GUNNERS FINALLY FIRE
No matter what picture you want to try and paint, it is not a pretty one for Arsenal right now and with the Gunners lying closer to the relegation zone, than they are the top of the table, questions are being asked about the managerial nous of Mikel Arteta.
The red half of North London were humbled by their arch-rivals last Sunday, as Tottenham came out 2-0 winners in front of 2,000 well voiced supporters and although it was joy for Jose Mourinho’s men, it was anguish for Arteta’s.
Defeat in N17, means that Arsenal have failed to win their last four league outings and although the club’s board have put a huge amount of trust in their manager, one wonders just how far that trust will be extended.
Especially, if they fail to get the better of Burnley this weekend and with the Clarets managing to hold Everton at the weekend, they will fancy their chances of busting a few more coupons this time around.
Then again, can Arsenal not beating Burnley even be considered a coupon buster? Such is the magnitude of the Gunners’ decline, that these are the questions that rival supporters are now starting to ask themselves.
Unfortunately, the schadenfreude will have to stop there, as surely this is a game that Arsenal come out on top in and at least restore a modicum of pride. Pride that will pay out of odds of 1.57 if they get the job done.
Summary: Back Arsenal to remember what it feels like to win a game of football
SAINTS MARCH ON
After a pair of indifferent results, Southampton rediscovered their winning groove on Monday night and after getting the better of Brighton in somewhat controversial fashion, they once again find themselves in the top six of the Premier League.
Now they are back in the mix for European football next season, manager Ralph Hasenhuttl will have to make sure this is not just an early burst of impressive form and the Saints can last the distance over the course of the season.
While the obvious way in which to do that, is by going on a winning run and with victory over Brighton now in the history books, the focus now shifts to the visit of an ailing Sheffield United side this weekend.
The Blades are toiling at present, as with 33 points up for grabs thus far, Chris Wilder’s men have only earned one and although teams at the bottom can point to bad luck, it is fair suggest that Sheffield United have simply not been up for the fight when it matters.
Which also makes you think how much fight Chris Wilder has left or even how much fight he can undertake. Should he oversee another defeat, it may well mean he is out of a job before the Christmas holidays begin.
Summary: Back Southampton to win at 1.75
FRANK’S MEN MARCH ON
Everton seem to be caught in a sense of one step forward and two steps back, as after getting the better of Fulham at Craven Cottage last month, they have only managed to earn a single point from the last six on offer.
Which is arguably good news for the opposition they face this weekend, an opposition that has not lost any of their last nine league outings and that means Frank Lampard’s Chelsea will make the trip to Goodison in fine fettle.
Especially as the Blues find themselves just two points off the top of the table at present and there is almost a sense that Chelsea are just quietly going about their business, while waiting for the perfect moment to strike on their rivals.
If Chelsea can keep winning, especially as Liverpool face Tottenham later in the month, there is every chance that they could be top by Christmas and if that proves to be the case, we will all have to take the Stamford Bridge outfit more seriously.
Of course, we are not there yet, and Carlo Ancelotti would love to get one of his former employers at the weekend. Unfortunately, with the way his players are performing at present, this might just end up being a step too far.
Summary: Back Chelsea to win at 1.78