Reality Check: United & Chelsea Are Hitting Form

Every team in the Premier League has now played 30 games.

And last night, with their game in hand, Manchester United easily cruised to a 2-0 win over Bolton Wanderers at Old Trafford. Even before the game kicked off, Bolton were huge outsiders at an amazing 16-1. I don’t think I’ve ever seen odds so high before!

I watched the game hoping for some sort of miracle but it never came. United went 2-0 up after 20 minutes and effectively ended the match as a contest. And after only conceding 5 goals at home all season, you wouldn’t put money on Bolton getting 3 in the remaining 70 minutes. As is played out, Bolton managed to fashion a few half chances from long distance, but Manchester United never got out of second gear and if Bolton did score then the home side would have just got a couple more in reply.

The worrying thing was United played with about 7 or 8 reserve team players and still won easily. Ronaldo is on fire and knows were the net is. And they have Rooney, Tevez, Nani and others from midfield who pose a goal threat.

Who in the Arsenal side even look like scoring in the last part of the season?

In the last few domestic games we’ve had to rely on Theo Walcott, Nicklas Bendtner and Kolo Toure to get our goals.

Bendtner and Theo don’t even start!

So United are 3 points clear with 8 games remaining. You would think United would drop a few points before the end of the season so it’s not a complete disaster – but you have to think that to stand any chance of pipping them we would need to win at Old Trafford.

The big problem as Myles has said is we have no momentum whatsoever.

Since the defeat against United we’ve been shocking. We’ve drawn all 4 domestic games since and only won 1 from the last 6 games in all competitions.

Can Arsenal break this slump in form?

In the other game yesterday Chelsea led 3 times before being pegged back by Spurs, drawing an amazing game 4-4. Before the matches even kicked off I was disappointed that the Spurs/Chelsea game wasn’t shown instead of the non-contest at Old Trafford, and so it proved to be the more interesting encounter.

And amazingly Berbatov had a golden chance to win the game, with Cudicini pulling off a wonder save with only minutes remaining.

The interesting thing to note from the highlights was that 3 of the goals Chelsea conceded were from set-pieces, and even the final goal from Robbie Keane came from a long ball. That would be something most teams would take advantage of but our threat in the air isn’t exactly the best in the league. Maybe Adebayor or Kolo can do something from set-pieces but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

And the thing is Chelsea have momentum.

Despite drawing yesterday, they can take a lot of positives from the game.

They scored 4 goals away from home. Their strikers are scoring, as well as their midfield. They pose a real threat every time they attack. They’re simply playing better football than we are.

And that is so hard to admit.

They also have fight. Of course, the Chelsea players were being complete arseholes to the referee and contesting every single decision that didn’t go their way, but they showed fight on the pitch. Most of the aggression was way over the top (and Cuntface should have been sent off), but as much as I hate them it’s crystal clear they want to win. Badly. I just haven’t seen that kind of passion from the Arsenal players recently.

From their last 11 games, they have won 8 of them and drawn the other 3.

This is the time of the season you should be hitting form and going from strength to strength – and while United and Chelsea are doing so we’re seemingly going out with a wimper as the season closes.

So Sunday is a must win game, at a ground were they haven’t lost since we defeated them 4 seasons ago. We also have to overcome a side who are bang in form.

Talk about a massive ask.

And talk about a massive game. This game is simply the biggest game of the Premier League campaign so far. If Arsenal want any chance whatsoever of winning the title then they have to win on Sunday. If Arsenal lose and United win (they always beat the Scousers) then a 6 point gap with only 7 games left is – for me – a bridge too far. And if that happens, in terms of momentum, Arsenal and United would be a million miles apart.

From Liverpool’s point of view, beating United would be good news for them. Apart from the obvious glory of beating their North West rivals they would give Arsenal hope in the league. It’s in their best interests for Arsenal to be fighting for the title, especially when it comes down to the Champions League encounters.

On the other hand it wouldn’t surprise me if United battered them 4-0.


14 thoughts on “Reality Check: United & Chelsea Are Hitting Form

  1. I dont think United are ‘hitting form’. Apart from Ronaldo, their sum midfield total is something like 5. Rooney and Tevez were never and arent prolific. Ronaldo is the only one who is scoring. I think Liverpool can turn them over, Rafa has never beaten Fergie in the league but this time he has Torres on form.

    Also, Chelsea look very vulnerable, and are yet to score against Liverpool, Man U or us in the league. I think we will win. Their midfield is full of passengers, Lampard, Essien, Ballack and Mikel let the game pass them by. The only issue is whether we go 5 in midfield with RVP on the left and Hleb behind Adebayor or we go 442.

  2. i agree with steve, they are not neccessarily hitting form it is just that we have completely lost form, which is more worrying. god forbid we go 5 in midfield, we need to go and win.

  3. We need to get our act together. Everyone is making excuses but the fact of the matter is 4 draws against shite opposition isn’t good enough. How can people expect us to turn over Liverpool, Chelsea and Team Manchester in our remaining fixtures if we can’t beat Middlesbrough! Unless Wenger gives his players a good kicking up the arse we’re going to finish in fourth!

    You think I’m joking? You have said Chelsea and United are on form but you’ve forgotten Liverpool have been winning games (easily) too. They’re only 8 points behind us and with our current form they could run us close. They were about 20 points behind only a month ago!

