Interesting because history has nothing to do with it. It’s the current players that count and quite frankly, Arsenal and Tottenham are scarcely better equipped to stay the course than Leicester City.
Leicester were beaten with almost the last kick of the game at the Emirates and although Arsenal pressured Claudio Ranieri’s side for almost the entire 90 minutes, their resilience marks them as credible title contenders. Leicester had been reduced to 10 men and I question whether Arsenal would have won the game if it was 11 v 11.
But according to Arsenal fans, Leicester don’t have what it takes to last the pace. Are Arsenal any better equipped?
Look at their team and ask yourself who has experience of a Premier League title campaign? Petr Cech and Danny Welbeck, and that was with Chelsea and Manchester United respectively. How about Leicester City? Robert Huth (again, with Chelsea). The same can be said of Tottenham. Nobody. And Tottenham last won the title in 1961.
The fact is, Manchester City are the only team in the top four who have broad experience of going for the top spot and they have really damaged their bid with defeats against Leicester a week ago and today against Spurs.
It is going to make for a tense run-in as very few players have a track record for [seriously] contesting for the big prize. Game of the People predicted an Arsenal title win back in August, but having seen the Gunners in the flesh and on TV, I still don’t think they have the firepower to win the Premier. Leicester currently have the advantage, but that defeat at the Emirates may leave a bit of a psychological scar on them. Like all neutrals, I would love to see Leicester win the title, but I just sense they will run out of steam.
I no longer believe that City will come dashing through to win the title. I don’t expect United to have a resurgence, but I do see Chelsea scraping into the top six of their current form continues. United could derail Arsenal on February 27 when they meet at Old Trafford, while Leicester could extend their lead again with a home game with Norwich. Tottenham host Swansea. Expect the table to change weekly.
The fixtures remaining (banana skins in italics):
W/E February 27: Leicester v Norwich; Manchester United v Arsenal; Tottenham v Swansea
W/C March 1: Leicester v WBA; Arsenal v Swansea; West Ham v Tottenham
W/E March 5: Tottenham v Arsenal; Watford v Leicester
W/E March 12: Aston Villa v Tottenham; Arsenal v WBA; Leicester v Newcastle
W/E March 19: Crystal Palace v Leicester; Tottenham v Bournemouth; Everton v Arsenal
W/E April 2: Arsenal v Watford; Leicester v Southampton; Liverpool v Tottenham
W/E April 9: Sunderland v Leicester; Tottenham v Manchester United; West Ham v Arsenal
W/E April 16: Arsenal v Crystal Palace; Leicester v West Ham; Stoke v Tottenham
W/E April 23: Leicester v Swansea; Sunderland v Arsenal; Tottenham v WBA
W/E April 30: Arsenal v Norwich; Chelsea v Tottenham; Manchester United v Leicester
W/E May 7: Leicester v Everton; Manchester City v Arsenal; Tottenham v Southampton
W/E May 15: Arsenal v Aston Villa; Chelsea v Leicester; Newcastle v Tottenham
Just out of interest, Football Web Pages’ predicted final table is as follows:
Game of the People is also predicting a Tottenham title win – as long as Harry Kane stays fit. You can feel the shock waves now in Finsbury Park…