You Do the Math: Like Coquelin Says, “It’s Not Over”

Like many Gooners on a quiet Sunday afternoon I sometimes analyse the remaining fixtures to work out what we have to do to win the league.  A few weeks back we had some tricky looking away games and the pundits declared we have the hardest run in.  Away matches at United, Spurs and Everton were not altogether appealing and following some fairly average performances the gap to Leicester is now up to 11 points, albeit we have a game in hand.

In my opinion the introduction of new blood into the squad has lifted the team spirit.  We really didn’t play that badly in Barcelona and although it was a fair result, with a lot of luck we could have pinched it.  On to Goodison and a great performance by the lads.  The introduction of Elneny and Iwobi has added a new spirit to the side.  Although Gabriel looks a little clumsy at times and he keeps looking to get a spectacular oggy, he has added passion and speed to the side.  For the first time in weeks I began to feel a little positive again.  So once again I decided to do some analysing.  To my great pleasure I now believe we have the easiest run in.  Of course in a season where everyone beats everyone it’s impossible to predict results with any accuracy, but here are my thoughts:

Leicester continue to stumble towards the line, but the pressure must be building.  My next door neighbour is a Palace season ticket holder.  He told me that during yesterday’s game, Palace played Adebayor up front in the first half, but didn’t put in a decent cross.  At half time they took Adebayor off and put Bolaise up front.  During the second half Palace put in about a dozen decent crosses in–with no centre forward to attack them.. “Tactically naive,” my neighbour called it.  A good side might have taken them apart.

Leicester have 7 games remaining 4 at home, 3 away.

Home games: Southampton, West Ham, Swansea, Everton

I think both Southampton and West Ham are capable of taking a point at Leicester and Everton and Swansea are both dangerous.

Prediction = 8 points

Away games:
Man Utd

Very difficult away games; they could well lose in Manchester and London. Prediction = 3 points

Currently 66 points plus 11 equals 77 points.

Spurs, I believe, have the hardest run in of all: 3 at Home, 4 away.  They remain one or two injuries to key players away from meltdown.  This is the best Spurs team for many a year.  However Spurs nearly always crumble at this stage of the season.  Whether this side has sufficient bottle remains to be seen.

Home games:

Man United

A draw with either United or the Saints would give them 7 points



All losable; I think they will be lucky to come away with 6 points. Currently 61 points plus 13 equals 74 points

Arsenal have 8 games left: 5 at home, 3 away.

Home games.  It’s a big ask but all five are winnable, so am going for the full 15 points.


Away games:

West Ham
Man City

None of them are easy, but I see no reason why we can’t get a point at West Ham and City.

Prediction = 5 points

Currently 55 points plus 20 equals 75 points. So my final table

Leicester: 77 points
Arsenal: 75 points
Spurs: 74 points

So, it’s asking a lot, but it is still winnable.  One slip up and we could be in.  Really important that we gain momentum from the Everton game and if we could get a result at West Ham it would put tremendous pressure on the new boys above us. Maybe I am being a little over optimistic here, but I will keep an eye on my predicted results and keep everything crossed.


by retsub1

55 thoughts on “You Do the Math: Like Coquelin Says, “It’s Not Over”

  • Nice job retsub and I’m glad you’re feeling hopeful…although you still have LC finishing above us(!?!)… It WAS a good performance at Barca and we built on it at Everton and got at least some of the breaks… Now, if we can keep our bare bones squad fit and maybe even add a body or two, who knows…

    My plan is to take everything one match at a time and, I think, timing is a critical factor. The relegation battle and the now very tight battle for 4th means that playing teams who need a result gets tougher. Once clubs know their fate it’s much tougher to get up for the challenge. But then you’ve got teams (like City, ManU and Chavs) who may be up for games just because they know that a new manager is on his way… There are lots of factors at play, IMO…

    Also, as we know all too well, home pitch advantage isn’t what it used to be, esp. if the fans have turned on a club…

    In the end, all we can control are our matches, but, if we do that, like you say, I think the pressure on those above us will build…And, like you also say, in this wackiest of wacky seasons, no result can be guaranteed…

    So, why not?… 😀

  • Retsub,

    Good piece there.

