Five games that could make or break Arsenal’s season

Arsenal face a crucial run of games that could end the season for Mikel Arteta’s men

Over the next three weeks, Arsenal has five games across three competitions and every single one of them is of the utmost importance for Mikel Arteta.

There are two Premier League games against Newcastle United and Everton, home and away against Olympiakos in the Europa League and the FA Cup clash away at Portsmouth.

It goes without saying that being knocked out of the Europa League would basically end any hopes of Champions League football next season. If that is followed up with a shock exit from the FA Cup then all hopes of any silverware will follow and of course, dropping points in the Premier League would effectively make qualifying for Europe next season also very unlikely.

That is the worst-case scenario, on the other hand, progress in both cup competitions and collecting six points in the two Premier League games would signal a dramatic turnaround in European qualification prospects.

The chances are that we may end up with a mixed bag of results that does not quite end the season and retains some hope that Arsenal may yet get something out of a very disappointing campaign.

Personally, I am hopeful that once these five games have been completed that we will be in a much better position than we are today but I do also accept that it could be the total opposite.

The winter break did come at the perfect time, the final game before the break was disappointing, no point denying that and it has provided the opportunity for Arteta to recharge the batteries just in time for the critical period ahead.

I predict that Arsenal will progress in the both the FA Cup and Europa League and that they will pick up four points in the league. If that happens I will be a very happy Arsenal fan.

22 Comments

  1. Nifty says:

    I am not expecting too much. I am ready for best and the worst

  2. Mogunna says:

    We can’t win games, draw or lose is all we do.

    We should qualify for next round but won’t make it to final in both competition.

    We are becoming a mid table and relegation club in a year time!

    Wenger was making true miracles and we got spoiled, expecting top4, used to it…No money with a bunch of kids in CL final!

    1. ThirdManJW says:

      Excuse me! Wenger is one of the major reasons why we have become a mid-table team. Two years down the line, and we’re still suffering from the culture he created.

      As I keep saying, changing a manager is easy, it’s the changing of an entire culture is what will take years…as it’s proving to be.

      1. Bobs says:

        By your logic, it means Ferguson is the major reasons why Man U have become a mid-table right?

        And why Pep is the reason why Bayern Munich have not been in the CL final all this years.

        Quit the hatred and it will do you a world of good.

        Ozziegunner always talk about Emery not been backed as a coach forgotten nobody forced him to sign when he knew his job is to manage the player on ground and not to come demanding for a player.

        Arteta is using the same player he has and yet we all see changes in this players attitude. Emery is trash, simple. Do you think Pep will be worst with this set of player. Coach tactics and reading of the game are different to each other which Emery lacks.

        Wenger is gone for how many years now and yet he his to blame for our position in the league when wenger himself has never been in 8th position throughout his tenure in Arsenal.

        Drop the hate and you see how relieved you will be in life.

        1. Diogenes says:

          It truly is astonishing that Wenger gets blamed for the culture he instilled in the club. Where were all the complainers when the same culture was winning league titles?

          It’s almost (though not quite) as idiotic as when people claim Wenger inherited a great defence, but could never build his own.
          While reality is that the entire invincibles’ defence was signed or promoted by him – Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole…

          1. Phil says:

            And who exactly did Wenger bring in to replace that invincible defence?
            Senderous
            Djuoru
            Schillachi
            Silvestre
            Santos…………………….
            Explain that if you can PAL

        2. ThirdManJW says:

          The club had been regressing for well over a decade at the point that AW left. By the time Kroenke pulled the trigger, it was too late. We were spiraling out of control into the abyss. Wenger played a huge role in that regression.
          His decisions, and the culture he had created did not suddenly vanish the second he left. They linger on, and will continue to do so for some time.

          To give you an analogy: If I gave you a car that was fine years ago, but now barely ran. So no suspension, only 3 wheels, gear box gone, engine really struggling, etc. Would you say I did a good job of looking after it?

          Even though it is now your responsibility to fix it. Would you agree that it will be a costly, and time consuming venture in doing so, if its even possible, because of the poor decisions I had made when the car was in my possession?

          It’s not hate, it’s just facts. I find it staggering you have somehow missed the regression for all of these years, and that somehow we’re not responsible for our own actions, and there are no consequences for really poor decisions.

          1. jon fox says:

            Third Man ,SPOT ON. EXACTLY HOW I SEE IT TOO. I often identify 2008 as the moment we noticed the regression that actually started when David Dein was , disgracefully, forced out in 2007 and thus Kroenke came to be owner. Dein will forever be responsible, however, for having introduced Kroenke, even though he later backed Usmanov. Dein remains the only director in the last several decades with true vision and courage and the contacts across powerful football people to aid our cause. The present board are gutless and, mostly, clueless!
            Btw, your car analogy was a fine one!

    2. Phil says:

      Well Mr Wenger obviously stopped performing miracles in his last two seasons didn’t he PAL? And other than a young Cesc and a youngish Ebony I wouldn’t say we had a bunch of kids in the CL Final if that’s what you are suggesting. Infact, what exactly are you suggesting? Your blind faith in an aging, out of date dinasour seems to have scrambled your brains every bit as Wengers.

  3. gunnerforlife says:

    Newcastle home is winnable. Olympiokos away is a draw. Everton home is a draw(Everton are in great form), Ollympiokos home is winnable, FA cup away to Portsmouth is winnable. Conclusion-4 points from the 2 PL matches, advancing in the EUL and FA cup. Up the Gunners!

    1. Diogenes says:

      Everton would be a win, but as we play less than 3 days after EL, a draw is realistic.
      You’re probably right in other matches as well.

