Friday, 28 October 2011

Wenger sees his opportunity

By 3PM tomorrow, optimism and belief could flood into the veins of Arsenal Football Club, their players and supporters buoyed by a victory which has the potential to turn their season around. At least that is what Arsene Wenger hopes.

Arsenal won only 2 of their first 7 games in the Premier League, and their 8-2 defeat at Old Trafford threatened to ruin their season in confidence shattering style. Yet since losing 4-3 at Ewood Park, Arsenal have won 7 of their last 8 games in all competitions. The worrying trend for Arsenal fans however is that the Gunners have failed in every big challenge so far this season in the Premier League. Arsene Wenger’s side have lost to Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham, which has only fuelled some people’s belief that Arsenal are falling behind following the loss of Fabregas and Nasri in the summer.

Arsenal face their next test in the league tomorrow at Stamford Bridge. Big outsiders at 5/1, not many give Arsenal a chance against Chelsea. However, Andre Villas-Boas’ team have problems of their own at the moment, and Arsene Wenger will see this as his opportunity. Fined £20,000 by the Football Association for failing to control their players last week at QPR, Chelsea have Didier Drogba suspended and John Terry caught up in an investigation over allegations of racist abuse.

Arsenal could welcome back Thomas Vermaelen for his first Premier League appearance since August, after he played midweek in the Carling Cup. Despite his poor form, Andrei Arshavin also looked impressive against Bolton, and Gervinho has been scoring and assisting regularly this season. Robin van Persie, who has scored 6 goals in his last 4 Premier League games, will again be Arsenal’s main and arguably only world class threat. Chelsea will still feel that they should win this match, but Wenger firmly believes that a win for Arsenal is key to their season.

“a win would of course install us among the top teams in the league, but what is very important is that it would strengthen the belief inside the team and would continue our progress" said the Arsenal manager.

A win could change everything. Arsenal could end October a mere 3 points behind Chelsea in the table, which would have seemed highly unlikely even 3 weeks ago. A win tomorrow would give Wenger all the ammunition he needs in the post-match interviews to point to a very impressive run of victories. However, a loss at Chelsea tomorrow would mean another test failed, another dent in Arsenal’s already fragile confidence, and another fall from which Wenger must rise and push on, dragging his team through their broken season.

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