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  1. Don’t despair And so now we are useless. Arteta out out out and we need a new team to replace the cloggers we have currently. Eh, no, teams always get beaten. Even when Alex Ferguson had little competition in the ‘90’s, he still had a few defeats every season. I am going to take a look at our previous title wins and see how we recovered from wobbles to win in the end. George Graham didn't despair The most dramatic finale to a season was Liverpool vs Arsenal in 1989. Does anyone know what our previous two scores were before we headed to Anfield? I wrote about it here and we drew with Wimbledon at home and beaten by Derby also at home. And by the way, we were beaten by Aston Villa at home that season. We had run out of steam and Liverpool were the unstoppable Red Monsters. Of course, nobody told George Graham and the players that and Arteta should give old George a shout as to what he did then because it could be very useful. He had an impossible task and the players achieved it for him. Iconic Chapman destroys them all Our first legend was Herbert Chapman and he smashed it out of the park on his first title in 1930/31 with 8 wins and 2 draws in our last ten and won comfortably. His next title was 1932/33 and he could afford a draw and a loss in his last two matches as he had already won the title. Next season was Chapman’s last as Joe Shaw, our captain, took over as manager in January. We won with 3 points to spare over Huddersfield, comfortable enough with 2 points for a win. The next season 1934/35 was George Allison’s first and he won with 4 points from Sunderland. We were the Arsenal then, the Red monsters who always won. George Allison didn't give in to despair Except we weren’t as we didn’t win again until 1937/38 where we had 3 draws and 2 losses in our last ten. Wolves obliged us by losing 1-0 to Sunderland to gift us the trophy as we thrashed Bolton 5-0 and won by one point. I guess the fans thought we had no hope that last day as Sunderland were mid-table, a bit like West Ham now. Preston were right in it at the end only 3 points behind us so that was a three-way finish until near the conclusion. You must stick with your team and support them as they need it. It definitely gives extra points. Don’t despair. Preston by goal average on the last day long before Liverpool And so the war struck and the league was over. We next won in 1947/48 by 7 points from Manchester United so, although we dropped many points at the end it didn’t matter. The next time was 1952/53 again under Tom Whitaker. We beat Preston and it was dramatic, almost the same as the Liverpool game as we won on goal average with both teams on 54 points. They lost to Bolton Wanderers 2-1 and we beat Burnley 3-2. Bolton were close to the bottom and Burnley were close to the top. And like against Liverpool, we had lost and drew our last 2 so our fans were in misery. Don’t despair. Tom Whittaker didn't give in to despair I covered the Liverpool match earlier for George Graham’s first in 1988/89 but his next was when he consigned Liverpool to history in 1990/91. He won by 9 points from them although 2 points were taken away because of the battle of Old Trafford when both teams got embroiled in throwing their handbags at each other. I was there for that one. No drama for George. Let’s hope if Arteta does manage to win this season he also gets an easy win for his second. Wenger was our ace in the hole And then the master, our ace, Arsene Charles Ernest Wenger took over and he recorded his first title in 1997/98, a nerve jangling win over Manchester United by one point as a win over Everton 4-0 in our 3rd last game was enough. No last game dramas though. Arsene: made Man Utd despair Then came 2001/02 and we again beat Manchester United but this time by seven points. Some of you will remember how exciting that season was as by the end of March we were 3rd and miserable. We then went on a string of wins for Wenger’s best ever finish to a season and won easily. Don’t despair when there are matches to go. Of course, Wenger’s final win was the one you know everything about. 2003/04 was the year we did something great but I cannot remember what it was. What was it again? Oh, yes, we were Invincible, we didn’t get beaten, and we won by eleven points. Chelsea were looking up at us this time but we didn’t head into a period of dominance as we all hoped. We are still waiting. C’mon the Spuds and West Ham So, we could be hoping two of our London rivals, the Spuds and West Ham do damage to City and Liverpool. Our margin for error is really tight. We possibly could get a draw or a loss and still win. Liverpool are away to Everton as well and derbies are unpredictable. They have those four matches one after the other which adds to their difficulty. C'mon the Spuds but not against us Don’t despair, people, as I have shown in 1938, 1953, and 1989, we have done it on the last game when all looked lost. We can do it again and I suspect we might have to, City and Liverpool will be battling to the end. I reckon if all 3 teams have a chance on the last day, at least one of them won’t win, despite them being favourites. Six games to go and I believe six wins will be enough. We can make it happen. We do have the best goal difference if that comes into play. Don’t despair, we are Arsenal. Update to the Table of Doom Table of Doom Fixtures Current Max Man City Spurs (a) 73 91 Arsenal Spurs (a) 71 89 Liverpool Spurs (h) Villa (a) 71 89 So, the inevitable has happened. The Blue Monsters have taken over. Strangely, the best chance we have of winning the league is to become Tottenham fans for two of these 3 matches. If we beat them and they beat Liverpool and City or even draw we are right back in it. We probably now do need to win our six matches but it is certainly not over. Liverpool may go out of Europe but that could give them a singular concentration. We have conceded 4 goals in our last two matches purely due to lack of concentration and focus. If we regain our laser focus we can win our last games. It is up to Arteta now. C'mon the Irons Of course, if my 86 points prediction is still correct there are a few more bumps for all teams to overcome. It may be three teams in it on the last day. In our favour is that West Ham is the toughest-looking match of the three, so City may have a wobble. If it is only us and City then beating Everton could be key.
