Hope all you readers are doing good, enjoying the Gunners giving the Utd’s and Chlesea’s of the world a good run for their money in the English Premier League. I had been away for a long time. Got married, twice…to the same woman of course 🙂 and then went on a honeymoon to Egypt got back and joined work last week. So it has been one long break but I have been following the football, missed a few matches, caught a couple of them outside India. It is really nice when you are watching Arsenal belt Porto with Gooners from Egypt and UK sitting in a cruise, on the Nile!!!
So Arsenal has been playing very well in the league, coming up with some nervy stuff against Hull City and then beating West Ham with 10 men. Song and Fabregas were absent for some matches but the team coped well, Bendtner and Arshavin missed some sitters in couple of the matches I remember and then Vermaelen gets sent off wrongly in the last match. Gallas is missing in action and Sol is making up for him splendidly (though I thought he could have been sent off for a two-foot lunge against some West Ham player). Eboue has replaced Walcott in a few matches and has contributed to a couple of goals and has been silently improving his match ratings. Another player who has made significant contribution is Denilson. It was his long range shot which hassled the Hull goalie and Bendtner was able to score of the rebound and it was him again who scored first against West Ham of the only chance he got.
Upfront, I like the effort put in by Nasri and Bendtner. Arshavin has had couple of very good games and couple of games in which he appears very very lazy and wants to be substituted. Rosicky looked good in the few games that I saw him play. So all in all there is a good chance that Arsenal can go neck and neck with Manchester United to win the league from here. Rooney’s awesome form means United will always have a chance, whatever shit they are going to be in.
This is how the Premier League run-in looks like.
Manchester Utd – 69 pts
Bolton A – 3, Chelsea H – 3, Blackburn A – 3, Man City A – 1, Tottenham H – 1, Sunderland A – 3, Stoke H – 3
Total – 69+17= 86
Arsenal – 67 pts
Birmingham A – 3, Wolves H – 3, Tottenham A – 3, Wigan A – 1, Man City H – 3, Blackburn A – 3, Fulham H – 3
Total – 67+ 19 = 86
Portsmouth A – 3,Aston Villa H – 1,Man Utd A – 0,Bolton H – 3,Tottenham A – 3,Stoke H – 3,Liverpool A -1,Wigan H – 3
Total – 65+17=82
So looks like United are in with a chance,given that they have a better goal difference than Arsenal. More deatils on the run-in in MTJAG
Champions League QFs have thrown us the biggest challenge ever – Barcelona. I would have fancied our chances against any other team, but against Barca I think, if we win it would be an upset. Messi is in the form of his life, scoring two hat-tricks in La Liga and another two in the CL match recently. Barca look like a team which can go on and win in Europe. With our injuries I do not think it is wise to expect Arsenal to win against Barcelona over two legs. But if they do that then this team would have justified Wenger’s confidence in them.
The other matches in the CL do not look very promising. United against Bayern will not set the field on fire but should be an easy path for United to reach the finals. That is if they beat the German side and then take on one of the French sides.