Word cloud from East Lower – courtesy of Wordle
Now, itâ€™s got to be said that looking at the stats and the squad sheets above doesnâ€™t get you all that far. It will tell you that Birmingham have a very good home record, but it will also tell you that Arsenalâ€™s recent record looks like WWWWWW. The general picture is no clearer because since we went top last Saturday, albeit briefly, both of our rivals have since overtaken us again. Itâ€™s impossibly close and with every passing game, the effect of any dropped points is magnified. Studying stats now just gives me the fear. Doing the Prem Predictor merely magnifies it tenfold.
Ordinarily, a point at St. Andrews would be considered a decent enough result. Tomorrow though, it would feel like a hammer blow. Just look â€“ if you can bear it â€“ at the example of Chelsea from the last week. Written off last Saturday following a draw, a subsequent 5-0 win and itâ€™s all back on for them. This is how itâ€™s going to be between now and the end of the season Iâ€™m afraid.
Itâ€™ll be a taut day for Eduardo, youâ€™d imagine. Over two years since the leg break, and itâ€™s still hard to see the player that was in the player that now is. Three league goals this term tells its own story. Given that whenever I see the incident again â€“ or Ramseyâ€™s for that matter â€“ my own never-broken ankle comes out in tingly sympathy, you can see why itâ€™s not the kind of thing that a player who suffered an injury like that is likely to be able to dismiss entirely. It must be almost impossible. At least the perpetrator of the tackle back then is no longer at the club â€“ heâ€™s now at Watford.
Eduardo signed a new deal not long ago, which is either a sign of Wengerâ€™s faith or a piece of economic good sense for a player coming to the end of his contract. Would anyone be really surprised if he did move on in the summer? On current form it has to be a possibility.
Back in 2008, had we won at Birmingham we would have gone eight points clear.
Oh for the luxury of a lead like that now.