Arsenal have a perfect opportunity to move up the table in the next two months. Having taken 13 points out of a possible fifteen against supposedly weaker opposition from the last five games, we will now play in quick succession three teams who, like us, are aiming to finish in the top-four at least this season: Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool.
We will know what Arsene’s team is really made off by the end of this month.
In a way, I am happy we will play Man City, Chelsea and Liverpool all in January: our team need these challenges to prove to themselves how good they really are.
In January and February, Arsenal will play seven PL games: five of them are home games (Man City, West Ham, Liverpool, Stoke and Villa), and there are only two away games (Chelsea and Sunderland). Arsenal have had a relatively hard first half of the season, with all away games in – the always difficult for us – North-West already played, and eleven away games played out of a total of 20 games until now.
So, there is now a good opportunity to take points from our direct opponents and move up on the table. Man City will not have Yaya Toure available and I reckon this will prove to be a huge loss for the Northern Oilers. He is one of the few who always gives his all for the club, whilst many of their players seem to operate as contractors, or ‘hired feet’. I have also huge respect for Kompany, Silva and Hart, but ManCity is a team that struggles with cohesion and desire issues in the team, and if we give our all from the start against them, I reckon we can have them. This would reduce the gap between us and them to eight points, and with our game in hand, we can further reduce the gap.
After Man City, Arsenal play Chelsea away. Not an easy fixture for us, but the Chavs just lost to QPR at home, and will play Stoke away next in the PL; after that it is us, and I reckon this is a good time to meet them. Benitez has had mixed results with Chelsea so far, and the fact that he is still not wanted by the fans and just lost a London derby, might work in our favour. Again, Arsenal need to play their game and give their all on the day, but this is the time to show the outside world what this team is capable off.
Three days after the Chavs game, Arsenal play at home against West Ham. The biggest risk will be that we think this is a relatively easy fixture and leave our collective foot of the gas. Let’s hope the team are focussed and give their all; if so, we should take three points from our encounter with the Hammers. The same goes for the February home games against Stoke and Aston Villa.
The next home game after the West Ham game is a big one again: Liverpool. They have started to hit a bit of form recently, and might well come to Ashburton Grove with high levels of confidence. Liverpool play Manchester United away and Norwich at home before they come to us, and especially if they were to get a result at Old Trafford, and win their home game against Norwich as well, they could fancy themselves against us.
However, once again this is a game we should be able to win, given our home advantage. One of the hardest PL games to play in the next two months is our away game against Sunderland. Never easy, and it all depends on form and belief on the day, whether Arsenal can get something from the game.
But, all in all, I feel good about the next two months, and we will know with a lot more certitude whether Arsenal are going the get something from this season in the PL or not.
Now is the time to push on properly and get as close as possible to the second place in the league.
Written by: Total Arsenal.