Tag Archives: Manchester United

Top 4 “wide open” for Tottenham, Arsenal, Manchester United & Chelsea

Every weekend of football between now and the end of the season is going to be a “big weekend” such is the current tightness at the top of the Premier League.

Liverpool and Manchester City chasing for the title aside, there is a battle for top 4 which is red hot.

A few weeks ago it was 3 teams fighting for 2 places. At one point Arsenal moved from 5th to 4th, back to 5th, and then into 6th, without even playing a game.

The wheels falling off Tottenham has since dragged them into a 4 horse race for the 2 remaining places in the top 4 alongside Arsenal, Chelsea and Manchester United.

4 points separate Tottenham in 3rd and Chelsea in 6th.

One win would be enough for a side to make a team consider themselves favourites for the top 4, one defeat and they would feel out of it.

We saw this last week when Chelsea went to Everton, playing what was effectively their game in hand on the 3 teams above them.

A win would have put them into 5th place, level on points with Arsenal and just a single point behind Tottenham. They lost 2-0 and now sit 3 points and a goal difference of 7 worse off behind Arsenal in 4th.

it is so close that goal difference could be the deciding factor.

As it stands Tottenham have the greatest goal difference with 25. Arsenal are 1 behind on 24 (ironic considering they are also 1 point behind). Manchester United with 18 and Chelsea 17. This effectively gives Arsenal and Tottenham one more point than their rivals – although with 8 games still to go things can change very quickly.

So this weekend is a huge one for all involved, and especially for Arsenal.

Arsenal play Monday night, by which time Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham would have played.

Whilst Chelsea (Cardiff Away) and Manchester United (Watford Home) have relatively easy fixtures that they should win, Tottenham travel to Liverpool where they will look to halt a 4 game winless run. chances are they will lose.

This will leave Arsenal facing Newcastle at home on Monday night and a chance to go 3rd.

Home games are going to be important, and Arsenal have just 3 left starting with Newcastle on Monday. To stand a chance finishing top 4, Arsenal need to win 3 from 3.

After Newcastle, 5 of the remaining 7 games are away, Arsenal visiting Leicester City, Wolves, Everton, Watford and Burnley. These are not easy fixtures and Arsenal will do well to get 2 wins from the 5 games.

75 points should be enough to secure Arsenal a top 4 place.

If Arsenal win all 3 home games and twice on the road, they will reach that 75 point tally.

If results go as expected this weekend, there will be 3 points between 3rd and 6th.

After Newcastle, Arsenal will have to sit and watch as Manchester United, Chelsea and Tottenham play mid week.

They could quite realistically find themselves in 3rd, 4th, 5th & 6th over the course of the mid-week games.

This weekend is just another big weekend in a long wrong of big weekend.

Just 8 to go, sit tight and try and enjoy the ride…

Keenos

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Brazilian “wonderkid” signing sends negative message to Arsenal Academy

Arsenal ‘launch £5m offer’ for wonderkid Gabriel Martinelli after Man Utd trial is the headline news this morning in many of the click bait media outlets.

I for one do not agree with us targeting the Brazilian teenager.

Gabriel Martinelli is a 17-year-old Brazilian forward who reportedly had a trial with Manchester United 2 years ago. In June he will gain his Italian citizenship meaning that a work permit will not be a problem.

He has reportedly been courted by a whole host of clubs in South America and Europe. The likes of Barcelona, Manchester United and Crystal Palace have been monitoring him, with Arsenal leading the pack.

I do not want to see Arsenal sign the Brazilian teenager.

At the moment we have a lot of exciting young talent in the academy. It is in good health.

Eddie Nketiah deserves his chance next season to replace Danny Welbeck, backing up Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette.

Another who also deserves his chance next season is Reiss Nelson who has developed well in Germany. I expect both Nketiah and Nelson to be part of Arsenal’s first team squad next season, and regularly take a place on the bench.

Xavier Amaechi is barely 18-years-old. Some have claimed that he is the quickest player at the club and he potentially has a big future. A year younger is Bukayo Saka.

Would it be right to sign Martinelli instead of continuing these two’s development?

Martinelli can also play up top.

In Dubai, Tyreece John-Jules announced himself. Another 18-year-old, it seems a poitnless task to sign someone ahead of him before he has even had his chance.

Finally we have Folarin Balogun, who recently signed his first professional contract with he club.

Another who is just 17-years-old, there is a lot of excitement surrounding him.

With Amaechi, Saka, John-Jules & Balogun all at the club, all 18-years-old or younger, all local lads who have been at the club since children, it is illogical to sign a Brazilian who will then come in and compete with them.

And i have not even mentioned Joe Willock or Emile Smith Rowe yet…

I would rather give the young, local lads a chance.

