At half-time last night there was a clear change of tone in the SheWore WhatsApp group.
We have all remained level headed over the first half of the season. Rarely talking about the title. Just happy to enjoy the ride. At no point have we considered ourselves favourites, or discussing whether we could actually do it.
2-nil to Spurs at half time against Manchester City and spirit had changed. We began to date to dream.
8 minutes into the second half and those dreams were put on hold as City fired back twice in 2 minutes to draw level.
10 minutes after Erling Haaland’s equaliser and Riyad Mahrez gave City the lead. And just like that the conversation stopped.
But were we right to dare dream, even fleetingly?
None of us wanted Spurs to win. But we all wanted City to lose.
In very basic terms, every point Man City do not get is a point we do not need to get. Yes, I’m Captain Obvious.
Had City lost, the maximum points they could get this season would be 96. And they would need to win all remaining 19 games for the to happen. Very unlikely.
We then all put in how many points Arsenal would need to get the title. Consensus was 85-87. Once City took the lead we agreed it would probably be 90.
90 would be the same amount of points the invincibles got. It was also the only time we have hit 90 since 3 points for a win came into place in 1981. We have also only got 85 points or more twice – 2002 & 2004. And over 80 points 5 times – including 1991 when we played 42 games
So even the 85-87 points was a huge task. And as I write this I wonder why we begin to dare to dream.
But then we are in incredible form this season. We are on course to get 99 points. We won’t get that many.
47 points after 18 games. We can be proud of that.
To reach that magic 90, we need another 43 points from the remaining 20 games. That’s 15 wins, 3 draws and 2 defeats. A very tough task considering we have Manchester City (H&A), Manchester United (H), Newcastle (A), Liverpool (A) and Chelsea (H). 6 very tough games.
We could afford to lose 3 of them, draw 3 and win just one as long as we won every other game we played. Unlikely.
But at 2-nil down is why we started to dream.
That would have meant we needed just 40 points. 13 wins and a draw.
Suddenly, 13 wins from 20 does not seem so tough. But it is.
Manchester City also have tough games to play. And this seems to have been forgotten about.
Whilst everyone was talking about our tough January, very little was said about City’s.
They had trips to Chelsea and Manchester United to content with, and hosted Tottenham. Got 6 from 9 from them.
They still have to play Tottenham (A), Arsenal (A), Newcastle, Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle (all home). Tough run. But ours is a tad harder.
With City claiming all 3 points, the dreams have gone back in the drawer. We are back to not speaking about the title. The brief slip will not happen again.
Back to taking it one game at a time. Win the one in front of us. And next up that is Manchester United at the Emirates.
Even if we get 3 points, we will not yet dream again.
And as a final thought, the defeat for Spurs leaves us 14 points above Tottenham with 2 games in hand.
Last night was one step closer to our dream of returning to the Champions League…