Saturday, 7 March 2009

Aston Villa have made the big four a big five, Everton could make it a big six! No sign of Spurs!

In recent years the Premiership table has had the same four clubs challenging for the top four places. Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United are the familiar faces at the top of the tree whilst the rest of the Premiership have squabbled amongst themselves for the remaining places.

A few years ago Everton broke the mould, at Liverpool's expense, and it was a breath of fresh air to see. Aston Villa are trying to do the same this season, seemingly at Arsenal's expense, and Everton cannot be ruled out of the running for Champions League qualification either.

It seems as though Manchester United have wrapped up the title this season so the excitement for the Premiership maybe in the hunt for Champions League places instead. Of course people will insist that Arsenal are the most vulnerable of the so-called top four and Aston Villa or Everton will take their place but the truth is Chelsea and Liverpool are vulnerable too.

Obviously Arsenal's position in the league table for us Gooners is painful to see but you have to praise Aston Villa really. They have taken advantage of us having a poor season and they have had a great one. At present they deserve to be in the top four but the question is can they remain there?

I think this campaign is too early for them and Arsenal will finish in the top four as usual but this will be good for Aston Villa in the future. This will make it harder for Arsenal of course but it will be great for the Premiership to have another side challenging at the top.

Everton can also make the step up in my view. I see no reason why they cannot challenge for the Champions League places on a more regular basis. They are hard to beat and if they spend wisely then they have every chance.

I have to admit that Manchester United have raised the bar this season. I think it is safe to say they have the title wrapped up. It's up to the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Everton to match the level they have set. Obviously that won't happen this campaign but it can in the future.

Since 2004, the title race has been very difficult for us Gooners to swallow. What is certain for Arsenal is it will be far more difficult to win the league whilst the likes of Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool, Aston Villa and Everton strengthen their squads.

I believe Arsenal will finish in the top four this season because I feel Aston Villa will stumble and Everton will miss Arteta too much. What I hope though is that this season is a wake up call for Arsene Wenger regardless.

The sides around us will strengthen their squads and we need to do the same or we will fall behind. The margins are closer than ever and while it is exciting for the Premiership it is heart attack material for Gooners.

The Premiership could turn from a big four into a big six and I don't include Spurs in that either!

Keep it Goonerish..........

39 comments:

Ben said...

probably the best article you've ever written...
fair play.
UTV

scottpuffin said...

Spurs are a big 20 club.

Anonymous said...

i think its fair enough to say we need to strengthen but i dont see where unless players leave becos once everyone is bck fit i think we will have too many players in the squad if thats possible and i hope that doesnt cos discontent

Wrighty7 said...

I think that a central midfielder is needed for sure.

Wrighty7 said...

Cheers Ben! (I think!) ;)

MeteorMonster said...

Very well said Wrighty,

You have hit it on the button. It's been evident this season that outside of Manu, and even they have had a few stumbles along the way, most of the other EPL teams can beat or draw with each other on a given day.

Dare I say the word, PARITY?

I also think that City and the hated Spuds may present a greater challenge next season and we might have a top 8 instead of a top 4.

Another team to watch is Westham which Zola has playing way above their abilities. They could be dangerous next season if he is allowed to spend some money.

Ah yes, my beloved Arsenal. Again you are correct. If Arsene does not strengthen the side next season we could be in for another long struggle.

Goona said...

Very well put mate!

Joppa Road said...

I sometimes wonder about just people know about football when I read these comments.

First off I think Man U are head and shoulders above any other team this season so we are agreed on that.

I feel Chelsea are a clear second, simply because of the strength in depth they have and now a manager the squad seem very content with. So thats positions 1 & 2 sorted.

Liverpool to me have had some terrific luck in alot of matches. I don't think they are any better than Arsenal or Villa this season. For me Arsenal with this squad should definently be going for 3rd. I don't feel Villa are that great a side and they must be kicking themselves for not opening up that 8pt gap when they had the chance. As for saying Everton can challenge - I think not, are you kidding? This season they are the best of a poor other 15 teams.

