Date:Monday December 21 2009
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.
Date:Monday December 21 2009
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