A week in football is long and the last week has been very long for Arsenal. Three games, two competitions and only one point from the three. The gunners are still at the top of the Premier League and qualified from the group of death to reach the last 16 of the Champions League. Those facts are the most important, right?
We shouldn’t focus on the negatives but they cannot be ignored. Everton, Napoli and Manchester City have uncovered the old Arsenal. The Arsenal who made mistakes on end, caused their own problems and lack that winning factor. This can be put down to a number of things, fatigue being a huge factor. Three games in six days with minimal changes will have this effect on a team, especially playing three top quality teams in a short time period. But this problem needs to be eradicated fast!
The Arsenal fixture list of February and March consists of Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Chelsea and Bayern Munich. To be the man you have to beat the man right? This will be the perfect opportunity for Arsenal to show they are the real deal, but also where the season may effectively end.
Christmas can still be great for Arsenal by stepping up and defeating Chelsea on Monday. With a nine-day rest, fatigue should not be an excuse and this will be the perfect time to respond to being defeated 6-3 by City. The Arsenal players owe themselves and the fans three points at home against Chelsea to open the gap between Arsenal and the rest.
Wenger’s lack of rotation does show that he does not believe or trust in all of this players. Napoli would have been a great time to start the likes of Bendtner, Vermaelen, Walcott and Monreal to freshen up the side before the big clash against City. Although qualification was not certain yet, it was in the control of Arsenal. By not resting players and trying to play defensive we have ended up finishing second in the group and have now seen our lead cut down to two points.
Can the lead be restored? Of course, will it be cut down again? Maybe, our start to 2014 is not easy at all. The January transfer window could be the difference between Champions and nine years without a trophy. A striker to give Giroud competition and an extra centre back is needed.
For now COYG because we’re still top! And if everything goes to plan, 2014 we will still be at the top of the table!