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This Could Be The Best Premiership Season Ever

For the second weekend running, the majority of Arsenal's main rivals have dropped points whilst the injury riddled Gunners grind out a fantastic result, and the season is shaping up to be one of the tightest in living memory.

It has been said of late that the only consistent thing in the league right now is inconsistency, and nothing could be more true. We have our own team, playing brilliantly and losing and then playing badly and winning. You have Liverpool losing to the bottom of the table teams and then going on to beat their two fiercest rivals. Whether this is down to the big four becoming poorer sides, the other teams improving vastly or a mixture of the two is unclear right now, but it's making for entertaining viewing.

Four weeks ago Chelsea demolished Arsenal at the Grove, it was a dismal performance that almost certainly crushed our title hopes, especially when you enter our treatment room door and see plenty of world class players stretched out with no real sign of when we'll get them back. Fast forward to a couple of days before Christmas, and despite suffering two further defeats in the cup competitions, we are not only right back in the title race, but we have become the only other team in the Premiership other than Chelsea, who still hold the power to win the league without relying on other results. I seem to remember a certain Vital football editor rather arrogantly slating Arsene Wenger's opinion that Chelsea would definitely drop points with the statement 'We may drop points, but it won't be your team who benefits from it'. Funny that eh.

It's not just the top end of the league that's tight either, the relegation zone has just about as many suitors as I can ever remember. Indeed, Liverpool who currently lie 8th in the table are as close to Chelsea in points as they are to bottom placed Portsmouth. Gary Megson's Bolton sit in the third and final relegation spot, yet if they win their two games in hand they will be propelled to a lofty tenth in the Premier League standings. It's quite extraordinary.

Looking back towards our own team, and even though it's true that we're in a fight for fourth spot just as much as we are for the title I can't help feeling that without the loss of all three of our left backs, one of the best strikers in the league and a constant flow of midfielders that it would be us issuing the 'catch us if you can' statements.

I've never been one to urge Wenger to spend, and then stamp my feet and shed tears when he doesn't, but never has there been a more important time to open the cheque book. Now I'm no footballing expert, but I feel that with a real goal scorer brought into the team we'd have a proper opportunity to win this thing, especially when you look at how United are falling to pieces the moment that have a few injuries, and that Chelsea are having a bit of a wobble just a week or two before they lose some of their best players for four or five games.

Of course I still believe that we're a bit short to be full on title contenders, but as it has shown on many occasions so far this season, you can never count anything out.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Rocky7 Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday December 21 2009

Time: 11:34AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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It certainly has been a topsy turvy season thus far. That said, it actually was pretty similar this time last season. Hull were near the CL spots, we had started the season abysmally ourselves and Villa were in 2nd threatening a title tilt with Spurs bottom of the league. In the second half of the season, we saw a bit more of the status quo observed and I fancy it might happen again this season (mark my words, Liverpool will still finish 4th). All of the title contenders have fallabilities though and Wenger's assertion that Chelsea would not run away with it don't sound so hollow anymore.
Little Dutch
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21/12/2009 12:05:00

Any of you lot spotted this? re: wenger. I only just realised how deluded they are up there....
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21/12/2009 12:54:00

I reckon Liverpool could still make a top four place too but rather like us 4 seasons ago it's going to be mighty tight. Strengths and weaknesses tend to be more exposed in the 2nd half. It looks as though it's going to be a much more entertaining contest this season though. No bad thing at all.
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21/12/2009 14:03:00

LD, I had a feeling Liverpool will come back until I saw how much the team had lost in confidence, in the game against Pompey. Not the stuff that top 4 sides are made of or display, this time of the season. I am afraid, 'Pool wont make it to 4th place, this season (and I admire them as a team). I agree about the results this season being a Rollercoaster ride of sorts. 1st place may end up with as much as 8 defeats; as the Manager stated, the most consistent side will win it and it is hard to point out more consistent sides than Arsenal, Villa and Chelsea, at the moment.
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21/12/2009 14:25:00

I don't think the Scousers will make 4th either. Just a hunch. There has to come a time when the big four will change, and Liverpool just look so poor. When we squaked in to get fourth in 2006 it was just between us an Spurs, same last year for a time it was just us and Villa, but Liverpool are currently 8 points from 4th, with Villa, Spurs and Man City all there and there abouts also .... and they all look much better than Liverpool. I can't see them all messing up.
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21/12/2009 15:10:00

I beleive the reign of the "big four" is coming to an end. Teams like Villa, Spurs and City are all huge contenders for the champions league now with a lot of other teams not far behind them. Everton can be more dangerous with a full squad, the brummies are a big suprise. As proven on the weekend, this season any team can beat any team and every game is getting harder. There's more money in a lot of different clubs now. It's a good thing for the English league i think on the whole. At least we can be proud that we were one of the "big four" whilst that catagory existed.
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21/12/2009 15:19:00

Yes FuiKaka - And we were one of the three of the big four who managed to win the league. How did Liverpool even get the tag of the big four when they've only contended for the title once or twice in the last 13 years? Should have just been the "big three, the medium one, and the rest"
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21/12/2009 15:25:00

