Man United’s win over Watford and Chelski’s inevitable victory over Cardiff today does hit home the importance that each game has and tomorrow we have yet another example of why consistently picking up wins is crucial at this time in the season.
I’m by no means counting my chickens but tomorrow night’s match against Newcastle simply must be a win. We can’t afford for it not to be because quite frankly, the home games we have are few and far between and I’m not holding out much hope that we’ll be flawless away from home.
We just don’t seem to be the same team away from home and so if we slip up at home at any point over the next month and a half it really will feel like the top four spot is slipping away from us.
The hope is that we go out and give the home games a right go and try to attack, attack, then attack some more and start to rack up goals. It does feel as though it’s a tactic we need to employ when we get the chance this season because to my mind it’s our offensive players who are going to deliver rather than the defensive. We’ve been a car crash at the back at times this season but going forward we’re the third best club in the league. So if we want Champions League football next season we’re going to need to have them step up. Laca, Auba, Özil, Ramsey, Iwobi, Mkhi, maybe even Suarez and Welbeck. That’s a decent few options for Emery there and with eight league games and at least two Europa, it feels like we’re going to need close to about 25 goals to meet our objectives this season. That means we probably need seven or eight from the two man strikers – probably each – then the others chipping in around them.
It sounds like a lot to ask for but I reckon both Aubameyang and Lacazette are capable of getting that many goals between now and the end of the season. They’ve already shown they’re world class finishers this season and I’m crossing everything that they both stay fit. If they do both get seven goals, for example, that’s almost two a game for us and when you look at the numbers statistically when you score more than one goal you’re usually going on to win a football match.
Sounds easy, eh? If only it were and we know football doesn’t work in such a linear and predictive way, but as a football fan I find weird comfort in trying to plot out our route to success. I don’t know why because ultimately it’s the most redundant exercise but it just gives me some comfort in the absence of real football. Thank god it comes back tomorrow eh?
But until then we must wait and see what happens with Chelski and the Totts. I think I want to either see Liverpool win or there to be a draw. I suppose a Liverpool win is best but I’m firmly in the ‘anyone but Liverpool’ camp when it comes to winning the league so whilst a draw isn’t ideal for the top four race, it would see Liverpool drop points again, which would be funny.
Righto, time for me to clear off, so I’ll catch you tomorrow with a match preview on the Newcastle game.