Four games, Two Weeks To Define Arsenal's Season

For five seasons Arsenal has been all but out the race of winning the Premier League title with a country mile still left to run. Now the opportunity has arisen and to the challenge of bidding for a 14th league championship. 4 games, 2 weeks against the best of what English football has to offer that will shape and define a season and the credentials of Arsene’s young guns.

Starting with a Wednesday night clash at Villa Park, Arsenal will play Man United, Chelsea and Liverpool all quicker you can shake a dog’s tail.

Now would Arsenal fans watch the next few weeks in fear or see it as an opportunity to prove their desire for a title? So far this season they have bounced back into the race having suffered the heavy 3-0 defeat to Chelsea at home so personally I am excited to see how Arsenal will handle this significant period.

Looking at the opposition let’s start with Villa – worthy Carling Cup finalists, a team full of talented English players in Agbonlahor, Young, Downing and the best of them all: Milner. They are arguably the best counter-attacking team in England with pace to expose teams who try and bite off more than they can chew.  But this style of football suits Villa when they’re away from home and the onus is on the opposition to take the game to them – this is why they have had difficulties with teams at home this season.

Man United, put simply, are weak in defence, mild in midfield and strong up front and that’s only due to the brilliance of Rooney.  Sunday will have the usual passion and intensity this fixture always provides but United are there for the taking and will offer just as many chances as they will create – there will not be a better time to get at their arch rivals.

Chelsea and Liverpool offer different propositions, the  ‘physical first play football later’ approach of Chelsea with all their boys back from ANC duty (minus Essien) against the ‘pick and mix’ of Liverpool week by week you are never quite sure what the Liverpool team will turn up.

Chelsea will naturally back themselves to get a result with their formidable home record. This possibly means the best Arsenal could hope for is a point, which in the big picture will be a job well done. As for the reds of Liverpool, a home win will be expected – especially if there is no Gerrard and Torres (G&T) available at the bar. However, in recent seasons Benitez has tactically got it spot on for Liverpool against Arsenal including a Champions League Quarter Final and their last two league visits – not a push-over despite their challenging season.

In a nutshell:

10+ points – The ‘Real Deal’ and could go all the way.

6-8 points – Good, but not good enough to be title contenders

5 points or less – Call up the youth squad, they can do better.

but in recent seasons Liverpool

2 thoughts on “Four games, Two Weeks To Define Arsenal's Season”

  1. They are all going to be tough matches. My own take on it is:

    Arsenal vs Aston Villa:

    I think this match is won and lost on who scores first. Aston Villa have the tactic of score a goal and sit behind the ball till it reaches 90 minutes.

    They are a very opportunistic side that take their opportunities but won’t get into a firing match with their opponents. If they score before Arsenal it is unlikely Arsenal will have an opportunity to score as Aston Villa will put everybody in their half for the remainder of the match.

    I think Arsenal will score first and coax Aston Villa out.

    Prediction: 3-1 to Arsenal.

    Arsenal vs Manchester United:

    This match hinges completely on who is defending for United. Manchester United have a lot of firepower up front and create plenty of opportunity but they play a tighter and closer to home formation when their defense is lacking.

    I feel if Vidic and Ferdinand are available Manchester United will be a lot harder to penetrate and will therefore have the upper hand.

    Manchester United vs Arsenal is always exciting though and I can’t wait to see it but again depending on who is available for defense I give this one to United.

    Prediction: 2-1 to United

    Arsenal vs Chelsea:

    I think Chelsea will overcome Arsenal here. Gunners couldn’t be a more fitting name for Arsenal because they are great at scoring goals but going up against the big men at the back and in the midfield in the Chelsea squad is not going to be easy.

    I feel Chelsea are better at preventing their opponents from scoring and therefore will create more opportunities and are more likely to score and win.

    Prediction: 2-0 to Chelsea

    Liverpool vs Arsenal

    I think this is the most interesting of match ups. Neither team is strictly defensive and they both bring firepower to the equation.

    It’s interesting though because despite Liverpools recent problems Benitez does know how to play against Arsenal. I doubt Wenger will instruct his squad to take it easy either but it is going to be an interesting match up.

    With the injuries Liverpool has though I don’t expect them to win. Good team but there is no way around injuries. I still don’t want to rule out a good Liverpool side though and considering the toll the matches are likely to have taken on Arsenal by then I will predict a draw.

    Prediction: 2-2

  2. I think your simplification about points needs one complication – namely the distribution of points.

    For example, even 5 or 6 points could be a haul that keeps Arsenal in the title race if they draw against Chelsea and United. That’s for the obvious reason that then Arsenal’s main competitors drop points. So, given today’s result, let us suppose that Arsenal go for 6 points – three draws and a win over Liverpool. Even supposing that United and Chelsea win three games in four game stretches, Arsenal only ends up dropping 3 points on each. If, however, they earned 6 points by beating Villa (no longer an option!) and Liverpool, they would drop 6 points on United and Chelsea.

    So, our reading of the points they earn greatly depends on who they earn those points against.

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