Month of September will be crucial to Arsenal’s season by SE
After enjoying a slick start to their season, with wins over Manchester City in the FA Community Shield and Crystal Palace in the Premier League opener, Arsenal just had a slight dip in form towards the end of August. That, however, didn’t impede them from progressing to the Champions League group stages for the 17th year running, and remain unbeaten in the league, albeit two draws in a row will hurt Arsenal.
Going into September, Arsenal will rue not pocketing three points against Leicester; but with crunch clashes against European heavyweights – domestically and continentally – to take care of, the North Londoners would want to move on and seek a fresh start, once the international break culminates.
They take on the defending Premier League champions, Manchester City, at the Emirates, and would want to harness home advantage to impede Man City’s ambitions of getting over their shock home defeat Stoke City this past Saturday. This will be a huge game for both sides, having dropped crucial points in their last games. Arsenal, being the home side, will face the pinch, but it would not be beyond them to derail Man City by defeating them.
Following the Premier League clash against Man City, Arsenal travel to Signal Iduna Park, where they take on Borussia Dortmund in the 1st group game of this season’s Champions League. The Gunners, having won the reverse leg last season – when these two sides faced each other in the group stages – will take great confidence from that tie, as a tonic of confidence and possibly clinch a win, again.
Wenger’s wizards then get a bit of a reprieve, with Aston Villa and Southampton confronting them in the next couple of fixtures. They play the ‘Villains’ away, which might not be all that threatening; but given the kind of result that Arsenal had to digest against Leicester, they wouldn’t want to take anything for granted against an Aston Villa side, who, at the moment, are flying irrepressibly and currently sit third in the Premiership.
Arsenal then face a home clash against a depleted Southampton side in the third round of this season’s capital one cup, which, depending on the ambitions of Wenger and Arsenal, could be used as a game to rotate the squad and keep the indispensable players fresh for the first North London derby of the season, to pull the curtains on the month of September.
Mauricio Pochettino’s side, after kick starting their Premier League campaign, with two back-to-back wins against West Ham and QPR, suffered yet another heavy defeat to Liverpool, which exposed their weakness against Premier League heavyweights. However, it’s a derby, which will keep both sides honest, going into the game. Arsenal, though, with their perennial dominance over Tottenham, will start as favorites and, unlike the clash against Leicester, would be good to finish off the month on a winning note.
More than the number of games that Arsenal play, during the month of September, it’s the significance each one of those games carry, that will test Arsenal’s resolve to keep up with the Premier League pace setters and get that crucial win in the Champions League group game against Dortmund.
Yes, by the end of the month, the North Londoners would have only played six games in the Premier League, and it might be a bit premature to gauge how they are shaping up; but they would want to win all three of their clashes against Man City, Aston Villa and Spurs, taking into account that they play Man City and Spurs at home, with Villa game sandwiched in between those two marquee clashes in the league.
And, it’s because of the significance that the busy September period carries, that it’s going to be a crucial month for Arsenal’s 2014/15 season’s ambitions.