Arsenal have enjoyed being on top of the Premier League, and have been there long enough to get used to it. But barring a monumental cock-up from both Liverpool and Manchester City, the Gunners will probably not be in top spot when they kick-off against Chelsea at the Emirates on Monday.
Liverpool are at home to Cardiff on Saturday and a win will give them one point more than the Gunners. City also play on Saturday, away to Fulham and because of their superior goal difference, a win would take them above us in the table. So come on Fulham and Cardiff, but I am not holding my breath.
I expect Arsenal to be third when Joe Mourinho and his men arrive at the Emirates and I think how the players react to that will tell us a lot about this Arsenal team. I don’t agree with the football pundits who think that you have to beat the big teams to win the title. While our rivals have been dropping points against lower teams, Arsenal have been ruthless and consistent.
The problem for me is, if we fail against Chelsea, the effect it will have on morale and the confidence that we can win the title. A good performance is essential. We were poor against Manchester United and City, suggesting there is a bit of fear factor which we have to disprove against Chelsea. Breaking Arsene Wenger’s poor record against Mourinho would also wipe away a lot of doubts and there has never been a better time to do it.
Even a draw would be okay, but a win would put us clear at the top again for Christmas and that would be a great sign and a real boost for the club. From that, I would feel confident that we can keep up the charge and finally regain the crown of English champions.