Obviously the vast proportion of today’s blog is going to talk about The Arsenal, but it’d be mad for me not to mention the absolute humbling United got at Anfield yesterday by the hands of Liverpool. It’s hilarious to see all of the United fans proclaiming the potential for a quadruple (not loads to be fair, mainly the troll accounts I think, but still) have been conspicuously absent since around 6.30pm yesterday evening. This blasts them on the points front, the goal different front, but also the morale front – I hope – and I also hope that it means they are looking at the table and not thinking about a title race. One less opponent getting close to us is exactly the tonic I needed to see and the fact that we put ourselves three more points clearer of Newcastle, Man United and the Scum this weekend is yet another thing to be happy about as an Arsenal fan.

We’re now 14 points clear of United in third – albeit they have a game in hand – with 18 points between us and the Scum, as well as 21 points ahead of Liverpool in fifth – again who have a game in hand. In terms of the original objective set out in August – finish in the top four – that feels increasingly like a forgone conclusion and regardless of what happens this season, the minimum objectives written down and probably locked in a draw in Edu and Arteta’s office from the beginning of the season, look like they’re going to be met.

That will come with it increased revenue, increased interest from players to play in that top competition, which in turn will make us a stronger squad capable of competing on multiple fronts. But the fact that we are also in this title race, that we’ve played such good football this season, tells me that in fact we are going to get more residual benefit from what Arteta and his players have been doing. Who wouldn’t want to be part of a team going in the direction that we look like we’re going in? Who wouldn’t want to be part of scenes like Saturday’s last-gasp goal? Who wouldn’t want to have a coach like Arteta improving you as a player? Regardless of final league position, regardless of if we fall away for the final charge, Arsenal is a good place to be and hopefully a place which will be a destination of choice for many years to come.

That Liverpool/United result was funny. It was enjoyable to see United so poor. But it also is tinged with a wee bit of concern from me. That concern for United possibly going on a run and coming from nowhere to leapfrog Arsenal and City may have gone down slightly after yesterday’s smashing, but my concern now shifts to Liverpool, who from next weekend will probably only have one competition to worry about after they get toasted by Madrid at the Bernabeu. They’re already three goals behind from last week and in a week and a halves time they will most likely just have the Premier League and top four to worry about. Their form if you just look at the league is starting to pick up a bit too. In their last five Premier League games they have four wins and one draw and certainly yesterday they looked like the Liverpool of old. This shouldn’t matter given how far behind us they are, but I’m looking at our game at Anfield and hoping that they aren’t back to recent past glories by the time we play them on 9th April. I suppose the upside of that game is that we have a match at home to Leeds on 1st April, when Liverpool play Man City away. We then have a whole week off whilst Liverpool play their game in hand away to Chelsea on 4th April. So that’s an extra game for them and a day’s rest for us. I’ll be a Liverpool fan for the week running up to that match, but come Easter Sunday I’ll be hoping that the scousers have left it all on the field for when we travel North West.

There’s a lot of football to played before then, however, so I probably shouldn’t even be thinking that far ahead. But if we can somehow keep our form going until the next international break on March 25th – which will mean wins away at Fulham and home to Palace – then we head in to that really difficult period in April with hopes that we stand a chance of fighting for this title right towards the end of the season.

I still make City favourites though. That’s purely based on their fixtures. Away from home I think they’re probably winning most of their games, which include Palace, Southampton (going down), Brighton, Fulham, Everton (going down) and Brentford. Their ‘tough’ games in which you might see them drop points are at home – Liverpool and us – and they have an imperious record at home. They may have lost to Brentford at home, but they have 34 points out of a possible 39, have only drawn one and lost one at home and have scored 43 goals, whilst conceding just 13. We’ve been good this season at home but we are two behind their home form, albeit that extra draw we have was as we know now one that was cheated away from us by PGMOL. So with City so good at home, their away opponents not as tricky as ours, I do worry that we have a bigger uphill task even WITH our five point buffer.

We also have to play after City this coming weekend, so we have to respond to their inevitable win against Palace, putting the pressure on us. The following week they are in the FA Cup so that might be an opportunity to put a little bit of daylight in front of them, albeit having played a bit more. But I’m looking at that Fulham game and already I’m feeling like it is going to be a really tough place to get a result. They’ve lost just three times all season there and have beaten Chelsea, Brighton and Brentford at home this season. There’s just under a full week until that game next Sunday though, so perhaps I should hold fire on my fears for that match just yet.

Instead I shall leave you with a little side of ‘congratulations to the Arsenal ladies, who won their first trophy in a few years I believe, by beating Chelsea in the Conti Cup and the hope for that team which has lost its two best players to long-term injury, is that it can galvanise them for the remainder of the season. Congrats to the women. Hopefully more silverware to come.

Catch you all tomorrow.