Arsenal have been brilliant this season so far and currently they are second in the table only by goal difference. A season, what threatened to be a disaster when The Gunners succumbed against Liverpool in the opening day, changed. Since then, Arsenal have been flawless until their last night draw against Middlesbrough.
One of the most interesting things about Arsenal this season is the consistent message that nothing can be taken for granted. Even if these fixtures are very winnable on paper, Arsene Wenger’s message after the Ludogorets win was very much: job done, forget it, move onto the next one, though they couldn’t manage a win against Boro.
But October is a kind month for them, and November has been the cruel one. In the past seasons, the chariot of Arsenal have stuttered in the month of November when they have failed to do as they are expected. Also a tough set of fixtures and injury problems have always made them suffer. And this season it’s no different, the Gunners will face Tottenham, Manchester United and PSG in the upcoming month and Arsene Wenger must be aware of his past and urge his men to turn the table.
In terms of players, they have been served well by the trio WAO – Walcott, Alexis and Ozil. Alexis is looking more convincing as a centre forward while Theo has been the revelation so far. The German Wizard has racked up 6 goals so far this season as well. In the defense Koscielny and Mustafi has made the fans realise that they are the pair they were looking for years. With all these things going right, the team must keep the focus. They have Reading at home next up and then the Gunners will travel to Sunderland and Ludogorerts before the North London Derby.
The upcoming three games may not be as testing for their defensive pair as the subsequent ones. But all the portions need to be covered by the team management before they lock horns with the big boys. Arsene admitted his team was missing their natural quality in the match against Boro, that needs to be rectified in the coming fixtures. Team mustn’t get carried away and they will have to get the maximum points out of the next three games to keep the confidence going.
With the team aiming to challenge the title, Arsene knows they have to be spot on and concentrate match by match. The physical and mental approach has to be correct to grind out the positive results, yes it is difficult in the Premier League but you have to have the highest level of professionalism to achieve the peak. Arsenal may arguably be the most underachieved club and with the completion of 20 years at the club, Wenger will no doubt be looking to make this a memorable season.
Photo by Ronnie Macdonald