    11 points off with one game played less means that the remaining games are impossible for us to drop any points.

    At least we have to jump ahead of spuds. That’s my only goal.

    So, i say win one game at a time, have no pressure, and everyone get behind the team for this important period.


  • 17ht. I was giving my probably biased view of the results. With the best will in the world, you would have to say Leicester are the favourites. Based on my scientific formula a win at West Ham or City would do it for us. It’s a funny old game football, so you never know. I am sure the average fan will have been bouyed by the Everton result, so fingers crossed for the next game.

    What can I say, after a gloomy winter here the sun is beginning to appear on occasions and positive vibes are in the air.

    If our boys don’t win it, it has to be Leicester for me. The thought of Spurs winning it horrifies me.

    How’s the pup?

  • Nice try Retsub. However, I think the Spurs danger is a bigger one than Leicester?

    Those away games you plot for our North London rivals are the key. With Newcastle likely to be safe or relegated, I think that will be an easy 3 points. The Liverpool and Chelsea games are just the type that they are capable of winning, pressure being more on the home side. Finally Stoke? Not a side to rely on one way or another, so a draw is on the cards if both have an off day.
    Therefore, rather than 6 points you optimistically predict, I think they could get 9 or even 10 points, which put them out of the reach of us I fear …. and potentially snatching it at the death from Leicester.

    The good news is, both could crumble? 😀

    The bad news is, we could shoot ourselves in the foot with some bad team tinkering. Last time I praised AW wholeheartedly for making the right call. In the past he has a nasty habit of not being able to resist slotting back in the players returning to fitness. Do you think he will resist this time?

    OGAAT is the right call … and try and enjoy the ride whatever way it goes?

  • Cheers Retsubster 😄

    Lovely post to remind us of the hope we still have. It requires full winning momentum by Arsenal and the opposite for the Foxes. We know the Spuds will crumble and I think you were generous to give them 13 points from 21.

    The problem I see is that many teams want Leicester to win the league and if they don’t really need the points desperately….

    However, it is just about us playing OGAAT and enjoying the footie, and if we keep winning it might get close. 🏆

  • Well guys Spring is here. Oscar comes back from his morning walk only partially caked in mud and the sun is (almost) shining. You would have to be optomostic to believe we will do it, but hey if you can’t be optomostic now?

    OGAAT is totally the answer, it’s a shame we can’t get some games under our belt to put some pressure on the untested two above us. 11 points is huge but not Impossible.

    Gerry you are right about not tinkering, but I think the skill will be knowing when players like Owobi will hit a wall. I am sure he is walking on air at the moment, but Ilike many youngsters his form will take a dip. Managing that process is key to our success.

    The more I look at the fixtures. The more I am convinced that the West Ham game could be the catalyst to success. Of course if we lose it, it becomes a question of watching our rear view mirror

  • Nice post there Retsub…

    We still have a slender chance, but those 6 points waste fully squandered vs Swansea and the Mancs are what’s hurting us now when we should really be in the mix…

    Leicester and the Spuds have been the most consistent this season, the table doesn’t lie.
    All our team can do now is to go on a winning run and hope for an unlikely collapse from the duo above us.
    I actually think that this Arsenal team is good enough to go to West Ham and Man City and win both games…

  • Hey Kev, you know that Arsenal never make things easy. The year that we won 2 nil at Anfield, we screwed up two home games the week before just to make things interesting. (Derby. 0 -2 and Wimbledon 2 – 2)

    You are right about the missed opportunities and I think whoever wins it will always be tarnished with nobody else wanted to win it. Well that’s my excuse anyway.

    I do find that by writing it down it does look possible,but one slip up and it’s curtains

  • TA – It is a question of the ‘better players’ being played in positions that suit, not only themselves, but the balance of the team as a whole.
    I am not expecting Iwobi to carry the team through to the end of the season, even if that were the case regards his ability. But there are players that play similar roles, but not as effectively at getting the ball forward quickly in transition – if only our American Kiwi was still available for comment I am sure he would agree? Just on that note, and against the current news, he frequent travelled to Belgium around this time of year. It would be nice to know he is okay? –
    Others you can slot in without adjusting the balance, formation, or style of play, of the team. But then there are others who need the a major rejig to play at their best?
    Mertersacker will happily slot in, preferably when we set our defensive lines a little deeper.
    Cazorla, when fully up to speed would slot in alongside the DM, and open up a different dynamic to our play.
    Likewise Giroud, between Welbeck/ Campbell on the left, and Alexis on the right, thus giving Iwobi a chance to play super sub?

