There seemed no way back for Arsenal after they suffered a 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane last month, which meant they were seven points adrift of Spurs. However, they have slowly clawed their way back into contention for the Champions League places, and after Spurs dropped two precious points against Everton last weekend, coupled with their 2-1 triumph over West Bromwich, they remain only two points behind their north London rivals.
More importantly, for the first time this season, their destiny lies in their own hands as they have played a game less than Spurs. If they were to win all their remaining seven league matches, irrespective of how Spurs fare in their remaining six league fixtures, they would be guaranteed a shot at Champions League glory next season.
With Spurs not playing this weekend due to Chelsea’s participation in the FA Cup, Arsenal could deliver a major psychological blow to their London rivals by climbing to fourth at their expense, with victory against Norwich at home.
And Graham believes Arsenal will stay above Spurs for the rest of the campaign and could shockingly finish third as well. According to Metro, he said, “I fancy Arsenal. I didn’t earlier in the season but now they’re favourites and could maybe even end up third.”
Spurs have by far the toughest run-in and they need to travel to Chelsea and Stoke as well as entertain Manchester City at home. He added, “Tottenham have been outstanding this season. In the games I saw them play earlier this season I thought they would definitely be in the top four, but if you look at the fixture list they have got a very, very hard run-in. Arsenal’s only real tough game is home to Manchester United.”
He also admitted that Wenger has deserved the criticism directed towards him this season, but acknowledged how the Frenchman has turned Arsenal’s form in the Premier League, having picked up 22 points from a possible 27, a stat bettered only by Manchester United.
He said, “Arsene Wenger has been under a lot of pressure and criticism this season, some of it is justified, but when it comes to the run in at the end of the season he’s been fantastic. They’re not the Arsenal of old but they’re picking up important points and playing with a lot of confidence.”
There is further positive news for the Arsenal fans, as talismanic midfielder Jack Wilshere could be in line for a return against Norwich after sustaining another ankle injury last month. Also Walcott, who has had his best goals return this season, has returned to training.
The return of the key duo could not come at a more appropriate time with the Gunners firing on all cylinders. With their destiny in their own hands, do you think the Gunners can better Spurs for a Champions League berth?