So, what has happened since my last post? Well not much really, except that from being touted to be out of the title race since the home defeat to United, now Arsenal are back in with a shout, should they proceed to beat Chelsea at Stamford Bridge this Sunday. Normally six-pointers are reserved for those fighting to remain in the league but this time around it applies to the Chelsea Arsenal game.
We are now exactly six points off of Chelsea and if last season’s encounter is any indication, there’s no reason why can’t move to within three points of the top. The results this past few days shows that teams like Chelsea and even United for that matter, can continue to drop points again lesser teams. They say that results against your major rivals are the ones that determines where the trophy ends up, fortunately this is not the case last season and results this season have mirrored that.
The Premier League has 20 teams. If a team manages to win all their games in a season, that’s 114 points. Now, there’s no need to kid ourselves into believing that can happen either to us or any other team for that matter. Taking out the big 4 will mean that against the other 16 teams, there’s a maximum of 96 points left to be gained. In the history of the Premier League, Chelsea has garnered the highest number of points in a single season when they won the league in 04/05 with 95 points. That year they lost only one game and drawn 8.
Let’s first take a look at Chelsea’s results this season. They’ve won 17 matches, drawn 4 and lost 3 already, with just 24 games played. The draws were against Everton (H), West Ham (A), Birmingham (A) and Hull (A). Their defeats came against Villa (A), Man City (A) and Wigan (A). Meanwhile United have won 17 matches, drawn 2 and lost 5 already with the same number of games played. Their draws were against Sunderland (H) and Birmingham (A). They lost against the likes of Burnley (A), Liverpool (A), Chelsea (A), Fulham (A) and Villa (H).
Comparing that to Arsenal who also have played the same amount of games and are sitting in the third position. We’ve won 15 matches, drawn 4 and lost 5 already. Our draws came against West Ham (A), Burnley (A), Everton (H) and Villa (A). The losses were against United (A), Man City (A), Sunderland (A), Chelsea (H) and United (H).
Now, let’s analyse further. In contrast to United’s results in which they have dropped points and not considering those games which Arsenal have not played, we gained 8 of the points which United have dropped. Balancing out the 2 defeats to United and we are still at an advantage of 2 points. Should we beat Sunderland at home and Birmingham away, we could easily eat into the 4 points that they currently hold ahead of us.
The same cannot be said of Chelsea if we consider things the same way. We’ve only have the upper hand of 1 point courtesy of the draw at Villa Park. There are quite a few away games which we need to better Chelsea’s result to reduce the gap. That is at Birmingham, Hull and Wigan. Even with top scorer, Drogba in the squad, Chelsea have dropped a considerable amount of points against teams in the lower half. Surprisingly, Arsenal are the opposite of that with points generally donated to the top 6 sides.
Which is why is it so important that we do not lose further ground at Stamford Bridge this Sunday. Pride was dented with the defeat last Sunday. We may have man for man better technical players compared to United but our players could learn a little from that game, that to win at the highest level, first comes the will to win and the ability will do the rest.