    Where we are short on simple changes is at RB, as nobody else can quite replicate his runs forward, or match his pace to get back. Chambers would be the obvious choice, if not already booked to replace Kos at CB, or Coquelin at DM.?
    Likewise Ozil, even if he is blocked out in some games, he is still occupying opposition players? Although it is our static players that hurt him more?

    Of those who are returning, and might affect things badly if not on top of their game, Ramsey is the most likely to be looking for a spot? It took a few games to get Coquelin back, so I hope the others are only gently eased in via the bench, and not given starts just for the sake of it?
    That is all I am saying …

  • Nice post, retsub, even if it doesn’t have a happy-ending. 🙂

    I watched LCFC vs Palace and I want my eyes back because they popped out of my skull after watching that game. Leicester were soaking pressure for 45 minutes and were lucky that Dann’s volley hit the bar in 92nd minute. Then again, they had a decent penalty shout for Dann’s stripping shirt off Huth.

    I think they will have a really tricky run of games ahead of them. The title is theirs to lose and the pressure is mounting. One slip against a well-organized Southampton and they could go through a melt-down. It would be a Hollywood scenario, from our perspective, if Cesc and Diego Costa redeem themselves by hitting a few past Schmeichel in the last match of the season. 🙂 I don’t expect them to win at Old Trafford and most certainly not to win against West Ham at home. Remember, the table has turned around now and what used to be a good result for them once (e.g. a draw at Old Trafford) won’t be enough for them anymore. In my wild predictions I say they will lose either to Soton or Hammers and draw the other one, lose at OT and draw at home to Everton who have lost just once away from home this season. I can see them beating Swansea and, maybe, Chelsea provided that they don’t get caught there after going for a victory at all costs. Two victories, three draws and two defeats = 75 points. Plus, their GD is likely to improve for just a goal or two.

    Spuds have the toughest run-in. Klopp has been the only guy aside from Wenger to beat Leicester this season in the league, he has thrashed City twice and there is no reason why Sturridge and Coutinho shouldn’t knock Spuds out of the title race. Furthermore, they have tough visit to Chelsea (Hiddink is yet to lose a league game, mind you) and beating both United and Soton at home could be out of their reach. They haven’t beaten United at Lane since Total was in elementary school and Van Gaal is pretty good in big matches. Stoke lack balance to hurt them, I think, so they could win that one, the one against West Brom and maybe the one against Newcastle who have beaten them at Lane. Defeats to Liverpool and CL-bound United, a draw against Chelsea and Soton = 11 points. 72 at the end of the campaign.

    We have eight games to play. Victories in all eight of them shouldn’t be the tallest order. West Ham away is a tricky one but we can turn our luck there. The problem is, we haven’t managed to beat a single team in the second half of the season that had managed to avoid a defeat against us in the first half (Liverpool, Chelsea, Soton, Spuds). City could out of CL race by the time they play against us and look like manure anyway.

    So, 8 games, 7 victories and a draw against West Ham away = 77 points. Our GD would improve for at least 7 goals, perhaps even more which could be vital before the last day of the season. If you have noticed, if my predictions are correct, we would have 74 points before the Villa game…two more than Leicester. If our GD improves for, say, 6 goals by that date (6 one goal margin victories and a draw) and Leicester’s for just one, we’d be level on GD with them (+5 for them right now). The pressure on their bottoms would be as high as possible.

    1.Arsenal 77, 2.Leicester 75, 3.Spuds 72, 4.Manure 72-minus-something. 🙂

  • Love the optimism. I will join you and cheer on the Gunners until the end. I was really buoyed by the performance at Barcelona, and then by the display at Goodison. Hoping that the momentum is with our boys as we need to finish strong. In particular I was very pleased with the performance of Alexis vs Everton. He really has struggled this season, and I think we would have a much better title claim had he been on his game all year. Hopefully it’s just a bit of a sophomore slump in the EPL and he rounds back into form when we need him the most.

