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Arsenal's 12-point March

It's back, after a layoff off of far too long Gunnerman's overtly optimistic prediction service is back to delight and befuddle by guessing how many points we will make in a given month based on an arbitrary analysis. Those of you that remember the original version will note that I was hit and miss, but when it was right, it was spectacular. So without further ado, here's my 12 point prediction. Let the ridicule commence...

Burnley (H) - seemingly not the threat they once were as Owen Coyle jumped ship to the Orcs, and Burnley don't have the most frightening away record. They are right in the middle of a relegation battle and I can see us ploughing through them assuming the team doesn't turn up expecting them to roll over while we score goals for fun. If we apply ourselves here properly, I can't see anything other than an Arsenal win.

Hull (A) - ah, good old Phil "You're getting tanned by the floodlights" Brown. With a shade of orange to rival David Dean Phil Browns 'Ull Citeh are in a constant state of flirting precariously with the danger zone during their difficult second season in the Premier League. Despite the fallacy of us apparently not being able to cut it oop norf, we've happily smashed our way through the northern lesser lights this season, and so I don't see any reason for that trend not to continue here.

West Ham (H) - London Derby's are always a tough proposition and with West Ham still not that far from relegation they may by this point be fighting to keep clear of the drop zone. We have a decent record against the hammers and I really don't think they have the squad to be able to match us at home. Of course, the nature of the tie means things may be more tempestuous than usual, but as with the above two sides they aren't at the bottom end of the league for no reason, I can't see past a home win.

Birmingham (A) - Now this is the tricky one. Alex McLeish has worked wonders up in Brum, they have a fantastic young keeper in Joe Hart, the side he has built is big, powerful, well organised and generally all the things that this Arsenal team doesn't particularly play well against. What I'm counting on here is that if we win the previous 3 games it will set us up well for this match, and the momentum and confidence gained can push us through to gain a narrow victory against a surprisingly impressive Birmingham side.

Of course, this is all based on my opinion and due to this season being brilliantly unpredictable at times, and this Arsenal sides predisposition towards making epic cock ups it is almost as likely we could end up losing all of these, resulting in a quite obscene amount of egg on my face. With that said, I sincerely believe those four games are winnable with the squad that we have, and if we have any chance whatsoever of sneaking away with the league we have to win these games.

If we make some improvements in terms of our mentality, organisation & defensive discipline before these games are played. We might just be in for a very happy March.

Niko, how's your balls? (please see forums for Niko's - probably tongue in cheek, but I don't care - assertion that he would tattoo Gordon Ramsey's face on to his scrotum should we win every league game until seasons end)

Cheers

GM




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The Journalist

Writer: Gunnerman Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday February 19 2010

Time: 6:34PM

Your Comments

There is no reason we shouldn't win them all. Of course there was no logical reason for Fabianski to fumble into his own net the other night either. Challenging for the title we should really be winning all these games, but football can be unpredictable so I'll guess we'll get ten points out of these games.
Rocky7
I agree with you GM in general. Just can't help but be 100% aware that your predictions were based on a few assumptions: (1) "assuming the team doesn't turn up expecting them to roll over while we score goals for fun" - hmmm where have I heard this before? (2) "we've happily smashed our way through the northern lesser lights this season, and so I don't see any reason for that trend not to continue here" - Burnley away anyone? (3) "I really don't think they have the squad to be able to match us at home. Of course, the nature of the tie means things may be more tempestuous than usual, but as with the above two sides they aren't at the bottom end of the league for no reason" - this is exactly where complacency comes in to our young team's heads, which have no capacity of learning any lesson whatsoever. (4) "What I'm counting on here is that if we win the previous 3 games it will set us up well for this match, and the momentum and confidence gained can push us through..." Erm, what did we do after a well fought win against Liverpool? I'd also like to add one more assumption: (5) We don't lose more players through injury. Ouch. But overall GM, I do echo your sentiment otherwise. ;)
GoonerLou
1st of all, very good write-up GM. The home games shouldn't be a problem and the trip to Hull should see us with another 3 points but the away game at Birmingham is going to be a big match. We all know what happened the last time we played here, presumably Eduardo will have recovered from the hamstring injury to start in this match. The players need to give the same amount of effort they gave against Liverpool and Chelsea otherwise the best we'll get is a draw. Birmingham will be very difficuly to break down and we will need to be weary from corners and free kicks. I don't see them breaking against us in the counter-attack and throwing bodies foward so we can play high line and get down their flanks. But our crossing is just woeful ( I think the problem is that the two full backs put more emphasis on the pace of the cross rather than the accuracy. Earlier in the season Sagna mastered the art of crossing, but lost his way with the rotation of short CF's. We won't win all the remaining games, if we did I'm pretty sure the league would be ours. Oddly enough Gordon Ramseys face looks like a scrotum.
gronedrone
I'm just praying for three points against Sunderland right now. I'll worry about March later. Good write up though.
gunnerkid107
talking of Ramsey wht hashappen to the lad. I notice onthe BBC line up he's not mentioned and I cant seem to find any reference to him being injured any idea?
alwaysgunner
The biggest leap of faith was "If we make some improvements in terms of our mentality, organisation & defensive discipline before these games are played". I just dont see how that can be gained in the short term, when this team has not managed to improve that in the past 2 seasons. However, I do see the team can gain 9 pts, with a loss to Brum away. Good write up, GM.
prits
I agree with you, Gronedrone, on the apparent emphasis on pace, in the crosses of our FBs and the possible reason for this development. I feel things should get better with NB52 returning to the line up. Gunnerman, other than the game against WHU (a likely draw), I have enough faith to believe all the listed games are winnable. The lads must toughen up and should; it is in their hands to give it a shot and try not to look at how Man U and Chelsea are doing (those 2 will take some stopping, now, especially the Mancs). Anyway, I guess it has to be "one game at a time", beginning with Sunderland (H). That should be one to watch, after the mid week disppointment.
Naijagunner
Spoke too soon about ManU there, didn't I? Now, it's Chelsea/Wolves, next. C'mon, you Wolves!
Naijagunner
the biggest game in March is the home leg vs Porto. it's massive and a must win. on today's evidence, i'm getting scared about our chances. even if Gallas is back, we will find it tough to keep a clean sheet. and with Diaby out now, God knows whats gonna happen..
luckys_10
On paper the only one that should be a struggle is Birmingham, but games against West Ham always seem to be tougher for us than they should be.
Ozi Gooner
Appreciated that a lot of this is based on assumption, hence the disclaimers at the top and bottom of the piece :-) however, I reckon 12 points is doable, although 10 points also wouldn't be too bad a return from these fixtures, and should see us well involved in April.

