On my Thursday morning run today I was listening to the gents on the Arsenal Opinion podcast and my ol’ mate Johnny made a statement that made me stop to do some internal maths. He said that if City drop any points in their last three games, then we will win the league. There are, of course, obvious caveats that exist there as we know. For example we have to do something we’ve only managed once in the last 16 years at Old Trafford in the Premier League – win. So even though they are out of form, have looked terrible and just lost 4-0 to Palace, I STILL expect Sunday’s game to be bloody hard and for it to be very tetchy at times.

But if we overcome Man United and beat Everton, then it goes down to the final day and that could also mean goal difference. Which is the point that Johnny was making that I thought I’d share my thoughts on for today.

If….and it’s a big IF right now with two games still to play, we can pick up two wins from our final two games, then it will come down to City dropping points and in the pod Johnny was specifically referencing goal difference. And it occurred to me that I hadn’t done the completely neurotic thing that I usually do when we get to the crunch time of the season and we’ve got something to play for: work out every permutation to see where things would be falling in our favour and in this instance, what the status is with goal difference.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve known that we’ve had a much better goal difference for a while, but I haven’t done the ‘what needs to happen’ chat inside my own brain. So I thought i’d do it now. In the absence of any other Arsenal-related news, I thought “why not”

So here it is. A few calculations based entirely on a hypothetical scenario where City have drawn one game and won two, leaving them on 89 points, with us having won our final two having also finished on 89 points. Caveats aside, lot of football to be played, we could and possibly will slip up at Old Trafford, etc, etc, blah, blah. But I’m just trying to find myself a modicum of hope at a time in which the season has reached it’s climax point.

And I make Johnny absolutely right now that I’ve looked at the goal difference discussion. If it comes down to it, then I think we must be a shoe-in for the title. I’m still not sure it will, I think one of us or City will blink so that both teams finishing on that won’t happen, but if it does, then I think the odds are stacked in our favour.

We’re on +60 goal difference. City are on +54. That’s six goal difference and means they have to better us by six more on top of what we do, as we know. But when you think about that in reality, it becomes quite a task. For example, let’s say this happens, City aren’t having to find a six goal swing in three games – which feels feasible – they’re having to find it in two games, because to finish on 89 points they would have to draw a game, which is a neutral goal difference swing. So that means that as we stand they have to find six additional goals. but they don’t just have to do that, because if we win our remaining two matches by even a single margin, then it means that City have to score eight goals in two games at least, to match the tally that we have. If we beat United and Everton 1-0 in both games, City have to win two of their three remaining games 4-0 or better.

If you put aside the points thing (I’m being slightly flippant here by the way before I get a few “THAT’S THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU IDIOT” – I know it’s the most important thing – this is just a hypothetical situation), then the odds should be stacked in our favour. It’s not within the realms of possibility, of course it isn’t, that City go to Fulham and score four, or they go to the Scum and score four, or they get four at home to a West Ham side with a manager exiting and a team well and truly on the beach, but if that happens in those games then the point is moot anyway because they’ll have won their last three games. But winning 4-0 away to Fulham or the Scum is tough and I’d be surprised if they can manage that sort of hammering. I guess it really depends what sort of mentality Fulham are in this weekend, or if those Scum players have hopes of a Champions League finish. If they do, then I think that big swing is going to be tough.

The Fulham social media admin has been doing it’s bit, showing pictures of ex-Arsenal players and Bernd Leno even responded to an Arsenal fan on his Instagram when he asked him to do the business, so that’s positive. There’s also the fact it’s their last home game of the season – surely they aren’t going to want to give their fans a send off with a limp-fisted attempt at picking up a scalp on their final game, eh? Let’s see some of the same energy they gave us at Christmas, please, Fulham.

I also think that if both us and 115 Charges FC are level on points going in to the final game of the season, the way we’ve been playing this season and recently, if we need to have a two or three goal margin to secure the title against an Everton team who were confirmed safe a week or so ago, I think we would get it. I’d certainly hope we’d get it if we needed to. We’ve just got to get past Man United this weekend, hope that Fulham can do something – ANYTHING – against City, then we take it right to the death with hopes of something magical.

So I guess the main crux to take away from today’s random collection of words about Arsenal is this:

On goal difference, I think we’re gonna be alright.

It’s just the points thing that might be a problem.

Back tomorrow with some build up thoughts ahead of a huge game at Old Trafford.