  • Good points and considerations, ElGerry 🙂

    My point is that managers will always want to reintegrate their best players but I can see your points.

  • OGAAT is a little dream. I sometimes indulge in the big dream and project to the end of the season. Tiny difference with Retsub is I always end up hugging the cup.😊

    Seriously, we could still hug the cup. I can’t be convinced that Leic is not a middle of the table team. The aberration in results over a season have all gone in their favor, but an aggressive regression to the mean is set to begin.

    Sp*rs know that we are behind them so they would Spurs ’cause they love looking up our arses. You can put your money on that.

    Us? Bellerin has given the cue when he said we now play with greater purpose which can be understood more as with greater singleness of purpose. It’s intensity bores through any armour and 7 wins in the remaining 8 matches will see us champions! COYG!

  • Sorry Retsub, I have a little diversion to ponder …
    Did anyone else notice the hysteria in the press after our ‘unexpected’ win against Everton?

    Everything from:
    ‘Wenger ordered to spend big this transfer window’…. As if ?????
    As far as I know, Ivan Gazidas takes his orders on availability of funds from the Kroenke/BoD, not the other way round? AW may pitch in with what he considers ‘value versus risk’, and nobody can be 100% correct on that without hindsight? Two past examples; Julian Draxler and Johan Martial? The former was high priced with an injury risk. The latter, potential yes, but at £30m?? (To be fair to AW, he was told he was not going to be sold, but MU just kept on raising their offer.).
    One for the future; Ousane Dembele, Rennes 18 year old striker … £35m (minimum) anyone?
    He might not be the finished article that the ‘banner waver’ and the like would want ….. but he is so much an AW/Arsenal player that just oozes class ….. Not an under the radar bargain …but if only?
    I wish! 😀 😀 😀

    Then this;
    …’Arsenal to snatch Mourinho from under Man United’s noses’ ….an even bigger ‘AS IF ?????’
    No further comment required …

    Now it switches to ‘Wenger determined to stay on as manager’, along with a variety of unlikely transfer gossip. They keep repeating the standby, Wanyama? … In my view, not an AW type, because he is not the complete article, or ever will be? Yes, he can do the Coquelin role effectively enough. Even gets himself sent off for good measure. But long term, is he that much of an improvement?
    The other addition of the moment is Tony Kroos. From what I can remember of his Bundesliga time, he seemed just a poor man’s Lewandawski? Again, not an AW type, imo, and the latter is going nowhere.
    Gotze most certainly is an AW type ….. but one or two of the ‘injury prone’ would have to go for that move to make any sense?

    Back to real world ….

  • HinGerry,

    Another form of indulgence in hope, but, for me, the sort that is least appealing. Transfer gossip, as you know, is 99.9% made up..

    I see your appreciation of Wanyama is still strong as ever!🤓

  • Gerry having seen your comment on Mourinho I took a look at the news wires to check it out. Apparantly we are also interested in Granit Xhaka. I don’t follow German football so
    I have no idea how to pronounce his name.
    T A enjoyed your Mesut song, got one for this guy?

  • 1989 Retsub, yeah that was a great year, but you are right, nobody quite puts its fans through the wringer like Arsenal…
    I was up the Clock End for those games…
    Funny enough the game that really sticks in my mind from that era was the Littlewoods Cup S/F against Everton. That was a great night mate, the place was rocking…

  • @Gerry

    Kroos is a complete midfielder. I don’t know why you compare him with Lewandowski who is a striker.

    Kroos is a top player, capable of shooting with either foot, set-piece taker and would add physical presence we don’t have with Cazorla/Wilshere even when they are fit.

  • Hi TA and Gang, 🙂

    The transfer rumours are going strong and much earlier this year. New managers at the big spenders, plus Arsene needs to get the Gooners back on side all adds fuel to the rumours, I guess.

    Great post by the way, Retsub1, and the old saying is true – it ain’t over until the fat lady sings! 🙂

  • Guys,

    Am watching on tv a documentary on Ian Wright, on Premier League Legends.

