Two draws on the bounce have not exactly inflicted a big dent in the title hopes of Arsenal but they have allowed the chasing pack to catch up and that sees the Gunners now just one point ahead of Manchester City and only ahead of Leicester City on goal difference in the Premier League table.
Don’t panic, though, captain Mainwaring, because the Arsenal are about to take control of the Premier League title race again, starting this weekend. Do not forget, Gooners, that January was billed by many as the month when our challenge would collapse and see Arsenal back fighting for the Wenger trophy once more. Instead we have come through two of the toughest away fixtures of the EPL season at Liverpool and Stoke and are into the next round of the FA cup.
So avoiding defeat against Chelsea on Sunday and then against Burnley the following weekend will give us an unbeaten month. But I am expecting us to put the reigning champions to the sword and get revenge as well as the three points that will see Arsenal enter February in pole position. The fact is that we are much better than them right now and they cannot even park the bus as their defence is leakier than a sieve and we are set to have Ozil and Alexis Sanchez back.
Man City, meanwhile, are heading for trouble as they are away to West Ham on Sunday and that is the first of three tough games in a week. Midweek they have Everton in the Capital One Cup and that could go to extra time and penalties (please) before they travel to an improving Aston Villa in the FA cup. All this without their captain and talisman Vincent Kompany and their February looks tough as well, with three away games and their two at home against Leicester and Tottenham.
The Foxes have a tough FA cup replay against the spuds tonight (again extra time would be nice) followed by Stoke and Liverpool in the league. So can you see why I am confident that Arsenal are about to take control of the title race?