  2. Liverpool H, Leeds A, Southampton A, Forest H, Chelsea A, Wolves A, West Ham H, Brighton A Getting it wrong and being happy And so I got it wrong. Could anyone really predict 7 wins out of 8 and even that one we were caught by 3 sucker punches? Well, yes, one of our own ASCB supporters did predict 8 out of eight in the comments section of my first attempt https://arsenal-bulgaria.com/site/team/london_calling/where-can-we-finish-2023-part-1-r506/ I predicted 17 points, we got 21. I have substituted Spurs for Everton as we didn’t play them but I predicted 4-1 so similar to the Spuds result. This time the World Cup could have a big impact on us or other teams and I have no way of knowing what players will be affected. So now I will have a go at predicting the next eight – eight wins! Ok, bye bye, see you next time! … Maybe the Liverpool machine is coming to an end Ah, ok, I can’t really say that but I am worried about Liverpool in the first. No, they haven’t played well. No they haven’t played a team of the quality of Arsenal and yes, we are playing at home. But we have not got a good record against them and worryingly, they have had the third highest shots on goal of any team, eclipsed only by us and the marauding City. Any Arsenal fan thinking Liverpool are ready to be beaten are fooling themselves. And they always seem to get the best of the VAR decisions. I am hoping for a win but will settle for a draw. 2-2 in an open game, but very feisty. We need to be brave and disciplined as Liverpool have seasoned pros who know all the tricks. 22 points Tomiyasu: Key for Japan - key for us? Leeds away? Last year we beat them 4-1 and might do it again. I do expect a win although they are not doing badly, a respectable midtable. I was at the game at the Emirates and we won 2-1 but how I don’t know. We totally outplayed them for long periods and yet had a nervy finish. Another 2-1 would do me. 25 points. Is there danger here? Southampton away? Last year they beat us exactly when we needed wins. We cannot allow them to do so again. If we perform well I would like to see 2-0. They are on a bad run but they were also on one last season so please Arsenal don’t let them be a bogey team. 28 points. Saka might be our only England player Forest at home? I am planning being at this fixture although tickets haven’t popped up yet. ASCB I need you. They are down in relegation position and surely cannot cope with our energy, our strikers, and the understanding we have forged. They have bought one billion players and seem to have no understanding. No Robin Hood for these boys as we send them home crying 4-0. 31 points. Maybe Jesus and our other Brazilians may not play much in the World cup We are all getting excited. Points keep coming in. Man City have also got a draw against Liverpool by this stage so we are still top. City are going like a machine but so are we. It is frightening to watch. Blue demons or not? Chelsea away? Our record at Stamford Bridge is not so great but last year we reversed games. They won at ours and we won at theirs. They have good players, and they are close to Champions league position. Surely this is not going to be easy. I would again settle for a draw but hopeful of a win. 1-1 and 32 points. Key for France - key for us Wolves away? They are doing disastrously. Now without a manager, Nuno Espirito Santo could make a comeback. He is doing ok in the Saudi league but surely would like to come back home? They could be a different proposition under him or a new manager. They gave us 2 hard games last year. But surely we will be too strong? 2-0 and 35 points. A world cup hangover? West Ham at home? I might try and get to this game. I expect a win although I feel the Hammers will be nicely up the table by then. We have a good record against them, particularly at home, and I think we can do it. Last year we did the double and this should be the start of another. This is our first match after the world cup and it is very hard to know what players we will have and what condition they will be in. Assuming no banana skins I am going for 2-1 in a hard fought game. 38 points. Xhaka has become key Brighton away? This is a game we could lose. We only took one point off them last year and they definitely look better this year. Roberti De Zerbi could be a excellent fit and the equal to Graham Potter. He did great work at Shaktar Donetsk. I feel we will need all our key players fit and firing for this one. If the world cup is unkind to us that will make it more difficult. Maybe another draw 1-1. 39 points. And Arsenal are soaring above everyone That would be a massive improvement of 13 points over last season, however City, at this point were 38 so 39 would probably see us still top. I am being optimistic but then again last time I thought I was being optimistic with 17 points after 8 games and we got 21 so I hope I am wrong the same way again. City are going so strong at the moment that it is hard to see them losing any match but they do have off days against lower teams sometimes. If we win all we have 45 and surely starting something unstoppable. Even a repeat of the 21 making 42 would make us very difficult to catch. Partey-We need a safe world cup Can we do it? My experience is that every team suffers a bad patch. Ours are often in November but this time November is short. As for the World cup it is possible that our Brazilians may not get much playing time. Saka may be our only English player. Xhaka will definitely play as will Partey, Tomiyasu and Saliba. So some key players will play. We need them to stay safe. Still it is not too bad unless they all struggle. We can probably survive one or two injuries. Let us hope for a great eight games. COYG.
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