What an eventful Saturday it has been for Arsenal fans. Manchester United have lost at home to Newcastle, Chelsea have lost away to Stoke whilst Manchester City were holding on for the draw at Southampton. All these results mean a win against Everton would take us 7 points clear at the top. We can’t afford to pass up such an opportunity. The pressure put on City and Chelsea to win against us will be absolutely huge and that will mean they’ll be more open and susceptible to losing. It’s only December but circumstances could mean we are heavy favourites for the title come January.
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As Arsenal look forward to the first tough test of December, with many more to come, The Gunners will line up against fellow top 4 contenders Everton at the Emirates this Sunday. In the day’s late kick off Arsenal will battle with Everton for the win, with both clubs drastically needing all three points for different respective reasons. Arsenal have the chance to maintain or extend their lead on top of the Premier League whilst the Merseyside club will be looking to close the gap on the Gunners, who have extended a fair way.
Arsene Wenger has spoken about rotating his Arsenal players and I am sure he would like to do it today, but it is always a bit of a gamble and a judgment call between risk and reward. To really be able to do it successfully, of course, you need to have full confidence that the players coming in are up to the job.
Following a rather comfortable win over Southampton in the Premier League, Arsenal welcome Ligue 1 side Olympique Marseille to the Emirates in the fifth round of the Champions League group stage. A victory for Arsene Wenger’s side can all but guarantee a place in the knockout stages of the competition and the Gunners will be looking to finish their business early as travelling to Naples in need of points is not a very ideal situation.
The Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has today dismissed rumours created by the English media over his apparent displeasure with the FA in regards to over-playing Gunners star Jack Wilshere in the friendlies against Chile and Germany, claiming that the dynamic midfielder has suffered no injury whatsoever during the latest international break.
Reports from both the Daily Mirror and the Daily Mail had claimed earlier on that the 21-year-old had suffered an ankle injury after being on the receiving end of a challenge from Germany’s Sidney Sam shortly after coming on as a substitute, with both papers also reporting that Arsene Wenger was furious with England boss Roy Hodgson over the issue. However, the French manager stepped up to dismiss both rumours and set the records straight.
After seeing Arsenal fail to score against Manchester United, one of the key questions raised was that Arsenal’s attacking options still aren’t the greatest despite the position we are currently in, topping both the Champions League group and the Premier League.
Arsenal have Olivier Giroud as their main striker, who had a cracking start to the season, but has since trailed off with his form along with a few other top players at the club. After the closure of the transfer window most fans were left disappointed with the fact we hadn’t signed a striker, however the majority saw past it to recognise that if we could keep Giroud in top form as well as injury free, then he alone may be enough to led the team’s attack until January at the very least.
So after what was a very good week of football for the Gunners with two very important wins against fellow Premier League contenders Liverpool, and Champions’ League group rivals Borussia Dortmund respectively; it all turned down to Manchester United on Sunday at Old Trafford, but unfortunately we couldn’t produce the same sort of result and bowed out in a 1-0 defeat.
Arsenal fans have never been this optimistic coming into a game at Old Trafford for a very long time. This not only stems from the fact that we are 8 points above Manchester United, but also the fact that Fergie is finally gone and Wenger has to tactically outsmart Moyes rather than him.
Although I’m more confident than I’ve ever been going into this fixture, I still feel Man Utd are an extremely strong team that could devastate us if we are not careful. They are extremely strong in attacking with Rooney in some good form at the moment. Van Persie will still be a massive threat especially when aiding their midfield and drawing our defenders away causing openings.
After back to back wins against both Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund in the Premier League and Champions League respectively, the memories of that sorry night against Chelsea in the Capital One Cup have long since faded. Arsenal have performed to the same impressive standard over the course of the tough three week period which we have had, enduring two defeats which both seem not to matter anymore.
Arsenal fans are in a pretty good mood at the moment thanks to our brilliant league form but the same can’t be said for the Champions league. Losing to Dortmund at home has put us in a very tricky situation and personally, I think we’ll need a draw if we are to survive the group.
Dortmund were really effective against Arsenal at the Emirates because they were able to stifle our creativity whilst always being prepared to hit us on the counter attack. I think it won’t be such a problem at the Signal Iduna Park. We’ll have less possession and will look to move the ball quickly when we do to cause Dortmund some problems.