The threat that worries me for next season is Man City. They WILL get a top manager and top players to go along with that. Arsenal will need to be careful they strengthen wisely in the summer for if next season plays out like this one has we will not be so lucky in that its only Villa we have to catch. (Which I expect us to do).

sas said...

well balanced article wrighty7.. and with manchester city coming into the frame next season it'll be a big 7! Yes, wenger is too smart to neglect such a shift in power balance in the league. Keeping the present team intact and maybe adding 2 or 3 quality players, we'll become an invincible team in the next year or two.

Anonymous said...

wrighty, you've usually had a Villa supporter on here by now, giving it the jonny big bollox. where are they? what a brilliant week for us goons... let's hope it continues.

Spike said...

Nice one Wrighty7

I think Everton have shown that a good spirit, work ethic, organisation and a few home grown players can go along way. They have had really bad injuries yet still produce good results.

If we had the same, we'd be 15 points clear now. Our attitude has stunk at times this season. Too many players believing their shit dont stink. No names!

Thats why I really hope a few of our yuoths come thru and make the grade. We all saw the work rate and spirit of the carling Cup kids.

Moyes, for me, has done better than ONeill when all things are considered.

Anonymous said...

I think you'll notice the first reply was from a Villa fan!?

Doh!!

Spike said...

No offence, but it really does my nut in when people start a post with shit like; Ooh I really have to wonder about others football knowledge yadda yadda...

Its all about opinions, you dont have to agree, and you dont have to condescend either...

Just my opinion, like.

Joppa Road said...

lol...coming from you of all people Spike...purposely put that first bit in for you.

Spike said...

Heeehee!!!

Nice one mate!

Thanks for biting tho! :D

Spike said...

Seriously tho, I think United's squad is head & shoulders over everyone elses, not the team. Theyve also shown a consistency that none of the other top 4 have. They have even made a mockery of that cheesy old cliche about how you need to beat the teams around you and that results against your rivals will be crucial. Their results against the teams like Boro, Stoke etc have done it for them, IMO.

Anonymous said...

err......didn't essien return today? I think you can remove chelski from the "vunerable" list then!

Anonymous said...

i agree with your perception of the top six comment,we do have a standard top 4 or even a top 5 already, Everton have established themselves in the top 5 on a shoestring in comparison to other teams outside of the top four, like them or loath them they are continually there. Moyes has got some slightly above average players playing exceptional committed football. Joppa Road's comments stink of fear and bias, Everton will always be biting at the heels of the rich 4 clubs, give credit where it is due, Joppa Road should stick to watching eastenders and knitting as he knows absolutely nothing about football.
Wrighty7, i will read your comments more often as you appear to have an understanding of football from a true football fans point of view. by the way tottenham who?

Al said...

I reckon we need 24 points to secure 4th spot and it is achievable. Im excited due to the players coming back plus Arshavin the future is bright. A couple of well placed reinforcements in the summer and we would be fantastic ond no doubt challenging for the title. A quality CM is a must Song is not upto the job, diaby injury prone and Cesc and Denilson can not be expected to stay fit all season and ramsey is still too young. I would bring in an old head for the middle someone like van bommell or even in a dream world bring back Viera. Scholes has shown his value this year to Man U, why not bring paddy home.

Anonymous said...

Why have Aston Villa made it a big 5? They have no even finished in the top 5 in over 10 years. Everton however have finished in the top 5 2 our of the last 4 seasons. If anyone has made it a big 5 it has been Everton.

Anonymous said...

What does the 7 stand for in your name wrighty? is it your IQ?

Joppa Road said...

lol Anon, uncalled for but funny.

Just a quick obsevation from me. Looking at the two teams lining up in the tunnel (Arsenal v Burnley). The Arsenal team just doesn't strike any fear into the opposition anymore. The crowd seem quiet and its a slowish start.

WTF has happened to Sagna's crossing??

You look at the team Fergie picked yesterday and then Wenger's choice. We really should be trying alot harder to win this trophy - by far our best chance of a trophy.

Joppa Road said...

powder puff girls in action today by the looks of this performance so far. Eboue looking our best player again. (At least trying)

Joppa Road said...

even by Wenger's arrogant standards this is a poor unbalanced selection of a team. And you lot wonder why some fans get the hump with him. Its like he is taking the piss out of the competition.

