Having to do today’s ramblings via my Smartphone unfortunately, so going back to pre-pandemic ways, which means the high probabilities of typos and other such predictive text nonsense. So please bear with.

But what’s been going through my mind today has been – unsurprisingly perhaps – the ‘permutations’ of the remainder of this season. I know I’ve already done this a couple of times, but it helps me in my own small brain to compartmentalise little pockets of the season, whilst also making some judgements on the probabilities I believe in my head that could see us hit the Top Four Champions League spots.

The away win at Villa felt big. It felt big because it’s a tough place to go. It felt big because this season is now hitting crunch time. It felt big because we were able to gain ground on some rivals (West Ham and United) and at least stay parallel with others (the Scum).

We’ve got 54 points. We have 10 games to go and a maximum of 30 points that can be made.

The Scum have 51 points. Nine games to and a maximum of 27 points that can be made.

United have 50 points. Nine games to go and a maximum of 27.

Both United and the Scum play Liverpool away. I don’t want to count my chickens but with their form, you’d hope both United and the Scum lose those games at Anfield.

That leaves 24 points they can get – if the Liverpool assumption is correct.

That means that The Scum’s maximum points haul they can bring in – again, with the Liverpool caveat and we know the Scum have beaten City away – would be 75 points. I cannot see any team out of Arsenal, United or the Scum picking up maximum points; there are too many flaws in each team to pick up a perfect record.

So let’s say that there’s a draw and a defeat slip up for both of our direct rivals. If that rings true then you are talking five points dropped from that 24 I mentioned. That means you’re down to 19 points haul for both. That leaves the Scum on 70 and United on 69.

That’s mean making the assumption that both teams go on pretty impressive winning streaks and whilst it could definitely happen, it’s probably unlikely.

It’s probably unlikely that we will continue our impressive winning streak too, where we’ve picked up six wins out of our last seven. I mean, I’d of course LOVE IT if we did, because I think it would have us almost certain to secure top four methinks, but I suspect we’re about to hit some bumps in the road after the international break.

We play Palace away, Brighton at home, Southampton away. Very, VERY tough games, as so many are in the Premier League. But – and it’s a BIG BUT – if, somehow, we pick up nine points from those next three games, I think it nit only might give us further points differentials compared to United and the Scum, I also think it hits opponents with a psychological blow too. An Arsenal team that has won nine out of ten is in title chasing form, let alone Top Four.

However, as I’ve said, I think that we have some really tough games and for that reason, I suspect we’ll drop points in at least one of those next three games. It feels almost inevitable. But even if we could somehow pick up seven points from those three games after the international break, I still think that puts us in a commanding position.

Call it gut feel, but I think north of 71 points this season gets us Top Four. For United to get there means they have to win seven from their last nine. As I’ve already said I think none of the teams in the race are doing that. For The Scum, they need 20 points, which would be six wins, two draws and a defeat. Oddly, it feels with their run in that it is probably feasible. For us to get to 72 we need 18 points. That’s:

  • Six wins, or
  • Five wins, three draws, or
  • Four wins, six draws.

I think that we can get to five wins from our remaining 10 games. If we win all of our home games that’s four, which means we need one or two away wins. Which is why when I say I’ll be pretty confident if we pick up nine points from our next three games, I’m looking at those numbers and thinking that we should be halfway there if we do pick up maximum points.

Again, I know it’s probably nit likely to happen, that we probably will drop points, but when I break it down in to that small milestone, it becomes something smaller and more achievable. It’s also why the Villa game felt so important, because that created a tiny buffer for us and that can only be a good thing.

Anyway, I’ve probably waffled on enough with my mental gymnastics for one day. I’ll leave it there and catch you all tomorrow.

72 points boys and girls – that’s the target.