Coupled with some of the other results in the Barclays Premier League this weekend, there has been even more significance placed on Manchester United’s match against Arsenal.
Come every season, the North-South Derby is one of the most important fixtures on United’s schedule, because of the long-standing success of both clubs, but now that the Premier League table has five teams within five points of the summit it has taken on an extra little bit of spice.
As it stands right now, and ahead of this highly-anticipated match, Arsenal and Manchester City are level on 32 points and United and Chelsea are level on 31 points, but Gunners has a game in hand while the Reds has two, so one of the teams can put a little bit of daylight between them and the rest with a positive result.
Tottenham, who drew 1-1 with Chelsea in a very end-to-end match, is on 27 points, and with the squad of players that Harry Redknapp boasts, Spurs could very easily make up those five points.
As the neutrals saw against the Blues, Spurs could rip apart most of their opponents with one of their devastating counter attacks, which had Chelsea dangling by a thread all match long, and if they could have finished one of them off it would have been curtains for their west London rivals’ title hopes.
Chelsea has won once in their last seven matches, but their defiant manager, Carlo Ancelotti, who’s job is clearly on the line, has said that their current blip has come to an end, but their six points out of a possible 21 is not good enough for relegation-threatened club let alone a title-challenging one.
It was almost an already-been written post-game answer from Chelsea’s manager, because they are facing two more titanic clashes between them and United next weekend, and then facing Arsenal right after Christmas, so it was imperative for Ancelotti to give his struggling players an added boost of confidence, or they could very easily be out of the title race by the turn of the year.
City, who won 3-1 over West Ham United this weekend, is sitting in a very lofty position right now, but the Citizens could be facing a mass exodus following the shocking news that their current captain, Carlos Tevez, has handed in a written transfer request to leave the Eastlands in January.
Roberto Mancini, who has only been in charge for less than a year, will not pull a rabbit out of his hat like Sir Alex did with Wayne Rooney, and with the other members of the squad angry about the amount of playing that they are getting, he could be forced to search for new recruits.
Arsene Wenger openly patted his team on the back and at the same time he slammed Sir Alex Ferguson’s me, by saying that his lot go out to win every match while United draw too many games.
The often-contradicting Frenchman must have simply forgot that his Arsenal team, which won the 2003/04 Premier League title had 12 draws – which only better his own record for most draws to win the title of 9 in 2001/02.
Everyone has stood up and taken notice that the Premier League is a more competitive league this season then ever before, so it may take something that is record-setting to separate the winner for the close-trailing pack.
Sir Alex recently praised Arsenal’s “Invincibles,” and that their unbeaten season was one for the ages, but he also acknowledged that United will probably not going through the 2010/11 season with a zero in the loss column, either.
Since having a bullseye on their back, Sir Alex Ferguson has urged his Manchester United players to remain fully focused to help them through all of their cup-final feel matches, and that advice should help the Reds to make a solid run at the 2010/11 Barclays Premier League title.