Being held to a draw in the local derby yesterday could have inflicted some real damage on Arsenal and our quest for the Premier League title this season, but thanks to Aston Villa managing a draw for their new manager and former Gunner Remi Garde, we find ourselves still level on points with Man City at the top of the table.
As well as getting a big favour from his former player, Arsene Wenger will be relieved that the latest unlucky blow, namely the mysterious dizziness that hit our key man Santi Cazorla, did not affect us too badly. With all the Arsenal stars currently out of action, the fact that we have got to the international break still on target is great news and sets us up for the next five games with great optimism.
In a report on the Arsenal website before the game against Tottenham, the Frenchman suggested that Christmas and our position in the table then could provide the telling fact of of whether this would be our year.
Wenger said, “We have to be in the fight at Christmas. The desire is there. We need to show it in all our games.
“What is good, positive for us, is if you look at our fixtures until now we have played all the big teams and the teams fighting at the top apart from Man City.
“We have played Chelsea Liverpool, West Ham, Leicester, Man United. When we were top two years ago we had not played for a while all the teams fighting at the top. We had only played the teams in the second half of the table.
“This time we are in a strong position and we have played many teams who are in the top half of the table.”
Arsenal have five games before Christmas and the last of them, on December 21st is against Man City at the Emirates. Then we will have played all our big rivals and if we are top or level at the top it should mean that our campaign really is on target.
We should have all the players with injury problems either back or close to a return by then and the boss and squad will be able to look ahead to a strong second half of the season and a nice shiny trophy at the end of it. The big question is, will our heavily depleted team be able to get to Christmas in a position to push on?