Arsenal for years, have been the team of consistency in table position. Being 4th place almost guaranteed, without building from it. The North London club has impressed with their style of play but the silverware has been missing to match the appraisal.
This year, the 2013/14 season could be the season they start to build and compete. With Manchester United, City and Chelsea all changing managers in the summer and Moyes and Mourinho still not knowing their best team, Arsenal are in prime position from a stable point of view but also an element of knowing each others’ game so well. The biggest step has been the purchase of Mesut Ozil which has given other teams something to think about.
The other challenge this year, has been the belief of Liverpool, Everton, Tottenham, Newcastle and Southampton all wanting to take advantage of this unpredictable year and become the surprise package for the ultimate package, the Champions League.
Even though currently they are top of the table, and are beating teams they should be beating with fantastic football. Everyone knows they have history of stumbling when it matters and haven’t had the same impact in games against United, Chelsea and City. And in the past it’s taken just one defeat for them to lose their momentum. E.g. earlier in season Napoli (2-0) loss and went on to draw to Chelsea (0-0) and lose to Manchester City (6-3). The real deal games are still to come;
8th February Vs Liverpool (A)
12th February Vs Man Utd (H)
19th February Vs Bayern Munich (reverse on the 11th March)
15TH March Vs Tottenham (A)
22nd March Vs Chelsea (A)
29th March Vs Man City (H)
5th April Vs Everton (A)
I placed Everton and Tottenham in the list because they are teams that could put Arsenal title bid in trouble and depending on results in the UEFA Champions League, could affect their form. If they can start to show the quality in the crunch matches and play the way they have for the first half of the season then silverware can only be heading to the Emirates sooner rather than later.