Arsenal just took a MASSIVE step towards winning the Prem. MASSIVE.


It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. On one hand, we finally defeated Man City. On the other, Spurs top the table courtesy of having scored more goals. What’s a Gooner to do? Between celebratidng the slaying of the City dragon and lamenting the rise of the cross-town rivals, it starts to feel like we’re caught between that proverbial Scylla and Charybdis. Why oh why couldn’t the Hatters have held on for an infamous result? Ah, well. Let’s get down to this week’s Rivals’ Roundup, shall we?

Tottenham (6W 2D 0L: 20 pts.)
At some point, we may have to confront the vague possibility that Postecoglou’s side are for real. It’s still early days, but Spurs are showing that there’s life in them after selling Harry Kane. They were fortunate to escape Kenilworth Road after Yves Bissouma’s histrionic dive reduced them to ten men, but that’s the way the cookie crumbles. At some point, Spurs have to ask themselves whether they’ll be using up all of their good luck in the first half of the season, though. Opponents have now seen three red cards in Spurs’ last four matches, and Spurs have found late winners a few times as well. That’s a jammy recipe for success, and, objectively speaking, it has to feel like there will be a coure correction sooner rather than later.

Arsenal (6W 2D 0L: 20 pts.)
After defeating Man U (an achievement that looks less-impressive by the week) and drawing at home to Tottenham (which looks more or less impressive by the week), Arsenal hosted the imperious quadruple winners. For most of the match, it looked as if we’d be fortunate to escape with a draw…and then, Martinelli struck. By which I mean he struck the ball off of Nathan Ake’s face and into the back of the net. In my post-match write-up, I talked up how Arteta out-thought Guardiola given the uncertainties that injures and suspensions played. This squad and its manager are still growing and maturing and expanding. A result like this one might not break Man City’s back, but it does add a few more straws. The confidence that this result engenders could carry us quite a long way.

Man City (6W 0D 2L: 18 pts.)
I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve. Shut up, Isoroku. Why are you always such a wet blanket? Jeez. More seriously, though, for as symbolic and as significant as it was for Arsenal to finally defeat Man City in the Prem, we have to know that they’ll hardly roll over. If anything, they’ll come back hungrier and angrier. Part of me had been wondering whether going undefeated would drive this quadruple-winning side to the pinnacles, but they’ve now lost two on the bounce. One has to suspect that they’ll circle the proverbial wagons. Rodri’s served his suspension out, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see them rattle off a 10- or 15-match unbeaten streak. They’re a sleeping giant, or at least a concussed one. They’ll be back…

Liverpool (5W 2D 1L: 17 pts.)
Any concerns that Liverpool would strike down upon with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy their season after last week’s fixture in which they best on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil (or at least imcompetent) men. Going into the AmEx stadium against an increasingly leaky Brighton side, one might have expected a furious, whirling dervish of Reds swarming over the Seagulls. One would have been mildy disappointed. While it’s true that Mo Salah’s brace might have won it for the visitors, Brighton showed that they aren’t downtrodden by their topsy-turvy start to the season—and Liverpool are still trying to find their way back to relevance.

As for the rest…
Only a few points separate Aston Villa, Brighton, West Ham, and Newcastle from the battle for a top-four spot, but it’s hard to feel like any of them will be capable of escaping the crabs-in-the-bucket situation they’re in. Aston Villa just went into the Molyneux and narrowly came away with a draw. Brighton, despite their draw at home to Liverpool, look shakey at best. West Ham and Newcastle shared a point, and each of them will have to contend with the rigours of continental commitments.

Yes, we’ll have to wallow in the muck and the filth. Man U celebrated a victory over Brentford with of the dignity and comportment you might expect from a club of their size evading by the skin of their collective teeth a loss to a club they hadn’t lost at home to since 1937. Heck, good on them. They’ve climbed into the top half of the table!

