There are six games left in this (pick your cliche) season. Eighteen points up for grabs, and while I wouldn't say Arsenal should get all 18, I thought I'd take a look at who Arsenal have left to play and whether it's a winnable game or not. Care to join me?
(There's no real science or deep study behind these, they're just observations mostly)
First up is Wolves, away on Wednesday. Wolves are rooted to the bottom of the table, and have been relegated since, oh, January. This is what happens when you concede twice as many as you score, kids. So yeah, this one is winnable; if not, Arsenal have no business being Champions League contenders. THREE POINTS.
Next after that is Wigan, at the Emirates. Currently in a three-way tie for next-to-last, Wigan have a lot to play for; three more points from anywhere, be it one win or three draws, would be huge for them. Teams in this position are always tricky to play - you'd think it would be an easy win, but never underestimate a team who is trying to preserve a big fat payday, er, Premier League status. Still, it's at the Emirates, so I will in fact underestimate them. THREE POINTS.
Then, Chelsea, also at the Emirates. Chelsea are limping right now - they're going all Spurs on everyone, and are rapidly fading out of Champions League contention. That said, they'll be out to prove a point and show people who like to be shown things that they're still a contending team. This, and I'm not exactly going on a limb here, is Arsenal's trickiest fixture of the rest of the season, and if they play like they did against QPR, bad things could happen. I'm going to go crazy and call this one a draw. ONE POINT.
After that, it's a lovely excursion to Stoke-on-Trent to take on the Potters. This is always a tricky tie as well, and Stoke suck which always brings the unexpected. This one's also got draw written all over it. ONE POINT.
Arsenal's last home match of the 2011-12 season sees a visit from Norwich, also known as The Canaries. In spring. Thanks, schedulers, for going with cheap stereotypes! Next, have them play in a coal mine! Anyway, Norwich are like Stoke - safely ensconced in the second tier of the Premiership, absolutely nothing to play for in their last few games, and they'll have one eye on their vacations at this point. Unlike Stoke, they don't suck, and I kinda see this one as a tricky game for Arsenal as well. I'm going to go all conservative here and call it another draw. ONE POINT.
The last match of the season, then, sees Arsenal head to West Bromwich, to take on Albion. Did you know that "Albion" is the oldest known name for the island of Great Britain? No you didn't, don't lie. There's no shame in not knowing that. West Brom have ruined the awesome concept of having all three teams whose names start with W be relegated in a single season by rising up to 13th - like the past two matches, WBA have nothing to play for here, and I can't see Arsenal losing this game especially with Newcastle hopefully breathing down their necks in fourth place. THREE POINTS.
So there you go. Do the math, and I think Arsenal will end up with 12 points from their last 18, which would put them at 73 for the season, and hopefully cement third place. I don't know about you, but I am so much happier with Arsenal now than I was three months ago that I'm actually excited about this run-in - except for the last three matches of the season, which according to the official site are against Coldplay. I am normally not a violent person, but I can't be the only one who hopes that someone will Shawcross them, can I?