Away form will likely decide how our season ends. by Konstantin Mitov
Hello lovely Arsenal people! It’s that dull period of the international break and while I mostly think it’s a huge waste, I’m actually enjoying the fact that we aren’t playing. What makes it even more enjoyable was seeing United drop out of the FA cup and Chelsea losing to Everton!
Some people may say this break comes at the wrong time for us, but I actually disagree. We had a very rough run in of games and we came out almost perfect from that. This is very exhausting and physically demanding and a break might be just what we need to power up for the tough run in we have in our bid to finish in the top 4.
Although we don’t play the top 6 anymore, I disagree that our run-in is easy. We have to play 5 away games and we’ve only won 5 of the 14 we’ve played so far. That is still so far 1 better than the total of 4 (yes four!) away games we won in the entirety of last season. Ironically, half of those (2) came at Burnley and Everton. Two teams who are always difficult to play away, as one is fighting for survival and the other despite having an indifferent season, still managed to hold Liverpool.
The others include Leicester which is never an easy one and they do have a new manager in Brendan Rodgers, as well as a trip to Watford who beat us last season. To cap it off we go away to a Wolves, who were seconds away from a win at Chelsea, threw Man Utd out of the cup and are one of only 3 teams to come away undefeated from the Emirates – the other 2 being City and Liverpool.
So despite the fact that we might go above Tottenham as soon as the next round comes, as they visit Anfield and we all hope, they’ll lose, while we host Newcastle, we should take nothing for granted. Spurs then only have a tough trip to City who they also drew in the champions league, but their other league games aren’t that difficult.
Chelsea still have a game in hand and despite United catching up to reality, we can’t underestimate any of those teams and just focus game by game (as cliche as it is) only on the next opponent. Our away record will have to improve if we want to secure one of those 4 places. And we’re still the only team without an away clean sheet, which is astonishing really, and that’s another reason why I believe this break could benefit us. We can take the time to look into this and improve for the final run in.
In the Europa League, luck didn’t favour us in the draw, as we go in a tussle with Napoli, but I actually think it’s not that bad. Sooner or later we have to face a decent team and if we return to the Champions league, those are the kinds of teams we’ll be playing and these are the kind of games we should desire.
As much as I respect Bate Borisov and Rennes, I want games that matter to the fans and make them proud. Games that’ll fill the Emirates. This will only happen in the Champions league or at the very late stages of the Europa league. So let’s get that top 4. It’s huge.
Just imagine what it would do to Tottenham if we knock them out of the top 4. With no money to spend this summer and a new stadium loan, it could force them to sell. If Chelsea miss out again with a potential transfer ban coming who knows what state they’ll be in next season. This is a chance to boost ourselves at the expense of our rivals. I believe we can do it, we just need to transfer to the away games the character we’ve shown at home and we will make it.
Wish you all a happy international break!