Feb 092010
 

In the midst of a tough run, it can be difficult to envisage the easier times ahead, especially when things are going badly. But while it is common knowledge that our run in is easier than our rivals, the good news goes far beyond not having to play anyone in the top four.

In fact, our short trip to White Hart Lane in April is the only away game we have left against anyone in the top half of the Premiership. Not only have we already done our time at Old Trafford, Stamford Bridge and Anfield, but we’ve gone to the likes of Villa, Everton, Fulham and Man City, and aside from the latter achieved some very good results.

Put it another way – the toughest remaining away game is against a side that haven’t beaten us in a league game in over a decade. And our most difficult home game is tomorrow night’s meeting with Liverpool, another side who have not visited us and taken away three points in ten years. To fail to put a run together for the remainder of the season would be far more disappointing that the couple of defeats we’ve just had.

Another thing to consider – that run-in should help us enormously in the Champions League.

Elsewhere, Wenger was in fighting mood in his press conference today, lambasting the press for continually twisting his words. Following both Chelsea games this season, Wenger has complimented the opposition (Drogba on the first occasion, the team as a whole at the weekend), but on both occasions his words have been slanted to appear insulting. Ballack followed Martin O’Neill’s example by jumping to the bait, and they got the story they wanted.

Wenger has had enough, and made it perfectly clear that if it continues, he will not be so forthcoming in future interviews:

“I just would like to say that I was full of compliments and praise for Chelsea after the game and I find completely unfair from the press that you take one word of my press conference to turn it into a kind of probe every time”

“You did that at Villa, you did that at Chelsea and every time if you look at the intent of my press conference it was positive towards the opponent. If you want I can say nothing.”

And therein lies the rub – the media love Wenger’s press conferences because he answers all their questions, giving them far more material than his rivals. If they force him to be more guarded, they will be shooting themselves in the foot.

Wenger also spoke of needing a reaction tomorrow, and there is no doubting that magnitude of the game – if we lose further ground on the top two then the title race is over. But we can silence the media with a win, opening the gap between us and Liverpool to eight points, and all but confirming a top three finish. Perhaps then their focus will shift elsewhere, and we can quietly regain form.

There will be more on the game tomorrow – until then, stay optimistic. There is a lot left to play for.

[edit: Missed the fact that we still have to play Birmingham away. So two trips to teams in the top half. Not that Birmingham away is particularly frightening.]

  25 Responses to “Arsenal have only one trip to a top half team remaining”

  1. We have 2 play Man city again, everton, birmingham and fulhum!!! they are all in the top half of the league!!!!

  2. when do we have to play everton again? we played them opening day and in a blizzard. remember those? and his title is “only one TRIP to a top half team” man city and fulham both come to emirates. admittedly we must still travel to birmingham.

  3. Sorry not everton!

  4. Just heard on Canal+ that Chamakh has signed a deal to join us next season. 5-years, 60k/week.

  5. Good post, Pete. My feelings exactly. There is still sooo much to play for. Stay positive, Gooners.

  6. I think what he meant was that we only have one away trip to a top half team. I also dont see how our title bid could be considered over. If we win against Liverpool then there we’ll be right in it! There’s no way chelsea and manU wont drop more points than we will during the next few months. Gunner 4life! Trophy or no trophy.

  7. You are absolutely right there, mate!

    I was so irritated by Jamie Redhat on Sunday, when he started that crap about Liverpool beating us tomorrow and then we are only 2 points ahead – all looks gloomy then!

    First off, Liverpool are not going to beat us tomorrow night. We have just lost to two top tier sides; Liverpool are shite and not at all comparable with Chelsea and Man Utd.

    Secondly, they seem to discount the fact that Liverpool have still to play Man Utd and Chelsea and I would be surprised if they get more than 1 point from those 6.

  8. Pls and pls Let wenger two do his job. He knows what his doing he a politician i dont know what is doing what the money that he make from adebayor and ture let him go for two hot strickers and two diffenders and one midfilder and he chould go for esperince one not all dos feedin bottle boys football is now men not boys of 16-17 years.

  9. I am optimistist,but not without reason, our run in to the end is extremely easy.Manu and Chelsea would definitely drop points and it is highly likely the deficit would be cut to 6 points as soon as tomorrow.wait for Arsenal to lift the title in may and these so pundits would have no qualms in eating their own words.

  10. Cheers all.

    Yes, as pointed out, I was talking about away matches. If you count home games, you have to bear in mind we play Burnley and Sunderland shortly, two sides woefully out of form and terrible away from home.

    Missed Birmingham though, although I’m not overly concerned about that.

    There is no reason not to go on a long unbeaten run now.

  11. I understand that expectations change, but if most people here knew the Arsenal of the Rioch latter Graham years, I don’t think we’d be so critical all the time.

    As Wenger once said, “when you’re used to caviar, it’s hard to go back to sausages”. I guess expectations change.

