Arsenal=bottlers. How will the top four turn out?


Now that it’s been proven once and for all through this space-time continuum and throughout any multiverses, wormholes, and parallel dimensions that Arsenal will absolutely, positively not win the Prem this year, we really must attend to sorting out just how many clubs will overtake them between now and the end of the merry month of May. We’re through the looking-glass here, people.

1. Arsenal (23W 5D 3L: 74 pts.)
Hang it all. We’re done. We were only ever pretenders to the throne this whole time. Arteta’s a fraud. Saka’s a flat-track, one-trick pony. Jesus doesn’t score enough. And on and on. It’s true that squandering two-goal leads twice in seven days (?) is hardly the habit of champions, but rumours of our demise are greatly exaggerated. We still controll [cough] our destiny. All we have to do is win six times and avoid defeat at the Etihad. Without Saliba. With Holding. Against Haaland. Again, I cough. I’m not quite ready to fall back on the “no one expected us to sit atop the Prem all season long” defense just yet, but by any objective measure, this season has surpassed any sane expectation. Having said that, we still have a chance, however slender, to do something special.

2. Man City (22W 4D 4L: 70 pts.)
They’re like some sort of non-giving up, school….guy. Okay. So Bart missed a chance at “invincible principal”, but he was under duress at the time. Man City continue that relentless, remorseless pursuit of a fifth Prem championship in six years. It’s not often that a five-time champion adds a goal-scorer who’s setting single-season goal-scoring records like it’s going out of style and fail to win the league, but Man City still have a slim chance at it. They somehow found a way to put three past Leicester to heap pressure on the only club above them, and, to be honest, we have to hope that they’ll turn the eye of Sauron away from the Prem and towards the Champions League, dropping domestic points along the way.

3. Man United (18W 5D 7L: 59 pts.)
Clearly, Man U have had a better season than Arsenal. After all, they’ve on the Carabao Cup. What more is left to be said? Scoffing aside, they do still trudge forward in the FA Cup and Europa League, although the latter hangs a by a thread. These Mancs are now in full-thrall of the annual paradox of hoping to achieve European glory without dropping domestic points whilst also hoping that domestic rivals puruse European glory while dropping domestic points. Truth be told, the door on winning the Prem is all but shut. Bad news? That path to domestic glory is closing, given that they scored all four goals in a 2-2 draw with Sevilla and go to Spain without the injured Lisandro Martinez and Raphael Varane or the suspended Bruno Fernandes. Crashing out might just be their best path forward in the Prem, to be honest.

4. Newcastle (15W 11D 4L: 56 pts.)
Well, well, well. If the bloom isn’t off the rose. Having finally found a winning formula (hint: it consists largely of scoring more goals than your opponent rather than simply keeping a clean sheet), Saudi Arabia’s minions learned the hard way that this same winning formula applies in the opposite direction as the increasingly impressive Villans (more on them in a minute) put three past the previously impregnable Pope and his protectors. It appears to be damage-control time here, as Toon vie with Man U to finish third, but they also have to keep an eye on the increasingly forlorn Tottenham if they want to stay in the top four. Next year, of course, we can expect Newcastle to reload and upgrade in ways that will have absolutely no ramifications on Middle East politics.

5. Tottenham (16W 5D 10L: 53 pts.)
Scoring dramatic, stoppage-time goals against Bournemouth isn’t for everyone. Conceding dramatic, stoppage-time goals against Bournemouth? That’s pure Tottenham. As we’ve discussed here, Tottenham face years in the wilderness if they fail to secure a European spot for next season. How will they finance stadium debt, attract a quality manager, and overhaul an entire squad? Daniel Levy makes late-stage Wenger seem like a drunken sailor when it comes to spending. With their season circling the drain like molten toothpaste, they may have to sell Kane, Son, or both—but whom could they convince to join what feels more and more like a sinking ship?

6. Aston Villa (15W 5D 11L: 50 pts.)
Speaking of invincible principals, Unai Emery has remade Aston Villa into a remarkable outfit. They’re one of the hottest clubs on form over the last month or more and have a fairly manageable run-in with trips to Old Trafford and Anfield to deal with. It would just a bit ironic to see the former Arsenal manager return to the Prem and, with Emi Martinez between the sticks, deny Tottenham the European spot the imporance of which I just described moments ago. Would it earn Emery Gooner status? Application: pending. Villa still have a sense of a squad to be raided rather than improved over the summer…for now. Qualifying for Europa League action, given Emery’s record? Hmm…

That’s where we’re stopping, not because Brighton don’t deserve to be inclued but because our own progress has redefined “rival”. When I first started this series, we were perenially on the outside looking in, squabbling with Tottenham for a top-four finish. Those days are (we hope) gone, at least for now. Brighton do have a legiitimate chance at overtaking Villa and maybe even Tottenham, sitting on 49 points with two games in hand over both. Back to us: no one ever promised us a Prem title. We’ll have to earn it the hard way against one of history’s deepest, most-expensive squads. To fall short isn’t bottling. It’s fighting valiantly, courageously, doggedly. It’s too soon to say we’ll fall short. ‘Til next time…

Average rating 4.4 / 5. Vote count: 17

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

1 thought on “Arsenal=bottlers. How will the top four turn out?

  1. Thom Mazurek

    I always look forward to these. Good insights, good bantz, love the Simpsons references!


Leave a Reply