The question now remains: Have the Gunners run out of ammunition or will they strive under pressure and win the Premier League for their injured Eduardo?
Flamini has rallied his troops to win the title for their teammate, but will they have enough in them to finish the season strongly or will they fall just short?
We have seen the unthinkable occur in this remarkable season so far. Thierry Henry left Arsenal and Jose Mourinho left Chelsea. There were also some big-name transfers, horrendous refereeing, and the never-ending potential of Cristiano Ronaldo. The list can go on, but truly this season will go down in the history books as very eventful.
Coming back to the 11 games left, with Arsenal and Manchester United battling it out on the top we have the Silent Assassin Chelsea only six points behind Manchester United with a game in hand and nine points behind the league leaders.
Throughout the whole season we have seen the depth of both Chelsea and Manchester United coming in handy. Because of their squads they are being able to rest their stars and get the same results. Wenger continues to complain about his players being exhausted. The only solution is that he should consider rotating his squad a bit more and if he can’t, please stop complaining. Injuries are a different story, but not using your fringe players and complaining is not too sensible.
The difference in class was clearly seen when Manchester United thrashed Arsenal in the FA Cup, whilst Arsene Wenger (the man with excuses for everything that happens on the field) complained about the pitch and how his players were exhausted.
Well, I must have lost the plot but clearly, they fielded five (six) first team members in Toure, Gallas, Fabregas, Hleb, Eduardo, and if you consider Eboue has started in more games than a fringe player would then he is also a first team member. Compare that to Manchester United's, Brown, Rio Ferdinand, Vidic, Evra, Van Der Sar, and Rooney. We fielded same number of first team members, yet we looked as strong as our preferred 11.
Clearly a master class performance shut down Arsenal to an extent that Wenger had nothing to complain about but the pitch. However, during the match—whoever watched it will agree—the only thing Arsenal was doing was kicking the ball up and hoping one of their strikers would get onto it. That doesn't require a good pitch because the majority of the time the ball is in the air.
Since then Arsenal have found it hard to finish off games. It was seen against AC Milan, as they had several opportunities but couldn't find the back of the net.
On the other hand, Manchester United was boosted by their emphatic victory over their rivals and went into the Lyon game full of confidence. They didn't put in a majestic performance like they did against Arsenal, but they did get a good result with a 1-1 draw away from home.
As you can see Arsenal was hit with a morale damaging defeat at Old Trafford, while Manchester United has hit their stride having put behind their embarrassing performance against their fiercest rivals Manchester City.
Again, during the weekend against Birmingham, Wenger’s men could not get the result they desired, missing an opportunity to go eight points clear. If it wasn’t for Eduardo’s injury it could’ve been a different story, but a draw against a 10 men side is still not a good result.
However, The English Champions put in another effortless display of clinical finishing making it two six-goal thrillers against Newcastle. With Cristiano Ronaldo in the current rein of form it’s hard to tell whether he is a striker or a winger because he is finishing the ball better than Arsenal’s top-scorer Adebayor.
With that in mind, Manchester United capitalized on the slip-up and cut the deficit to three points. This has allowed Manchester United right back into the title race! Will this slip-up cost Arsenal the title or will they have just enough to fend off the Scorching hot Red Devils?
1. Manchester United
6. Aston Villa
8. Manchester City
9. West Ham United