  12. Everytime i watch gunners play, i feel so proud 2 b a fan of this team. But they hav to load their guns upfront so that we can click n boom the right target, and do wonders in the rest of the remaining matches.

    Trophies are possible this season regardless the crucial 6points we lost from the top two big teams.

    And that Almunia is a disapointment to me. He keeps the goal with his eyes closed ( i saw that on the chelsea match). I was thinking about Man1 (manone) i guess he can make a good goal keeper, it’s time to give him a change i think. As for me i have seen enough of Almunia. Honestly I DONT TUST HIM.

    ALL THE BEST GUNNERS,TOGETHER WE CAN PROVE OUR RIVALS WRONG!

  13. No strikers will be starting for us tomorrow which suggests we will struggle to score again.Lets hope Arshavin remembers he was once a top player unlike the shite he has been this year.

  14. well i would not trust the “paper experts” to much. After all they did put Liverpool as title contenders this year and predicted how Arsenal would have trouble keeping inside top 4.

    Also Chelsea and United maybe beat us. but who cares aslong as they loose or draw with teams like Bolto, Burnly, Hull etc? As long as they drop points and we gain the battle is still on. They also got alot of tough matches left. They will drop points.

    Our job as supporters is to SUPPORT our team, what ever els happens one thing is certain we will be stuck with these players until summer. They will not play better if we continue to trash them. They will play better if we support them. So it all depends what you want out of your team dear supporter. You want to help them win or you want to help them loose?

  15. Nice one Pete, I man sick of all these so called fans and all their dam whining!
    The press change up their tune more time than a drum and bass DJ.
    We’ve had a tough time and when the going get tough the tough get going.
    If you have a friend who is having a hard time what do you give them? Support!
    Real Gunners stand up and raise your voices and lets fight till the fat lady sings!

  16. At last a common sense post !… It ain’t over yet not by a long way.. We pulled an 11 point deficit back from Chelsea after our defeat to them at home in November, and bearing in mind the fact that we do have an easier ‘run in’ then I expect us to narrow the gap before the end of the season, whether we can overhaul the 9 points we are currently adrift by remaind to be seen, but it the remainder of the season starts tomorrow with Liverpool at home… Chelsea and Man Utd will drop points before the end of the season, its up to us to ensure we don’t… There is still a lot to play for, but then no one said it was going to be easy..

  17. GoonerGaz, Arshavin has quite a decent record against Liverpool, I think he might fancy his chances…

    Great to see there’s still optimism around, winning titles is not easy and it is nice to be involved.

  18. AGAIN LET US CUT THE TALK OF EASIER GAMES… IT IS BECOMING SO IRRITATING. I REPEAT THERE IS NO EASY GAME IN THE PREMIERSHIP. WE HAVE TO PLAY AWAY TO STOKE, BIRMINGHAM ,WIGAN,BLACKBURN NOT TO MENTION THE SCUM AND MAN. CITY TOWARDS THE END. I DONT CALL THESE GAMES EASIER. PRIMARILY LET US GET OUR FOCUS TOMMORROW AGAINST LIVERPOOL COS IF WE LOSE THEN I WILL START TO DOUBT IF WE CAN DO IT FOR A PLACE IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE. I KNOW THAT I SOUND A BIT PESSIMISTIC BUT TO REDISCOVER YOUR FORM IN FOOTBALL IS NOT ALWAYS EASY. WE NEED A POSITIVE SCORELINE TOMMORROW TO START WINNING AGAIN. AS FOR CESC, I THINK HE WILL LEAVE IN THE SUMMER.. ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL BEING DISMANTLED. WHAT IS GOING ON IN OUR CLUB? CAN SOMEONE ANSWER ME.

  19. Joe, while there are no easy games, there certainly are easier games. Travelling to Wigan or Blackburn is harder than Chelsea having to go to Liverpool and Man Utd.

    No-one is suggesting that we are going to cruise through our games. But the reason we are anywhere near the top (given our record against the top two), is that we have been ruthless against the bottom half of the league. If we can continue that, we’ll end the season very strongly.

  20. Le confessor make another confessions, he only make us to struggle at middle PL.

  21. Our title run is over.. we may even be done over by the scousers tomorrow although I doubt it

    but I would make Arsenal a safe bet for top3, our remaining schedule should see us in 3rd if not safely in top 4… pre-season goal accomplished..

    sadly, that has been the goal past few seeasons..

  22. cool we are gonna win epl 4 sure.I believe in de abilities of arshavin
    arsene, samir nasry.we must tighten up our defenece i think

  23. I am so glad to see a positive blog lately. I believe we will pick up quite a few points hopefully starting tonight. Most arsenal blogs lately have been anti arsenal and seem as though they have been written by the scum down the lane. Come on up the gunners

  24. […] spoke about the remaining fixtures yesterday, and made the point that tonight is possibly the toughest game we have left. Yet […]

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