Until their loss to Pompey I was certain Pool would still finish 4th. Now I'm not so sure. It certainly is a crazy season. The thing that annoys me is watching Everton, City, Fulham, WHam, etc. beating or drawing with Utd and Chelsea - something we haven't been able to do this season, regardless of how well we've played. Sticks in the craw.
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21/12/2009 16:33:00

Oh, and no mention of City's crazy idea to get Wenger as their new manager? They don't know him very well, do they?
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21/12/2009 16:34:00

I went through the same thing to Jaelle - thinking Liverpool would still squeeze through but the Pompey game cast lots of doubts. It was that woeful. Despite the red card, with both Torres and Gerrard playing, they looked like they had given up just like that. even the revered 'tactical genius' Rafa Benitez couldn't do anything to change the game from the bench. Villa, Spurs and Man City might slip up yet but it's hard to imagine Liverpool finishing above all of them. And oh I agree with Rocky on the 'what if' scenario - I'd even go as far as to say that we would be topping the table or in second place if only Bendtner had been fit when RvP's out injured. To have both of them out while Theo, Eduardo and Vela couldn't find form was the key reason why we couldn't keep outscoring our opponents while conceding's almost a given these days.
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21/12/2009 17:46:00

I think Pool will still end up in 4th. Its still a long way off, and Villa have been lucky with injuries, while Spurs will ***** it up as usual. City with their new manager is a big question mark. A lot of things will go wrong with those clubs and it will get better for Pool IMO. At the top of the table, its amazing that ManU are still 2nd despite so many injuries, while we are still in 3rd. ManU has coped better with injuries although not for much longer if things dont improve with their defence. I'm sure Arsenal will fight for the Premiership although I dont think this squad has it in them to finish 1st.
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21/12/2009 19:55:00

Prits, question is who will 'Pool knock off, the way they are playing? Certainly, not City, with a new Manager and all that; Villa do not look like making the same error as last season and have brought in seasoned performers as Dunne. And, I share your amazement at ManU's position, however, it is a fact that their injury woes only really began about 3 weeks ago; ours are legendary and have made headlines as to the regularity and sheer number of affected players. ManU will need to start getting some players back before they get found out and teams start playing them with more belief.
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21/12/2009 21:48:00

I'm with prits here, if Villa get an injury to Agbonlahor they have nobody who can really play that role. One injury in centre mid and it's Reo Coker or Sidwell, I still don't think they're ready for 4th yet, though they're building towards it well. Spurs have lost to every team above them and also lost to Stoke and Wolves. Liverpool are very similar to where we were last season, they lost a seasoned performer and have had some big injuries whilst in the readaption process. I think they're bound to get better whilst Villa and Spurs are bound to go through sticky patches. Pool will still get 4th.
Little Dutch
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21/12/2009 22:10:00

I don't know if Liverpool are bound to get better. They just look so shocking right now that I don't see where it's coming from. I watch a lot of Liverpool with my brother-in-law, and they look so dispirited and low on confidence that unless they start kicking some serious arse soon they'll be lucky to make the Europa league. Last season they struggled because Gerrard and Torres only started a miserly 12 premiership games together, and they were both on song, this year even when they both take to the pitch they look crap. Gerrard is getting bitter, the worse things get the more he dives and kicks other players, Torres isn't a battler, the worse things get for him the more he moans, he gives up far too easily. Benitez has been making some of the most bizzare substituions I've ever seen. Gerrard and Torres are the main players for Liverpool, and if they are sh** then they are in big trouble.
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21/12/2009 23:04:00

Agreed, Pool look really bad right now, but they only need 2-3 good results consecutively and they will be back on track (much like Arsenal of last season). I just cant see the other teams being consistent enough. Remember, at the same time last year, no one outside of Arsenal (and plenty of gooners) could see how the team could finish in 4th.
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22/12/2009 14:38:00

Yeh but Arsenal weren't in the state Liverpool are in right now. We lost 6 games total last season, half way through Liverpool have already lost 7. On saying that, ManU have lost 4, Chelsea 3. It's a lot easier to lost a game this season and that's why it's all so close. It's hectic but we gotta stay strong and Wenger's a smart enough bloke to realise EVERY single game is crucial this season.
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23/12/2009 02:27:00

You can count Spurs out, wel bottle it. Its in our nature these days. I think were a better side than Villa and City (highlighted by our recent encounters) yet when its harder to blow it than win it we always cock it up (If we beat Wolves and Stoke at Home i.e Stone banker home wins not tricky away ties) wed be 2nd on 39points. And not even mentioning the Villa and Everton away ties where we really should have won. Yet we find ourselves in fifth. Villa would have ground out 1-0 victorys despite playing lumpball. We lack a winning mentality and thats why Liverpool WILL just pip us to 4th.
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23/12/2009 22:56:00

Dont rule yourself out huddersfieldyiddo! Villa fan here, and personally, i think it's going to be very tight from 2nd down to 6th with Villa, Tottenham, Arsenal, City and Man United all close. Liverpool on this form will do well to stave off relegation! I think unfortunately Chelsea are the strongest and will win the league. P.S we do play attractive football in some games, but where we're stronger than last year is that we're very tough to break down when not playing so well.
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24/12/2009 12:27:00


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