Before Arsenal resume the quest to make it a record of three FA cup trophy wins in a row with a 5th round replay and then a potential quarter final with Watford in the same week, there are three Premier League games that require total focus from the Gunners and we could really do with maximum points as well.
With the EPL title race looking like one of the most hotly contested ever and probably going right down to the wire, Arsene Wenger knows that this is an absolutely crucial period of the season. And it is a period that the Gunners cannot afford to mess up if we want to keep our challenge up.
Starting with the trip to Manchester United on Sunday then, the boss has warned his players that this is no time to let the nerves get the better of them. As reported on the Arsenal website he wants them instead to take this game as a big opportunity to lay down a marker and keep up the pressure on the other title chasers Leicester, Tottenham and Man City.
The Frenchman said, “It is the key period. We work the whole season for this period and that’s where you’re really tested but it’s where you have an opportunity to show your quality as well. On that front, that is the most interesting period of the season.
“You can show quality, nerves and desire as well. We need to focus on the Premier League where we have a big part to play. Everybody drops points and it is unpredictable. We have rebuilt a good run in the Premier League and we need to continue that.
“How many points that will be needed [to win the title]? We don’t know. Let’s not set any limit on the number of points we can get. We have put ourselves in a strong position again. We want to take advantage of that and continue our good run in the Premier League.”
The defeat to Barcelona has made progress in the Champions League highly unlikely and we can cross the FA bridge when it comes to it. Right now the players need to step up and show their title credentials and against a struggling Man United they have the perfect chance to do just that.
But we cannot afford any more of the poor finishing or costly mistakes that have been all too present in recent weeks. It is now or never for Arsenal, so will be take the chance or let it slip?