This is not the first time this season the fixture list has caused difficulty for Arsenal. First in October-November a list which featured: Chelsea (cup game), Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund (Champions League) and Manchester United in a two week period. Just before Christmas the Gunners had to face an inform Everton, Napoli, goal crazy Manchester City and Jose and his magic Blue Bus aka Chelsea. 2014 is no different, Liverpool, Manchester United, Liverpool (cup game) and Bayern Munich (Champions League) all await Arsenal within the next two weeks. February is supposed to be a month of love but this February has turned out to be hell for the title contenders.
Down side to these fixtures; not a very long gap between these games, they are all essentially must wins and we’re desperate for silverware. Upside to these fixtures; three of these games are at home were we’ve developed a pattern of winning 2-0, we win these games then the confidence will be higher than ever before and it would scare the life out of any other competitors of Arsenal.
But Arsenal’s hell of a run does not end there. Everton, Chelsea, Spurs , Manchester City and the return leg away to Bayern follows not long after. Now you look at this and think, why didn’t Wenger splash the cash? How are Arsenal going to survive this?
Even the most optimistic Gooner would be going to church to pray for salvation. Although there is a fair amount of players injured, the Arsenal squad still looks very strong and everyone looks hungry for glory. There is a new spirit within this Arsenal squad which has not been seen since probably 07/08 aka the nearly season. Four points off top, controversially went out against Liverpool in the Champions League and dumped out of the FA Cup by Manchester United.
Another advantage to this season, it is World Cup year. Every player at Arsenal who could be going to the World Cup needs to out perform all of their country men to make that plane. The Arsenal back line are not only fighting for their place in the first eleven at Arsenal but for their country. Gibbs and Monreal are fighting for the position left back at Arsenal and internationally. Vermaelen wants to get back into the Arsenal first eleven and wants to make sure he is in that Belgium squad in Brazil.
The midfielders are in a very similar position. Arteta and Flamani may not be able to force their way into the Spanish and French squads but Wilshere, Podolski, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Ozil and Santi Carzola all have competition and will need to keep up their form to make sure they play in Brazil in the summer. Giroud is the safe number at Arsenal until at least the summer but he is not a definite starter for France and will need to show that he is worth his place in the team.
With these factors, the Arsenal team will need to take on the challenge of defeating their rivals. To expect victory against all of these teams is borderline unrealistic, and that’s for any team. Arsenal going out of the Champions League I personally do not think would be a bad idea considering who Arsenal could face in the next round and how delicate the Premiership race is now. Having fewer games than City and Chelsea could be a huge advantage to winning the league. Yes knocking out Bayern Munich is what we all want, but having that mid-week break while a title rival have to play Real Madrid and then again on the weekend, could give Arsenal that extra boost for glory.
As long as the injury voodoo stays away from Arsenal, by April the Premier League title could be on its way to North London. Arsenal are not favourites to win the league, however, the destination of the title is in the hands of Arsene Wenger and his team.