and being quite average against weaker teams in the Europa League on top of defeats away to Everton and Man Utd plus City at home, and away in the League Cup emphasizes that it has been a hard slog this season. We could still win 2 trophies and, amazingly, I would take being beaten at Man City 7-0 in our next game against them if we go on to win the league. What good would a 7-0 do them then? Let them sing what they bloody like, we would be the Champions. Will Man Utd let it destroy them? So it seems that thrashings are not necessarily bad for you. We can accept our corporal punishment as long as we are top of the class come May. And Man Utd? We will see what they are made of now.
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