    The way he scores then, not what he does now, makes me want to put him on my starting lineup week in and out. It will mean that we win all our remaining games.

    So, what say you guys?


  • For those who have not heard, Johann Cruyff has died after a battle against cancer.
    It is really upsetting that such a fantastic man and player has passed on.


  • Easily the most talented footballer that I’ve seen live…

    A privilege to have seen him perform at Highbury for Ajax and Barcelona…
    My favourite non-English footballer.
    A very sad day…

  • Sad news. RIP Johan. He was the football father of Dennis and Marco (van Basten) as this fine compilation shows. He had a certain fearlessness or arrogance if you want and combined a peerless technical ability with continuous on-field audacity – the outside of the foot is there to be used!

    I watched the WC in Germany when I was just seven and got the love-bug for football that summer. Cruijff was the heart of this and so he will always have a special place in my football heart. We gaan je missen, Johan.

  • Very sad indeed I saw him at Highbury the year we won the Fairs cup (or whatever it was called then)
    A true great

    RIP Johan

  • R.I.P. Cruyff.

    I defined him as Bergkamp’s perfection as a player combined with Wenger’s search for beauty in football multiplied with ten. Pele and Maradona may have been bigger players but Cruyff was the greatest football mind ever.

  • As a player led the revolutionary total football from conceptual stage to world domination. Created the blue print for Barca’s greatness.Every weekend went into his garden to watch 2 games – -Barca’s and ours. A very visionary football mind.

    Adieu Johan.

  • RIP Cruyff,

    Sad day for football.

    He is the Total Football, and he is everything about football and its evolution.

  • Retsub1,
    I am already having no club football withdrawal syndrome..

    Maybe some traffic here will make me feel better 🙂

    Happy Good Friday and Happy Easter to all 🙂

  • Indeed… Happy Easter & RIP Johan Cruyff… TA (if he had the time or energy…) could turn either into a new post, I’m sure…Anybody else?…

    The connection between Cruyff, Bergkamp and ideas about total football; in England (at Arsenal) and elsewhere could be explored… Right now the sentiment at Arsenal (and all the English clubs, in truth…) seems to be that only results matter–no matter how ugly the footie… Meanwhile one (or various) savior(s) have HUGE cross(es) to bear and probably need to be sacrificed before folks can appreciate what he (they?) have been trying to create… Easter, as a springtime “rebirth” sort of holiday, I like, although, around here at least, we try to eke out whatever the winter will give us…

    But, since we’ve got no new post, let me say another word (or three) about this one…

    I think we’re still in with a shout but (by far) the most important thing is to win our matches and amass as many points as we can. Believe it or not, building something good for the future probably happens on the pitch as much as it does on the back pages (and back rooms)… 😀 😦

    The other teams will be trying to do likewise and no result can be taken as a given. As I tried to say in my comment at the top, timing is everything, and external narratives can offer huge influences. For example, as long as Sunderland, Newcastle and Norwich are still fighting for safety, playing them will be very tough. As soon as they’re mathematically relegated (and likely two of the three will be…) or guaranteed safety, it gets much easier. Can I be arsed to see when the various teams are supposed to play them? No I cannot… I will, however, repeat that it probably would have been an added bonus to have made the FA Cup semis, just to postpone our trip up to Wearside…

    Similarly, results for the teams trying to get up for 4th (The two Mancs, West Ham) even in other competitions (City will try to balance things with their games vs PSG in the CL…) plus announcements about new managers and players and all that stuff will likely have a sizable effect, too…

    Anyhow, I’m committed to the remaining 8 match previews (which I plan to write one at a time…) and I remain hopeful–esp. about registering a very late St. Totteringham’s day–but I am very concerned (just about out of hope…) regarding the general state of things at Arsenal, not to mention in the bigger world…

    Finally, retsub, thanks for inquiring about our puppy. 🙂 Unfortunately, unsolicited advice in this forum makes me hesitant about discussing such things… 😦

  • 17HT, Gerry put a comment up at the end of a post a few weeks ago regarded his well intended advice re your puppy. I gather you have not read it but worth doing so.