Now, we’re into the dregs…or are we? Chelsea sit 11th but have now won three in a row and might just be starting to find some confidence and momentum as a result. We go to Stamford Bridge after this international break for what looks like it could be a sterner test than it was just a few weeks ago. TIme will tell whether the confidence and momentum we’ve created will overwhelm Pochettino’s callow squad. There will be time for that fretting soon enough.

For now, let’s all bask and bathe in the glory that comes from bettering the Bald Behemoth. Who knows? Maybe that Man CIty monolith is starting to show signs of a deeper wobble after glutting itself over the last few seasons. Denied a chance at a golden Prem League trophy yet again, will lassitude and ambivalence set in? Wouldn’t it be something to see Man City succumb to a kind of existential ennui and just kind of…settle for a Europa League spot?

Average rating 4.3 / 5. Vote count: 29

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

6 thoughts on “Arsenal just took a MASSIVE step towards winning the Prem. MASSIVE.

  1. Palladio43

    Rule 1- Defeat every team below you on the table, especially those in bottom half
    Rule 2- Defeat, and hopefully, not draw with any team in upper half of table
    Rule 3- Draw and, hopefully, defeat, MC, Spurs, Reds, Blues, and, even MU
    If you adhere and fulfill those rules you should win the PL
    Addenda: Get another striker or use someone you have in that position; start someone other than Eddie

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      Havertz at striker starts to make a lot of sense, at least as an alternative to Jesus when we need some more size. Nketiah seems at his ceiling or close enough to it that major improvements/growth seem unlikely. Moving Havertz forward would also create chances for ESR to get back on the pitch at that #8 role…

  2. jw1

    Arteta wants to assert more control over the flow of play tactically. We may see the type of free-flowing football that was prevalent last season– but it won’t be as often. Due to our own tactics, as well as seeing low block defenses more frequently– thanks to the success we had last term.

    Those 3-1 and 4-2 eye candy matches we enjoyed, will now become 2-0 and 1-0 strangulations-of-our-opponent– so long as we tamp the gifts and errors to near-zero defensively.

    What we saw on Sunday (aside from the early heart-in-throat moments)– was how Arteta would have every game play out– distilled-down to it’s most basic, precursor components.

    1. Jon Shay Post author

      It was nerve-wracking in those early moments when it looked like Raya was doing his best to make us wistful for the “reliability” of Almunia, but we stuck to the gameplan effectively. Some might see that as a lack of flexibility, but to have abandoned the gameplan so early and on the fly could have been a disastrous overreaction – how to impart those changes to all eleven players without divulging anything to our opponents?

      The fact that we kept 49% possession against a side that typically averages more than 65% showed that Arteta’s desire to control (or at least have much more influence over) the flow of play. Aside from the confidence the result should surely inspire, we should come away knowing that we played as we set out to play, and this should inspire confidence as well.

      1. jw1

        Even that slight advantage in possession stat flatters City. The number I read (someplace) was 100 touches in Arsenal’s third– a low number for them. Accomplished by smothering their ability to create in midfield. The early card to Kovacic was still pivotal, as he had to be moved out of the deep-lying playmaker role– with Pep then deploying Bernardo Silva as a poor man’s Rodri.

        Rico Lewis and Kovacic as the advanced 8s were benign. Neither have the nous to provide adequate service for Haaland. Even Julian Alvarez seemed to be playing under a net.

        The game wasn’t meant for neutrals to enjoy. But for those of us with skin in the game– it was 96 minutes on the edge of a seat.

  3. A Simple Truth

    so let me get this straight, (1) you think the possession numbers had more to do with MA’s tactical nous then the fact that City’s midfield was greatly depleted, and (2) you actually think we spent 200+M to turn the clock back to a previous phase, when we deployed a much more sideways-dependent boring brand of football…no wonder MA has an inflated ego, as you blinders-wearing wet dreamers will find a way to shower him with flowers regardless of what’s on offer…as I stated earlier, I’m elated that we banked 3 points against this particular opponent, but there was nothing revelatory on offer yesterday, minus the unfamiliar result…I can only hope that the combination of a now healthy Marts and a “rested” Saka can reignite our stalling offence when we return from the break


Leave a Reply