Arsenal looked like their August versions earlier this April, and two matches against Chelsea and Manchester United after losses to Crystal Palace, Brighton and Southampton did not appear very promising either. As May looms, however, the Gunners have beaten, in rather convincing manners, both Chelsea and the Red Devils in the span of just several days.
The likes of Emile Smith Rowe, Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard, Mohamed Elneny, Granit Xhaka and Eddie Nketiah are deserving of great praise in these efforts, as are Rob Holding, Benjamin White and so many others. Mikel Arteta has regrouped this young team, and so the rollercoaster ride continues, to reference what the boss recently said.
Tottenham, meanwhile, who took advantage of some of Arsenal’s early April woes, have since been rather Spursy in performance – as should be expected surely. They now sit two points behind Arsenal, staying in fifth place with matches against Leicester, Liverpool and the Gunners coming up next Arsenal, meanwhile, faces West Ham and Leeds before their date with Spurs, and there is a real possibility that the Gunners could wrap up their fourth place position with a North London Derby victory on Spurs’ home pitch.
Manchester United, meanwhile, are effectively washed. They will be fortunate to get into the Europa Conference League next season. The Premier League table is falling really well for Arsenal, and they must simply finish the job with a couple matches to spare if possible.
Arsenal win, Tottenham fail, Manchester United fall, and West Ham looks weak as Premier League top four race heats up
Anything can happen in the last weeks of a Premier League season, everyone is well aware.
As a London Derby looms on the weekend, the Gunners must look to outgun and outmuscle the Hammers.
What appeared a very tough match weeks ago now appears something that Arsenal will have to make sure not to get trapped by. They cannot play down to their competition as has been witnessed all too recently, as well as in August. The Gunners must overpower David Moyes and West Ham, as Leicester will surely put up a good fight against Tottenham.
Three points against a tough yet tiring Hammers outfit along with a shock loss by Spurs would open the gap up between fourth and fifth to five points; with the upcoming matches for each team after this coming weekend, Spurs would be in big, big trouble in their hunt for fourth place. But, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
While Arsenal get Leeds, who continue to sit near the bottom of the Premier League table just points above the relegation territory, Tottenham have to play against Liverpool as they attempt to hunt down Manchester City. Assuming that each match goes how most would predict each would, that would open the lead that Arsenal would have over Tottenham to eight points with a derby and two final matches remaining after that Thursday date in early-mid May. But, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves.
An emphatic North London Derby victory against Tottenham in that match would seal the Gunners’ trip to the Champions League next season in all likelihood. While United could come surging back into contention with some unforeseeable improvement in form and mindset, this appears unlikely. With matches against the surging Newcastle and desperate Everton left afterward, Arsenal would be able to play each with hardly a care in the world.
Their rise back to the highest level of European club football would be complete, and at a faster pace than many prognosticators prognosticated. Mikel Arteta – someone who some believed should be sacked earlier in the season – would have brought his team back from a pointless (literally) August, to within a few points of third-place Chelsea.
The team of youngsters will have shown the world that they did it all themselves – with resources, of course – but without European football and without massive, proven star players. The kids are alright at Arsenal, and they have been growing, with cameo appearances from veteran faces, for the last several years. It will be massive to see, if indeed it ends up being seen. While the road will not be easy going forward, it looks a lot easier now than it did before last week began.
This is fortunate for Arsenal, and yet, entities in this world also do create their own fortune and misfortune too. It was Arsenal that lost the three matches prior to the Chelsea win, and so, they created the circumstances whereby they might suffer.
In winning the last two matches, these Gunners have made possible the opportunity to retake the fourth position from an inconsistent Spurs outfit. Arsenal must carry on in this form for the rest of the season and, if they do, they will not lose the fourth position by years end.