It’s nearly Christmas and tradition is that it’s the time when teams in the English Premier League begin to predict how their seasons will end.
Many clubs target being top at Christmas or better still being top at the end of the year after the heavy Christmas schedule is complete.
Too often though my Arsenal has been top at both these crucial times but have ended up finishing the season in fourth position.
Ouch! So I won’t get too hung up about where we are or aren’t at Christmas Day or on New Year’s Day.
But that said; the target is to be top and remain top until the final whistle in May. For Arsenal, it all depends on what manager Arsene Wenger does in January.
Arsenal have a great squad but injuries as we all know have been our undoing. It particularly affected our performance in November although right now we are slowly getting some players back.
Having Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey back is great though both in my mind still haven’t got back to their best form. But they will so I’m not too worried.
We have other players like Alexis Sanchez and Francis Coquelin who should be back by the time the Champions League match against Barcelona comes around in February so I’m not worried about that either.
But it’s the average teams that we will be playing in January in the league that we cannot afford to lose to.
Wenger needs a top notch defensive midfielder to complement the efforts of Mathieu Flamini while Coquelin is away. It wouldn’t hurt to have another top notch striker as well.
This Christmas period is grueling and heaven forbid a player like Olivier Giroud doesn’t get through it unscathed; we will be in trouble.
As I hope for some minimal buys in January; knowing Wenger the way I do; I won’t hold my breath. But I will pray for no more injuries.
I want to dwell on Leicester City for a while here because I can’t believe that people are still calling them a fluke! A fluke is a couple of matches but we are almost half way through the season and they are showing no signs of backing down.
On the flipside Chelsea are a point above the relegation zone and are showing no signs of moving up. What confusion! I’m enjoying every minute!
Of course now it has reached a point where every title contender is quietly hoping that Leicester begins to drop points. Earlier we thought it was a given; but now that they aren’t losing games, no-one is so sure anymore.
Leicester must be stopped! And to think Jamie Vardy was bought by Leicester in 2012 from Fleetwood Town for a non league record transfer fee of £1 (that’s Sh152 at yesterday’s exchange rate) and Leicester’s other golden boy Riyad Mahrez was bought from Le Havre in January 2014 for £350,000. This is clear indication that football is a team sport and not only about big names.
Meanwhile congratulations to Bandari FC for winning the GOtv Shield. The coastal team will now represent Kenya in the continental Confederations Cup next season. Since they have sponsors with big bucks, I’m expecting them to buy top notch players and finally make Kenya proud on the continent.