It’s January 30th and up until yesterday we were top of the league. Throw in the FA Cup and the Champions League and that’s 3 trophies that we’re still competing for… not bad considering seasons past. So far this year we’ve gone about our business without as much pressure. With everyone writing us off from the beginning, and expecting Chelsea or City to take the league it’s taken the pressure off of us somewhat and left us to play our football, which we’ve done pretty damn well so far. But, there comes a defining point in every team’s season that can either make or break their hopes of achieving their goals for the season. For Arsenal, this defining moment of the season is right now. Will it be the point that our season starts to crumble or that crucial event that led us to win the trophy?
We’ve got our most important and difficult run of games coming up against some very big teams in all three competitions all the while Chelsea and City are putting a lot of pressure on us to win every match now. They’ve been barking up our behinds all season but now one of them has managed to get in a toe ahead of us…for now. Anyway, coming up we’ve got some intense matches in falling within 11 days:
Liverpool – League
Man United – League
Liverpool – FA Cup
FC Bayern – Champions League
To top that off were running a bit short with the squad, especially in the midfield.
Besides Walcott being out for the season we’ve also got issues with:
Flamini – Suspended
Rosicky – Injured
Ramsey – Injured
That leaves us with just Mikel Arteta in the middle of the park, who’s a fantastic player but to be honest looked lacking of some fitness last match. It’s ironic to think that the area of the pitch that we were most comfortable in and didn’t need any strengthening might be our downfall this season.
So, it’s time for the Arsenal to step up their game in this defining moment of the season.
Players coming back from injury like Oxlade-Chamberlin, Bendtner (*gulp), are going to have to step up and get back in the groove quickly. Someone is going to have to make up the goals that Walcott would have provided.
With only one day left in the transfer window Arsene Wenger is going to have to step up and sign a striker (although it’s highly unlikeley). How long can we go on depending on just one recognized striker?…it didn’t work last year, or the year before…it’s not going to work now.
And weather or not we sign someone Podolski is going to have to step up and be more consistent. He has one of the most powerful shots I’ve ever seen, and Wenger claims that he’s one of the most lethal finishers he’s ever worked with. Coming from a man who was worked with players like Anelka, Henry, and Wright, that’s a big statement. In one match he’s scoring two goals and providing assists while in another game it’s like he’s a ghost on the pitch… and his fellow compatriot Ozil’s been looking rather lethargic as well.
It’s also a chance for Gnabry and newcomer and freshly fit Sanogo to show what they can do and contribute to this magnificent season were having. Gnabry has been quite impressive so far when he’s ben called upon, let’s hope Sanogo follows his lead.
So, let’s see if Arsenal are up for the challenge. We’ve got a match at home against Crystal Palace and our old friend Chamakh (I still think it’s a shame it never worked out with him after the great start he had). After that…the onslaught begins. We’re spread quite thin at the moment and it’s going to be a big challenge, but I do believe that we can make it through this tough period with a strong position in at least 2/3 of our competitions…probably the league and FA Cup … I mean c’mon it’s freakin’ Bayern...again!!!