Joppa Road said...

thats better...quality finish.

Joppa Road said...

how dull is this match and the FA Cup nowdays. Its a shame really. Used to love the FA Cup when I was younger. No real excitement in it anymore.

Joppa Road said...

can nobody in this team cross a fkin ball ffs....that must be 12-15 crosses wasted in this half.

Joppa Road said...

lol the crowd are well up for this one. More red seats showing than ever....certainly captured the imagination of the supporters. Sad.

Joppa Road said...

n1...good to see Eboue get on the score sheet. wpwp...have Burnley been in this match???

Exhibition of a 2nd half. Walcott is such a massive boost. Fkin excellent.

Anonymous said...

A very fair and balanced report, and I'm a villa fan. A comment was made why are villa classed as a big 5 club, most likley because this is the first time our club has been in a position to challenge financially and buy quality when it is needed. Mark my words M.O.N will strengthen in the summer, whereever we finish in the league, which I agree has never been there in the past, so I am expecting a challenge for the top 4 again next season as M.O.N will build up the squad. I must admit this year has been a supprise as we are probably 18 months ahead of where we expected to be regarding the teams development. but I think it is good for football that we are in there pushing the big 4.

official arsenal merchandise said...

i think it just the fact the arsenal have had a bad season and villa a great one but come next season i cant see it being the same.altho arsenal arnt as good as they have been in previous seasons there still to good to keep down for long

wrighty7 said...

sweet as, this is my most genius post yet. i'm a legend - if i carry on lik e this i'll have my own column in one of da broad sheets. what do you reckon kwality journalism or what geezas?

GPS Justin said...

Alright, all you gooners, here's my blog to add to your list

www.arsenalnet.blogspot.com

Cheers, all

Anonymous said...

It was a stroll in the park illuminated by two utterly stunning goals. We won 7-1 if you count shots on target, and it revealed another element of the Lord Wenger’s masterplan for football domination.

So it seems a bit churlish to complain, but I am going to anyway. If ever there was a case of bringing the game into disrepute it was this. OK not at the level of the way Sepp Blatter brings the game into disrepute every day (a journalist recently asked him what his salary was, and in response the God of Football had him thrown out of the press conference, and banned from all FIFA press conferences from then on), but still it was clearly in the disrepute league.

First there was the Vela goal. All the way to the goal Vela was being pulled back. It was so obvious a blind man in Peru could see it, and yet the ref did utterly absolutely totally nothing. To have given the offender (number 8 I think) a yellow would have been lenient, because the utter proof that it was a goal scoring opportunity was that a goal was scored. A red was more appropriate for such a brazen attempt to stop a goal.

Had Vela not scored we would have been shouting and screaming (well I would) but it is easy to forget the awfulness of that decision in the light of the celebration. The ref clearly brought the game into disrepute and is either incompetent or was bribed.

Then, just to rub in the stuff that goes with the fish and chips, there was a beautiful Arsenal attack during part 2, which resulted in the ball being thumped into the goal and the linesman gave off side. It didn’t look it to me - in fact it looked several light years on side - and a peek at the TV replay shows the same. More disrepute. How can anyone make a mistake like that?

Will the EPL and FA take action? Of course not, no more than they ever do against Sepp Blatter for creating a set of FIFA accounts that are so murky it is impossible to know who gets paid for what. As the judge said in court, “FIFA lie and lie and lie again.”

But despite the efforts of the ref and lino we won, and everyone including moi can rave about Eduardo.

The bigger picture is becoming clear. We were running into some difficulty (a certain Manchester A debacle springs to mind) so the Lord Wenger sorted out the defence. And seemingly he left it at that, and we got a lot of 0-0 draws. But he saw what we could not see… Eduardo in training. He knew that if he could have Eduardo (not to mention Theo) back then with a solid defence we would have a team and a half.

And that’s what he has done. The Eduardo goal reminded me that Eduardo was bought with the money we got for Henry. And it was an Henry goal - not in the exact style of course but in the sheer unexpectedness of it. You’ll perhaps remember the goal at Highbury where Henry had his back to goal and three defenders crowding around him, and the goalkeeper there too. Henry, facing away from the north bank simply back heeled it. I was fortunate enough to be sitting in the upper tier behind that goal on that day, and it is one of those moments (like Dennis’ back to goal, flip ball right, turn left, goal) that stays in the mind forever.