If the club considered Martinelli as already better than Nketiah and Nelson, I would understand it more. He would be coming in to the 1st squad, able to contribute straight away.

A bit like Matteo Guendouzi last season, it did not matter that he came in ahead of Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Ben Sheaf or Joe Willock, he was ready for first team action and they were not.

I very much doubt that Martinelli is ready for the 1st team. As it stands, he is a YouTube player – with most fans having never seen him play and just getting excited by the “Welcome to Arsenal” videos of him doing a few step overs.

If the local lads were not good enough, I would understand us buying someone ahead of him – like what happened a lot during the 00s. Likewise if he was a special talent – like Cesc Fabregas or Guendouzi – he would be joining up with the first team squad rather than the academy.

If Arsenal do sign him and he joins the academy, it will send out a poor message to youngsters and their families. “Do not join Arsenal as when you reach 17 they will sign someone from abroad to replace you.”

Let’s give the local lads a chance. Give Saka, Amaechi, John-Jules, Balogun tne opportunity to continue getting time in the U23’s and League Cup games next signing.

Signing Martinelli is a poor move.

Keenos

David Ospina, New Tottenham Stadium & Race for Top 4

David Ospina

Over the weekend on loan goal keeper David Ospina suffered a horrific head injury whilst playing for Napoli.

Arsenal already have one goal keeper that plays in a protective cap, it is not yet unclear whether Ospina will have to follow the lead of Petr Cech.

I am actually surprised this kind of injury does not happen more often to goal keepers.

When you consider how often they do dive at the feet of opponents, putting their body on the line, serious injuries are irregular.

Irregular enough not to make any changes; however there is an argument to be made the goal keepers should all have to wear protective headwear. I do not think it will come in now, but it might be something that happens in the future.

Hope Ospina recovers well and Napoli continue with their plan to sign him permanently.

New Tottenham Stadium

Nearly a year late, Tottenham have finally announced when the first game in their new stadium is.

I feel it is a disgrace that the Premier League are allowing them to play games at the new ground this season, meaning that they would have had 16 away fixtures at Wembley and 3 at the new ground.

Hopefully they suffer from the new stadium slump and end up 6th.

It is also laughable that they have been praised for “freezing ticket prices as a thank you for their fans loyalty”.

The pricing structure for the new ground has already caused anger from Spurs fans; who feel they have been lied to and priced out of games. The cheap tickets are so minimal that they are not worth mentioning and fans are paying up to 33% more for a similar ticket in the old ground.

Is it really something to celebrate that they are freezing ticket prices on tickets that would have been used 3 times this season? Is it really something to celebrate that the side who have the highest ticket prices in the country for an unopened stadium are freezing ticket prices?

I guess when you have so little to celebrate in your recent history, you end up celebrating things like “the most expensively build stadium in English football history.”

And I will not comment about Tottenham spending years petitioning TFL and the London Mayor to get the name of White Hart Lane station named. They so desperately want to be The Arsenal…

Race for Top 4

Last week I blogged that Arsenal would need 75 points to finish in the top 4. A few people replied that we would need closer to 80; ignoring the historic fact that only once has a team reached 75 points and not made the top 4.

They seemed to ignore that Chelsea and Manchester United are not the title winning teams of the past. They have lost games, and will lose more games prior to the end of the season.

This was shown in the defeat Chelsea suffered at the hands of Everton.

Manchester United to win 7 of the last 8 games is an unreasonable expectation. Especially when they are still to face Manchester United and Chelsea.

With Chelsea’s defeat to Everton, it leaves Manchester United as incumbents of 5th place. They are on 58 points. For them to reach 75 they would need 17 points from the last 8 games.

That would be 6 wins or 5 wins and 2 draws. Taking into account the two aforementioned big games at home, as well as having to face Wolves and Everton away, 5 wins will be a tough task.

At the weekend Manchester United lost away to Wolves in the FA Cup. This highlights why Arsenal should not take needing 15 points from the last 8 games lightly.

We still have to travel to Everton, Wolves, Watford, Burnley, and Leicester. All mid table teams where 3 points will not be a given.

Arsenal need to win their remaining 3 home games – which will bank 9 points. I would then hope we can get 2 wins from those 5 away games, but it will not be easy.

The next round of games could be a big one for Arsenal; as Tottenham travel to Liverpool and Arsenal are at home to Newcastle.

This could see Arsenal move above Tottenham and in pole position to grab one of the 2 remaining Champions League spots.

A later sees Wolves host Manchester United (again). If Man U lose, they are facing being 2 points behind Arsenal having played a game more. At that stage they will have 5 games to go, and would need to win 4 out of 5 to challenge that 75 point mark. and still have Chelsea and Manchester City to play.

Plenty of twists and turns to come I am sure of it.

Keenos