Arsenal's Title Push Has To Start at Liverpool

Bela TrimmelCorrespondent IFebruary 9, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 31:  Gael Clichy of Arsenal and Nani of Manchester United battle for the ball during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Manchester United at The Emirates Stadium on January 31, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

After Chelsea's win over Arsenal this past weekend, the title focus has fallen to Chelsea and Manchester United .

While Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger continues to offer excuses about his team's performances like a schoolboy explaining a disciplinary note from his teacher, Gael Clichy is refusing to step down.

The French left back, whose team meets Liverpool at the Emirates on Wednesday, is taking an optimistic view of their current situation. 

"It's not going to be easy, but it is not finished," Clichy said . He went on to comment that Arsenal were down by 11 points going into the end of November but climbed back to overtake Chelsea briefly.

While there is a strong possibility the league will end with either Chelsea or Manchester United hoisting the trophy, there are a few points to consider on the matter.



Looking at the fixture list, the season isn't ending in three games. Add another 10 to that and you have the end of the campaign. Unless my math is faulty, that's more than enough games for Arsenal to stun the leaders and regain an advantage. 

A look at the remaining fixtures for Arsenal show what will likely be easy, if the team can begin to perform again. Apart from Wednesday's match, the two big concerns will likely be Manchester City and Tottenham Hotspur. 

While it is unlikely they will take maximum points from the remaining 13 fixtures, it's not entirely out of the question that they can make up the points.

While the fixture list is one saving grace, the attitude of the team has to be a part of the equation. 

Clichy went on to contradict his manager's comments about how Arsenal was the better team versus Chelsea on Sunday. 

"You cannot say you played well when you lose 2-0." While Wenger's dodging of the issue is the major talking point, hopefully Clichy's attitude will be echoed by his teammates in an effort to turn things around.


Other Factors

It is important to remember Chelsea and United still have to face off before the season ends. Both sides will hope to come away with a victory that will seal their league fates, but there is a possibility of a draw.

These two teams are in possession of two rather prolific strikers who can finish with their eyes shut.

You put those men with the the squads built around them and you are looking at a match that will likely produce a plethora of highlights on SportsCenter's Top 10 plays and plenty of goals.

Apart from their Apr. 3 meeting, both teams will need to address the rest of their fixtures with vigor to ensure maximum points.

It is unlikely Chelsea had plans to draw at Hull last week. I'm sure they also didn't think their midseason slump, in which it seemed every dead ball kicked toward their net found its way in, was likely either.

Another point is injuries. How would the teams bounce back from major injuries to their squads? Would an absence from Rooney have a great effect on United's match outcomes? The same question can be asked of Chelsea, if they lost Drogba.

Apart from their strikers, Chelsea are looking at Michael Essien, an integral part of their mid-field, out for the next few matches.

History has proven to us what just a few matches without a key player can do to a squad.


A Bit To Early To Call

Some people will say that I am off my rocker for believing that Arsenal have a chance. 

But football is the type of sport where the crazy is commonplace and a team that was near the bottom of the table can rise to challenge for a Champions League spot the next season.

That stroke of luck is what makes the game what it is, and it's why Arsenal should not be ruled out the title talk just yet.