I guess the crux of my point is that despite what pundits would have you believe, we do have a real shot at sneaking away with the league this year, and we've a fantastic opportunity considering our run in. No games are easy, but you gotta say that it's favourable.
Gunnerman
Agreed it is conjecture, but if we were to get 12 points in March, I see us being 1 point above ManU and just 3 points behind Chelsea. Such a position will put immense pressure on those two and get the pundits reviewing their earlier positions. The anticipation of the fans will then push us the rest of the way. This year's title is within reach, even though defeats against the present top 2 will suggest it will be undeserved.
Naijagunner
Agreed bar you last point - I tend to take the opposite view, we would have beaten most of the rest of the league to win against the odds. Besides, united didn't have a good record against the rest of the big four last year, it's the results during the rest of the season that made them champions. With enough hard graft we can do the same thing.
Gunnerman
This is all very nice, but the trip to Stoke could well be harder than all of these fixtures, and if we don't get a good result there, the picture will change dramatically.
ArsenalRob
A win against Burnley & Hull should be expected, Spammers and Brum on the other hand, I can see a possible 2 points dropped at one of those two and the sanctity of my sac is intact. If not then stoke, citeh or the scum we'll def draw one of those games, no worries!
nikolaijns
Gunnerman, just playing the devil's advocate since the pundits and papers seem to always pour cold water on every good news about Arsenal, or explain our few successes away. In any case, given the choice to lose to the top teams and still have the title, I will take the title, everytime.
Naijagunner
We MUST beat Stoke on saturday for our March schedule to matter. This is one of our ' dodgy ' remainiong fixtures, along with Spuds away. 3 points at the Britannia are essential if we are to have a proper crack at the title.
CockneyRich1
CockneyRich1, you're absolutely right. Three points is a must on Saturday and all I can think about is Rory Delap...
Sir Henry
Beating Stoke would be a fantastic catalyst to power through the March schedule. They are rooted firmly in mid table, so their style of play is definitely working for them. As long as we can stay defensively focused to rebuff the long balls and throws we'll be fine. A slip in concentration would be diastrous.

It would also be nice to just break the hoodoo as it were and destroy Stoke away, hopefully the lads haven't got some sort of mental block, and we can go there and make Tony Pullis ***** and moan after the game. City play Chelsea, which could potentially help us if we can get a win.
Gunnerman
We will get that win. Stoke play midweek (unfortunately- thinking Chelsea- so do City) against City. We shall be fresh with players returning. There should be no excuses! As for Delap's throws, Bendtner or Diaby should be instructed to stand in front of him whenever he wants to take those throws. This will affect the trajectory and pace of the throws, thus giving the keeper more time to make a decision to come for it; Fabiansky will be plucking those throws off the heads all night long, but not so for Almunia who tends to be too cautious. All we need do is to score first and it could be a sack full.
Naijagunner
He certainly goes for them Naijagunner, which is a start, but I wouldn't exactly be shocked if he missed/fumbled a couple.
ArsenalRob
 

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