  4. I am more worried about us than United and Chelsea. We need to find form and quickly. United in my book have been a one man team this season & Chelsea are beatable. We & Liverpool have the advantage of not playing midweek and if Liverpool get a result and we beat Chelsea United will be under big pressure & Chelsea would be more or less out of it. When you are on a run like ours its better to play against a big team. Our players will be up for it

  5. Have to disagree with the article and agree with the previous posters, Tevez, Rooney, and Nani have 21 goals between them, and two of them play as strikers. Fabragas, Van Persie, and Rosicky have 18 goals between them, and two of those players have been injured most of the season. ManU have been quite fortunate that Ronaldo has avoided injury as there have been 8 premiership games where he was the only scorer in a win for United. ManU have not impressed me as of late, and as the statistics support, they are overly reliant on Ronaldo. If Benitez can shut down Ronaldo they will take points. As for Arsenal, I think this game is a defining moment in the premi race. If we win, I will feel confident that we can win the league. If we draw, i think it will be difficult, but we can still do it. If we lose, it will be a mental thing and I think it will be hard to turn it around in time to take the league.

  6. On the day that’s is in it, ( i.e. losing top spot) it would be cathartic to point out that we were tracking Ronaldo for 18 months before Manure stepped in and paid the asking price. Just about explains where we have been at for the past number of years and why we are in our present predicament. By all means try and pick up good emerging talent at a reasonable price but this must be augmented by at least two proven diamonds per season. Then when you get to this stage of the season ” when the going gets tough the tough get going”. Our lack of depth is not just with the squad but also in depth of character in some players. This is what buying in proven tough players would quickly remediate.

  7. Gunner> That’s a bit irrational. When he arrived he wasn’t a diamond. he was a one/trick pony. And u dont know the story. Arsene actually was going to sign him until Queiroz’s links to Sporting took him from us. It wasn’t just being outbid. And United paid more because Arsenal were going to get him.
    When they signed him I remember saying to fellow gooners that he’s the one Man U player of my time that I zish arsenal hqd signed:

  8. To a certain degree, I agree with Gunner in that Arsene has not signed any proven players at all, apart from possibly Eduardo. Why does Arsene continue to signing players who have no track record, are 17 years old and keeps looking at the future. We as fans want the NOW, not 5 years time when the player he has signed may not even be around.

    I also agree with the other posters also with regards that United and Chelski have not exactly found form, its just that we have lost ours. If we lose on Sunday, then AFAIC the league is over for us.

    For what its worth, I think it will be a draw on Sunday.

  9. So Ronaldo scores two goals one by way of a lucky reflection and they are in form!they have not played well in their last 3 matches! dude Arsenal are not playing as bad as u feel, Refs and teams playing Anti fpptball have something to do with the lack of goals also. Chelsea were up against the spurs 3-1 and could not hold a lead, so i guess a side that lets in 4 goals is an inform side, huh? Come on dude! liverpool are the inform team!

    Go Gunners!

    God Bless!

  10. At this stage of the season a good experienced player is always better than a good young player. When the pressure ratchets up a couple of notches and the team is coming to the end of a long hard season the cream always rises to the top. I am not having a pop at the Arsenal squad. It is made up in the main of young bargain buys and they have exceeded themselves all season – which is exactly my point. They have exceeded everybody’s expectations and have done as well as they possibly could have.
    But where would we be if over the past three years we had augmenteeed the squad with two or three been there done that players in their low to mid twenties. Yes they would cost a lot more than we are used to spending but what would have been the returns.
    What frustrates the hell out of me is that we have been making the same mistake for the past four years. If for example we had bought Torres last summer ( which we had the chance to do) in what position would we find ourselves now.

  11. What momentum do Chelsea have? They just blew a victory away……..THREE TIMES!
    They hemorrhaged goals last night! Did you notice Avram Grants cowardly tactical changes. I bet Wenger was licking his lips watching Grants decisions….. I certainly was!
    Anything other than three points on sunday and I’ll be shocked. We’ve had a bad few weeks for sure, but as far as I can see, the title is still in our hands. After all, we still have to play both of the main contenders. Stop whinging and start supporting your team.

  12. Exactly Jimmy! we are playing as well or even better than both of these sides but lack the result, the tides will turn come Sunday. Our team at best is the best as far as im concerned and that not being biased. We have the most balanced team in the league. We will come good!
    I dont know why people show such a lack of faith once things go a little sour, that happens to every team! but a true fan keeps supporting and believing, especially given our position, yep, way down there in lowly “SECOND” place, GEEZ!

    Be Blessed

  13. If United are out of form then why the hell do they still win games when they play shite? I’d rather be doing that than drawing game after game after bloody game!

    We’re playing poorly but the worst thing is we’ve lost the ability to take the points when we’re playing badly. United and Chelsea sometimes play crap but still win games – that’s the difference.

    Form is also about results and the fact that United and Chelsea have pegged us back (and United have gone above us) in recent weeks means they have been getting the job done.

    Can we say that?

    And I agree about the goals, who the fuck is going to score for us? I know for a fact it won’t be Alex ‘Can’t Shoot’ Hleb or Emmanuel ‘Touch Like A Rapist’ Adebayor!

  14. All our scoring hopes rest with Robin as Ade is in a scoring slump. Eduardo was a massive loss at the worst possible time but we have to move on. We have to keep it tight in the first half and so a 4-5-1 is imperative. As the game wears on in the second half the mid-week 4-4 will work in our favour and as Chelsea tire, we can go for the jugular. This has to be a tactical game and I’d settle for a 1-0 while praying our defence can have the game of their lives. Chelsea is a much stronger team than Milan so let’s not kid ourselves that anything less than a 10% improvement over even that performance at the San Siro will suffice. Man how we could have used Diarra in this game! I’m sure if we still had him and let Gilberto and Diaby go, Flamini would not still be dicking around with his contract. Also, please, please start Walcott and bench Eboue.


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