Eduardo is like that - goals that stay with you forever. As for AFC I make that 19 without defeat in the EPL, FAC and Eurozone. I’m getting rather excited about this.

Tony said...

Sorry Wrighty - I can't find how to write to you outside the comments section - but thought you might like to know that jethaseth09@ask.com has just lifted your entire saturday article and tried to post it as his/her own on the Untold Arsenal blog.

Fortunately I spotted your unique style, and blocked it, but if the fact another person is lifting your work and posting it as his/her own is a concern you might like to watch out for this person.

Obviously I didn't allow it on to Untold Arsenal, and dropped the author a line to the same effect.

Tony Attwood
Untold Arsenal www.blog.emiratesstadium.info

Anonymous said...

The difference between yesterday¿s FA Cup win over Burnley and so many other disappointing matches witnessed during this campaign was the quality of the finishing. The Carling Cup tie at Burnley could have been a similar affair if Bendtner and others had worn their shooting boots. That¿s two wins on the trot now, albeit against sides Arsenal would not have thought twice about turning over before the stadium move and the decline in the club's ability to compete for honours. But, compared to recent weeks it is definite progress, and the return of injured players and the gradual integration of Andrey Arshavin gives hope. Additionally, Kiaran Gibbs¿ performance at left back should have Gael Clichy worried. The club¿s website still lists Gibbs as a reserve team player rather than a first team squad member. Are you telling me Mikael Silvestre, when fit, would do as good a job at left-back as Gibbs has been doing? Time for an update. There were banks of empty seats at the stadium yesterday amongst the usual proliferation of odds spread all over. High up behind the goals, there were evidently a few rows of tickets the club could not shift. That the club can get 57,000 people to pay for their tickets for this kind of match is encouraging, but how many of them are season ticket holders who chose neither to ¿opt out¿ of this game nor bother turning up? It should also be remembered that Burnley had a much bigger allocation than a normal away team, meaning that in theory, there were less Arsenal tickets available. So less seats to sell. I¿d like to know the numbers of fans that decided not to take up their season ticket seat. Next season will be the real test. What is certain is that the team have to give fans value for money and there has been scant evidence of that far too often this season.

chris said...

starting XI vs roma tomorrow?
my guess:

almunia
sagna-toure-gallas-clichy
eboue-denilson-song-nasri
rvp-bendtner

subs: fabianski, djourou, gibbs, walcott, diaby, ramsay, eduardo

i guess we will see walcott, diaby and eduardo play too, coming from the bench

Anonymous said...

Let us all forget whats happened soo far this season and concentrate on the good times ahead.We have a great chance now to the end the season strongly,starting with Roma on Wednesday,and I very much doubt that any team will want to face us now for the rest of the season.Bring on the best I say.....Let us show them what our beloved Arsenal are made of.Dispose of Hull....Do the Chavs again and End Manures hopes of winning everything.We have it all to gain because we not expected to beat these teams or win anything.The season starts here for us,so lets do away with all the doom and gloom.Gooners all the way!!!

Anonymous said...

Has Adebayor done anything this season to endear himself to Arsenal fans? He moaned all summer and flirted with leaving for wherever was offering the biggest pay packet, acted like a total prima donna in thinking he was worthy of a similar salary to that of the greatest player in Arsenal history Thierry Henry, and from the beginning of the season has sluggishly ran about the pitch with not even half the committment he showed last year. He aso comes out with ridiculous statements how the team should be winning every game from now onwards to bring Glory to the club and win the CL. Well Ade has to start pulling his (considerable) head out of his a$$ and contribute. It's one thing to talk the talk, quite another to walk the walk. Now he's coming out saying AC and Barca wanted him. Who cares about that in March? Really? Who? Is he threatened that Eduardo is back after 9 months and has 3 goals in 2 games? Bendtner is firing goals in too along with impressive performances by Vela and Arshavin too in the support striker role. Could Mr Ego be afraid of not getting his place back? If so good, then maybe he'll start putting the effort in.