I’ve decided to write a New Year’s piece early. Twenty-fifteen has been jam-packed for me–I graduated from university, I put together a pretty fun footy event, I travelled through Germany, and then I got an awesome job–so I figure I’ve already used up all of the excitement. Sorry, just lots of grey and beige from here until January folks.
But, it’s not all bad. 2016 is here. Would you believe it? (Hey, play along.) What’s more, Arsenal sits on top of the Premier League.
A quick aside: I had to visit the Manchester City website to find their fixture list for what follows. I will repent. At the very least I will shower, the quick browse left me feeling rather… oily.
Back to the future. Arsenal is in the ascendancy. And to think, looking back at mid-November 2015, we sat level with Manchester City and we were playing some guy’s cousin on the right one week, another guy’s work-mate the next. This is how the table looked back then:
But that is merely a snapshot of what was. In November, we still had to go to West Brom and Norwich, with a European fixture at home to Dinamo Zagreb sandwiched between. Three wins from three games; that’s the stuff! Fair play to Arsenal, keeping things interesting in Europe despite supporters’ already knowing we’d surely bottle it away in Greece.
Our co-leaders had a tough task wrapping up November in the same manner. Hosting Liverpool proved routine, but a European loss to Juventus wounded City’s momentum. As a result, they had to settle for a draw against Southampton. Up two on City by December 1st.
With November and traditional calendars out the window, it was time for a chocolate a day and a frantic fixture list.
Arsenal took care of business at home to Sunderland. Next, we travelled to Greece, and as anyone could predict, “crashed out of Europe” by a “Herculean effort” from the home-side. This was bad. So bad that our next league match, away at Villa, was one that we weren’t quite present for. A bad loss to a bad team. Blegh.
Meanwhile, City found their form only to misstep again. A big ‘W’ away at the Britannia (nothing to scoff at). Three points in Europe against Borussia Monchengladbach. A disappointing draw to Swansea.
Arsenal 35 points. Manchester City 34 points. The top two then had to face each other. There’s no need to linger here though, as, this already being 2016, you know that it was a stale draw. The best case scenario for Manchester United I suppose, and I suppose not much else.
Arsenal would go on to win their remaining two games, the depth of the side evident given that there wasn’t even 48 hours between the trip to Southampton and our match at home against Bournemouth.
City wrapped up 2015 with two convincing wins; first against Sunderland, then against hangers-around, Leicester.
Where’d that leave us? Arsenal atop by one glorious point. Everything to play for (except the Champions League). A squad regaining its once-wounded bodies. A squad without excuses.
But you know all that. Now get off the computer and enjoy the future. There’s hover
boards and stuff.
That’s the future. See you there.