Saturday, March 17, 2012

Three Up, Three Down: Ides of March

Three Up

1) Arsenal F.C. - Sure Arsenal will not win a trophy for the seventh consecutive year, but the Gunners are on a high.  Arsenal have won their last 4 games in the Premier League via the comeback, the first time in the twenty year history of the league. Their last loss came nearly a month ago, and they have seen Spurs' lead in the race for the last automatic Champions League position shrink from 10 to just 1. Arsenal's next three matches (away to Everton, at home to Villa, and away to QPR) are winnable. If the Gunners can win 7 on the trot, they would enter what could be a pivotal match with Manchester City on April 8 with the kind of confidence that will erase two earlier defeats at the hands of the Sky Blues.

 2)  Chelsea F.C. - The Blues have played themselves out of Three Down and into Three Up. Since sacking André Villas-Boas, Chelsea has done nothing but win. A 2-nil win over Birmingham in the FA Cup and a 1-nil win at Stamford Bridge over Stoke set the Blues up for a dramatic comeback against Napoli.  The West London side came into their Round of 16, second leg match down 3-1, but were able to overturn that deficit.  The old guard of Didier Drogba, Frank Lampard and John Terry led the Blues as they charged to a 4-1 extra-time victory.  Despite the victory, Chelsea are a volatile team.  While they have shown more life under Roberto Di Matteo, the team has been a bit like Jekyll and Hyde this season.  Which personality will prevail?

3)  Real MadridLos Merengues do nothing but win. With just 1 loss this season to a team not named Barcelona (high-flying Valencian side Levante beat Madrid 1-nil back in September), Madrid have built up a seemingly insurmountable 10 point lead at the top of the La Liga table. In Europe, Madrid's form has been equally impressive.  A 4-1 drubbing of CSKA Moscow ensured their progression in the Champions League, and the draw fell in their favor with APOEL as their quarterfinal opponents.  All signs point to a potential Clásico match against Barça in the Champions League final.

Three Down

1)  Manchester City - Oh how the mighty have fallen.  Last week, Manchester City sat atop the Premier League table and still had a realistic shot to advance in the Europa League. This week sees the Sky Blues a point behind cross-city rivals United for the Premier League title, and gone from European competition.  Sure City displayed pluck in beating Sporting at the Etihad, but the English side conceded 2 away goals to see their European adventure end prematurely at the hands of the Lions. With several difficult games, including matches against Chelsea, Arsenal and United, City may not be able to regain top position in the table.  If City suffers a loss in any of those matches, they may see what was supposed to be their breakthrough season end in disaster.

2) Tottenham Hotspur - A few short weeks ago, Spurs looked as though they were flying toward their second Champions league appearance in three seasons. Now, they are fighting for their Champions League lives.  Following three straight Premier League losses (to Arsenal, Manchester United and Everton), their 10 point lead over Arsenal has been whittled to just 1.  To make matters worse, resurgent Chelsea are just 4 points behind. Is it possible Spurs will drop out of a Champions League spot? The strength of their schedule would indicate a complete collapse is unlikely, with only an away match to Chelsea looking like a potential loss; however, stranger things have happened.

3) Juventus - It may seem a bit harsh to put the Turin club here.  Juve hasn't lost a match all season in Serie A, but they have more draws (14) than wins (13).  The Old Lady just can't seem to win a game; their last four matches in Serie A have ended in draws. Their last win was nearly a month ago against Catania.  The inability to win matches both at home and on the road, has allowed AC Milan to build a 4 point lead at the top of the table. If Juve want to win their first Scudetto since 2003, they will need to start earning three points in each match, rather than one.


  1. it is interesting to look at this post now after Real Madrid, Juventus and Chelsea won titles this year, I am a pay per head agent and I was surprised for some results this year as well

  2. It is quite odd that Manchester City has a down. Recently with the huge quantity of money the owner has. It should be easier for him to invest in better player and it would make interesting for those that they are into pay per head software.