      I REALLY hope we focus on the Europa League. — Ajax is not as good as they were and are erratic.
      — Inter is good, but just lost at home to crappy-form Napoli in the cup and will also be focusing on winning the scudetto, so I see us beating them in the EL.
      — Sevilla are not in great form – beatable
      — United – we would be favorites
      — Wolves – this is actually the toughest one, but not a big chance we actually face them

  4. Mogunna says:

    He should be in the club to help make transition! Like Sir Alex, not kicked out as a stranger from home he built!

    It killed all values and shine of Arsenal, we are losing all our Image and respect in Football world!

    Kroenke is killing Arsenal by using fans to do dirty work.

    1. tas says:

      AW had to distant himself for a while it was the right thing to do, he cannot be like Sir Alex because SAF retired from management but AW was looking for a club to manage in the EPL

  5. John says:

    Hope Arteta is coming back with a team that has regained. both premier league home wins are possible with a draw at olympiacos and a win at Portsmouth.

  6. stevo says:

    Arsenal got 5th last season and made the El final so with 9 additions I expect at least as good
    from the team this season.
    Olympiacos and Portsmouth should be comfy wins
    The team should take care of Newcastle and Everton. Other top six contenders are playing each other or have tough games so Arsenal will be top 6 after this group of games. With 9 additions there is no “B” team. 6 teams Arsenal Man U Spurs Wolves Sheffield U and Everton are the teams fighting for the 3 EL places. The El quarters semis and Final will be against tough teams.
    But as I say with 9 new additions 5th and EL final should be expected

    1. jon fox says:

      STEVO, Such simplistic ” thinking”! 5TH PLUS NINE SIGNINGS EQUALS BETTER THAN FIFTH, IGNORING ALL OTHER RELEVANT FACTORS,INCLUDING OPPONENTS.

  7. Tony says:

    @Mogunna and Stevo, I think you two got a plan or something going on.
    I totally don’t in a way get you two at times. 😴😴

    1. Douglas kiogora says:

      It’s long since we won a epl game. But we need to believe we can get winning again. If we can solve the number 9 or help him score goals again every objective is achievable.

  8. Tom says:

    All games difficult as well as important.

    Newcastle and Everton is hard for different reasons.
    Newcastle are moving away from relegation and playing stree free football. We can win if we bring a team with goals.

    Everton will be a 90 min fight. Their weakness lay in switching off in periods of the game though and we have to make sure we fight for every ball and pass

    Europea game we should see an added focus on wanting to win and dominate and play the sort of football we want to play.

    The fact we have two home figures for the league and end our European tie at home too means we have the draw on our side.

    Come out on top and win the FA Cup will mean good things. The battle is won but the war is long.

    Mari joining now and tierney weeks away, means these guys will be a added boost.

    Maybe then the attack feel less needing to defend too much like under unai and feel they have the freedom to attack

    Pepe has 2 goals and 2 assist in 4 European ties and I feel at his peak he should be doing more then the current impact of goal or assist every 3 games to every other game in the premiership. Meaning he can get 19 assist and goals a Season in the league.

    If as expected others assist and Pepe has his own assist in that 19 then all being goals he should be scoring 20 goals and 9 assists.

    But who will assist his goals? Auba rarely, laca yes and ozil will but can we get a season out of him with that? One last push from ozil before his goodbye.

    Martinelli and Saka should be assisting this squad.
    Their benchmark should be 12 goals and assist in a league season. Meaning a total of 24 goals and assist from them both.
    I think Martinelli can reach 10 goals and 7 assist next season.
    Saka 7 goals and 7 assist next season in the league.

    Auba can get his 30 goals and Laca can get back to somewhere near 15 goals.

    That’s 82 goals in the league. Liverpool are on course for 91 goals. But we haven’t factored in Mari who scores from corners, luiz with his long shots, bellerin cutting in, xhaka boom, toerrira late runs, willock wonders or holding corners. These guys can score 10 goals.

    It’s there. Beyond the 5 games to come, the war is about what’s to come…

  9. jon fox says:

    I don’t disagree with the writers overall prediction but do question what is meant by “make or break our season”. I see no possibility at all of making top four and only a very slight chance or Euro qual in 5th or 6th. So it all comes down to winning the Euro cup, a huge long shot and/or winning the FA CUP , a long shot though slightly less huge. I expect to win nothing this season, being a realist and expected that almost from seasons start when I could see how fast backwards we going. That has now ceased and I HAVE MUCH faith that in time things will get much better.But this season is too soon for that,IMO. We have huge squad holes still to fill and as of right now, not a single outfield defender of proven Prem quality at all. That is a sobering thought which realists do not forget. I like Tierney but he is still injured. I hold out high hopes for Mari but neither are proven Prem top quality and may never be so. Or both MAY be. But that is in the future and this season is now. So I do not fool myself but look soberly at exactly where we are right now with only 13 PREM GAMES LEFT AND A TEN POINT GAP TO FOURTH PLACE. That is called REALITY, my fellow sensible Gooners.

  10. AUBA_14 says:

    I’ll wait until I see the composition on Sunday to judge the upcoming run of games. If I see Lacazette and/or Ozil in the team , I would only expect draws.

  11. Samuel Akinsola Adebosin says:

    I think Arsenal can still make a CL spot this season either through the League or EL which are both difficult routes to get through to the CL since many tough teams are vying for the available spots. But at any rate, I believe the Gunners will play themselves back into contention for a CL spot making after they’ve returned from the winter break.

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