Tag Archives: Tottenham

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

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Arsenal target 15 points from 8 games for top 4 finish

My Arsenal v Manchester United preview spoke about how the result could make or break our challenge for a top 4 place.

The 2-0 victory leaves it very much in Arsenal’s hands to finish top 4.

Prior to the weekend, very few would have thought that Tottenham would have lost to Southampton and Chelsea would have got just 1 point at home to Wolves. But that is what happened.

Prior to the weekend, Chelsea’s game in hand made me fearful. A win would put them 2 points ahead of Arsenal.

Had Arsenal then lost yesterday against Manchester United, it would have left top 4 out of our hands. We would have needed Manchester United to drop 4 more points & Chelsea to drop 3 more points than us in the last 8 games. It would have been an uphill struggle.

But we won, Manchester United lost and Chelsea drew. Also Tottenham lost to Southampton which drags them back into it.

Instead of it being 3 teams fighting for 1 spot and Arsenal being the bottom of those 3, it is now 4 teams fighting for 2 spots and Arsenal have to be favourites.

Even if Chelsea win their game in hand, Arsenal are still 4th. There would be just 3 points covering 3rd to 6th.

The wheels are coming off Tottenham.

Just over 2 weeks ago they were 10 points ahead of Arsenal. They could fall out of the top 4 next weekend if they fail to get a result away to Liverpool.

They are without a win in 4 games, and their only point came courtesy of a 90th minute missed Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang penalty.

With games against Liverpool and Manchester City to come and tough home games against West Ham, Everton & Crystal Palace to come, it is hard to see Tottenham getting more than 15 points. That would leave them on 76.

Manchester United are still to face Manchester City and Chelsea at home.

They were on a great run under Ole without really playing a top team. Like Arsenal’s 22 game unbeaten run, it will be interesting to see how they respond. Like Tottenham, they will probably not be too far from the 76 point mark.

Chelsea have the trickiest of run ins, although they do have a game in hand.

They will do well to get points from trips to Manchester United and Liverpool, and also have tricky trips to Leicester and Everton.

Their draw at home to Wolves shows how fragile they are. I think they will struggle to make the 75 point mark.

So that will make it around 75-76 points to finish in the top 4.

Only once in the history of the Premier League has a team amassed 75 points and not made the top 4 – Arsenal in 2016/17.

To put that into perspective, Arsenal finished 2nd the season before with just 71 points.

Arsenal need 15-16 points to finish top 4.

My feeling is 76 will be enough for 4th. Anything above will be enough for 3rd.

The issue Arsenal face is we only have 3 home games left – Newcastle, Crystal Palace & Brighton. We need 9 points from those 9 games.

We have dropped just 7 points at home in the league this season – 5 of which were to Liverpool and Manchester City. It is not unreasonable to expect Arsenal to win all 3 of those games.

It is the 5 away games that will be key.

Arsenal are 9th in the Premier League away table with just 5 wins from 14 games. Although it has to be taken into account that 5 of the 14 away games were against sides in the top 6.

If you take games against the other top sides out of it, our away form reads a lot more favourable:

P 9 W 5 D 2 L 2 Pts 17

If we mimic this form in the 5 remaining away games we should get 9 points. If we add the 9 points from 3 home wins, that would leave us with 78 points in total.

From those 5 games, even if we end with 2 wins and 1 draw, that takes us to 76 points as long as we win those home games.

Ultimately it is winning those home games that is important. Do that and top 4 is ours. Maybe even 3rd.

Keenos

Study finds Arsenal have “cheapest tickets in Premier League”

I hate the BBC’s Price of Football.

it does not give a fair reflection of the actual price of football, and is often used by lazy journalists to bash Arsenal for season ticket prices.

My biggest gripe is that it ignores that Arsenal fans get 26 matches for their season ticket cost, whilst every other Premier League club get just 19. That is 35% more games. It is unfair to compare them.

You would not expect Arsenal to have equal season ticket prices to Tottenham, Chelsea or Liverpool when they get 35% more games.

When you break it down per game, Arsenal cheapest season ticket is actually cheaper than those previously 2 mentioned clubs.

What is also ignored is that you can pay just £26 for tickets to Arsenal games.

A Fulham fan recently did a study on ticket prices.

They picked “behind the goal” tickets and looked into the cheapest and most expensive. A seat behind the goal for Category C games at Arsenal is the cheapest ticket in the Premier League.

At £26, Arsenal’s cheapest ticket behind the goal is half the price of one for Chelsea. It is something that the media would not talk about as it would not get the hits, clicks and advertising revenue.

I have always been a fan of the way Arsenal categorise games.

The lesser games are Cat C, providing a cheap opportunity for people to go to games. The big games are Cat A.

It suits those who are happy to go to any game just to watch The Arsenal no matter the opponent. Anyone who pays game by game for every match pays an average prices. The only fans who are “punished” are those who decide only to go to the big games – Manchester United, Tottenham, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City.

I am always of the opinion that you can not really moan about Cat A prices if you do not want to go to Cat C games. Go to both and the prices average out. Go to just Cat A and it is clear you only have an interest in big games.

Of course, the argument is easily (and rightly) made that Cat A is too expensive.

The research by the Fulham fan shows that Arsenal’s most expensive “behind the goal” ticket is £90 – although this is upper tier. The most expensive lower tier “behind the goal” ticket is £64.

I am all for reducing ticket prices. They are across the board, not only at Arsenal or in the Premier League but down through the leagues.

For example Arsenal’s £26 is just £4 more than it would cost to pay on the gate to stand behind the goal at a Colchester United game in League Two.

My personal opinion has always been that the Cat A ticket prices subsidise Cat C, the League Cup, etc. That without Cat A, you could then not have the cheap Cat C tickets. And if someone only wants to go to Cat A games; that is their problem.

Manchester United do not have category tickets. Prices are the same no matter the opponent – £36. An Arsenal fan, on average, would pay £40 a ticket behind the goal if they went to every Premier League game. A difference of just £4.

So you could (and many do) make the argument that Arsenal should scrap category pricing and just charge a stand price for all games – in this case $30 to sit behind the goal in the lower tier.

Personally I would rather keep our system, have Cat A, B & C and offer the cheapest adult tickets behind the goal in the Premier League.

Keenos