Arsenal may well be at the Premier League summit, but there are still a significant few that are unconvinced by their title winning pedigree. A decidedly easy schedule so far, the upcoming month could act as a decent barometer for Arsenal’s title ambitions.
The North Londoners have only played one match against any of the current top 10 sides and that was a narrow home victory over rivals Spurs earlier on in the season. Tottenham are a club heavily in the developmental stage and although it was a priceless 3 points, it really doesn’t go that far in telling us how primed Arsenal are for a title challenge.
In fact Spurs manager AVB went as far as to suggest that Arsenal have had it easy of late, he made the following remarks recently when speaking to the Evening Standard:
“We will see the big fixtures coming now for Arsenal. They have only played us so far and they have both Chelsea and Manchester City to come, and Liverpool,” he said.
“I suppose the fixture list at the moment is in favour of Manchester United as they have all played the big teams so far, apart from us, so that will give them a chance to bounce back, for sure.”
“The league looks extremely open. The team in 14th place has ten points- only nine fewer than the leaders.”
AVB is spot on, whilst Arsenal have put away what has been placed in front of them with apparent ease, they have rarely been given a stern test of their credentials. To really see if Arsenal have moved on from their summer of turmoil they need to prove themselves against the biggest clubs in the League.
Those holding back their judgements on Arsenal may well find their voices during what would appear a gruelling set of fixtures over the coming days. Arsenal will face the likes of Chelsea, Borussia Dortmund, Manchester City and Liverpool all in the next couple of weeks and by the end of that period we will all be in a better position to judge the ‘Gunners’.
If this week was anything to go by, the North Londoners may well struggle. Arsenal put in what was by all accounts a decent performance against a somewhat lacklustre Dortmund side, yet still they were expertly put away by a couple of moments of brilliance. This is what you come to expect from the top teams, and Arsenal for all their wonderful football will have to find a way of getting past top opposition if they want to battle for top honours come May.
Now this isn’t to say that Arsenal wont come through this tough set of fixtures with aplomb, early season form points towards a much improved side this year. However, with the league table so tight and the season so young, it would be wrong to start getting carried away with the start Arsenal have made.
Too many Arsenal fans think that this is it, the return to the glory days that they have all been waiting for. Who knows they may be right, but if you want to be logical in your judgement then take a step back and decide whether or not they have proven themselves against the very best. The answer as of yet is definitively no.
Of course Arsenal can’t help their schedule, you can only play the sides in the order the league dictates and for the ‘gunners’ this has meant an easy start.
The debate between spending big and persevering with what you have continues to rumble on at Arsenal, and for me it is still an issue bubbling below the surface. Negative opinions are silenced by good results, but when they begin to face next month’s challenges will the ‘boo boys’ return?
The real barometer may well be as to how Arsenal deal with defeat, not so much will they keep winning. A testament of title winning sides is always in the way they bounce back from going a goal down or losing a match. I expect Arsenal will be put in these kinds of positions in the coming weeks and it is how the club and indeed their fans deal with these situations that will largely dictate how their season progresses.
I think come mid-November we may well be in a position to judge the Arsenal class of 2014.
Is this the most important of months coming up for Arsenal?
Can Arsenal stay in the title race?
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