    Happy Easter and I hope you are having a good time with the family. 😀

  • OK, Sorry, I’ll search for it… Once a new post is up, I tend to move on…

    Alright, 15 minutes later, I’ve found it… Cheers to Gerry, and, like I said, I KNEW that his comments were not meant to offend…

    The puppy (whose name remains the same…) went on her first “big” (meaning “steep”) ski adventure today and is very, very pooped… She’s doing well and seems to have a good balance between athletic prowess and an instinct for self-preservation. The dog world around here is an off-leash place so it’s a big adjustment from a world of brother and sister puppies to “that dog is with those people but you’re with us,” if that makes any sense… We need to watch our own energy (as well as hers…) but it’s all coming along as one would hope…

    We took some photos today, so maybe a new avatar is in order…Or maybe just some photo sharing…Elneny, it seems, was a good choice (for Avatar) too… I think that goal at Barcelona was a big moment for him personally, but also to spark some belief in the team that goals can come from anywhere. We’ll need that as we play these final 8, I’m pretty sure…

    Sooooo…. Anybody watching any of this Int’l football?… Set pieces a problem for Germany since the BFG retired?… 😀

  • Great fun but hard work as well as I know you know. 🙂

    Great come back by England that will give the nation hope. Roy Hodgson is doing a great job.

  • Yeah, she’s alright…and today will have been a good one for her…

    Regarding the football… Isn’t it the hope that kills?… 😀

    Look at Arsenal vs ManU…Top 4 isn’t good enough? What do LvG (not to mention Klopp and Hiddink) say to that?…

    Speaking of…If winning a friendly will give England hope…will there be some for Holland after drawing with France?

    I guess I should try and get excited about the tournament or at least go and take a look at the groups… It would seem like France, Germany and Spain are the clear favorites (favourites?) but maybe some surprises are lurking…

    Over here, it’s all about the concacaf and South American World cup qualifiers on the Spanish language telly… The U.S. did NOT look good playing in Guatemala…

    Anyhow, how’s Henry? You guys got any blue skies yet?… We’ve got more wind and snow starting tomorrow night…

  • Sorry, I guess I didn’t see that last goal (Matuidi) shocked as I was by Giroud scoring one… 😀

  • 17ht. It’s Easter it’s raining of course. Oscar my Labrador gets his morning walk at 6am with other members of the ‘six o’clock club’. 1 Great Dane, 1 springer Spaniel, 1 sprocker Spaniel, 2 Swedish Valhunds and a labradoodle.. It’s unusual but yesterday nearly finished in a fight. Cyclist comes along and retsub does his best impersonation of Peter Cech to restrain 2 year old Oscar, who isn’t entirely well behaved around runners, cyclists etc (although he only wants to say hello). Cyclist sees dogs being restrained get off his bike, ignores our good morning greeting and starts shouting fluffing dogs (or something along these lines. Angered six o’.clock club return cyclists greeting by enquiringly if he is employed as a fluffing bar steward? Cyclist gets back on bike and is chased downhill by Charlie the Springer Spaniel and leader of the pack. Cyclist brakes to a halt, rear tyre lifting a foot or so off the ground, returns good morning greetings and just as he is about to cycle off realises his chain has fallen off. Further salutations to the six o clock club, which are warmly reciprocated. Six a clock club offer assistance in a slightly sarcastic form and walk away full of the joys of Spring. To

    Just another day dog walking

  • I have had those encounters too … in the distant past, Retsub : D

    You will be pleased to know they do grow out of it ……………. eventually.

    My remaining 6 are now aged between 12(next month) and 15. The eldest has even dropped his stereotyping of dogs he dislikes – it began with one but quickly spread to the entire breed – He now favours a casual greeting of any dog he meets before turning to its owner for a treat …
    But that only came about this last 8 months!
    Ha ha.

  • Sorry Gerryi must have read your note wrong, Six dogs!!!!!

    Taking them for a walk must be interesting? Do they go all at once or in stages. You must have eyes in the back of your head

  • Not much hope for Dutch side right now as Blind does not seem to be the right guy. See how we fare on Tuesday against a rampantly keen looking England.

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