Our rivals squeak by; we waltz. Guess who's written off?

Richard Jolly, writing for ESPN after Liverpool eked out a victory over Swansea, had this to say about the title-chase:

[Liverpool’s] is an unusual title challenge, but it is a title challenge nonetheless. Liverpool have momentum and match-winners, confidence and the invaluable asset of being the underdog when the burden of being favourites lies on the shoulders of Chelsea and Manchester City.

Nowhere does he go on to mention the second-place team, the team that has until recently held onto first place for two-thirds of the season (18 of 27 weeks, plus five other weeks in second place). To an extent, I get it. On one hand, Man City and Chelsea have each won a Prem championship recently—Chelsea in 2010 and City in 2012—and finished second the year following, while we cling to a 2004 championship almost like a toddler to his comforter. On the other hand, we have Man City (again) and Liverpool scoring goals as if it’s a pub league. Lost somewhere in the shuffle is boring, old Arsenal.

Despite having roundly thumped Sunderland, the story of the week focuses on how Chelsea (a dodgy Ramires dive from drawing with Everton), Man City (scorers of one goal in three matches), and Liverpool (who are conceding almost as fast as they’re scoring) are vying for the championship. What gives? After all, of the four of us, who’s been most wasteful in the new year? We’ve drawn at home with Man U, drawn away to Southampton, and lost away to Liverpool, it’s true, but contrast that against our rivals (opponents’ table position at time of match)

  • Chelsea: away-draw with West Brom (18th), home-draw with West Ham (18th).
  • Man City: away-draw with Norwich (15th), home-loss to Chelsea (1st)
  • Liverpool: away draw with West Brom (15th), home-draw with Aston Villa (11th), away-loss to Chelsea (3rd).
The race has tightened, certainly, but it’s hard to see that we’ve been any more wasteful than anyone else vying for the championship. So what gives? Is it that we’re the only ones to have been trounced (and twice, at that)? Is there a conspiracy against us? Do we lack something that others possess?
With apologies to Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth I, I say, to my fellow Gooners, we have been persuaded by some who are skeptical of our credentials to take heed how we commit ourselves to this title-chase, for fear of failure, but I assure that I do not desire to live to distrust my faithful and loving Gunners. Let tyrants like Mourino fear, I have always believed that I have placed my chiefest strength and safeguard in the loyal hearts and good skill of these players, and I am therefore come amongst you, as you see, at this time, not for my own recreation and disport, but being resolved, in the midst and heat of the battle, to chant and cheer amongst you all, to lay down for my squad and my Arsenal and my Gooners, my honour and my blood, even in the dust. I know I have the body but of a weak and distant American, but I have the heart and stomach of a Gooner and think foul scorn on Stamford Bridge or Etihad or Anfield or any other team of Europe should dare to invade the borders of this realm; to which, rather any dishonour shall grow by me, I myself will take up arms.

Let Man City and Liverpool try to outscore everyone in sloppy orgies of goals. Where will they be when the goals dry up? The losses and draws will come, mark my words. Let Chelsea try to stupefy opponents with boring, boring footballing. To them too will losses and draws will. Let the media write us off and talk us down. It’ll be all the more satisfying when we emerge, end of the season, top of the table.

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11 thoughts on “Our rivals squeak by; we waltz. Guess who's written off?

  1. Anonymous

    Oh, so you managed to beat a destined for relegation Sunderland at home by 4-1. In no small part courtesy of two generous assists from the awayteam to set you up nicely. How impressive. Good for you lot to score more than 2 for a change. Nah, the World could see your performances agains Liverpool, Man U and Bayern and take it from there. Keep up the good moaning.

  2. Anonymous

    Beat a team who took three points of both man city and Everton this season and pushed Chelsea close… A lot of people fail to understand that arsenal are taking points of teams that man city and Chelsea are not

  3. Anonymous

    If Arsenal can drop points against the big teams only and win all remaining matches then they can win the EPL. After all how many of the big teams are there that they haven't played against yet? winning against big teams and losing to so called smaller teams won't win no one the EPL.

  4. Anonymous

    Take it easy an each other, will you? Please keep in mind my policy on comments–no profanity, for example. I'll have to delete one or two for breaking that. Sorry to be a stick in the mud.

  5. Anonymous

    You don't need to score 4 or 5 goals a game to get 3 points unless you have a weak defense that lets in 2 goals game on avarage like Liverpool or Man City.

  6. Anonymous

    Once again, Jon, you've somehow attracted the attention of non-Gooners who seem more than happy to try to let you have it. Whether this comes from spite at being below us on the table or fear that they soon end up there is anyone's guess. In the first case, there's not much you can say other than tough muffins. In the second, it's a sign of how fragile their egos are that they bother to chime in at all.

  7. Anonymous

    Plus these interlopers have no logic, as aptly highlighted by fellow gunners above, so YAWN to the doubters and trolls you really are a bunch of dullards!!!!


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