11 days that will define Arsenal’s season

So 20 games in, and we are top the league, say we are top the league.

However, whilst none of us would turn down being in the position we are in, there is still an air of frustration around silly dropped points over the last 8 weeks (WBA, Norwich, Southampton – although Man City have dropped similar), and a feeling that everything could come crashing down at any point.

And it is the second point that strikes fear into the heart. The fact that it could all come crashing down.

Many an Arsenal fan are scared of what has gone on in recent seasons previous.

In 2002/03 when we were 8 points clear in March, only to go on a run of 2 wins in 7 games.

Fast forward 5 years to 2007/08 when again, we sat top going into February. Then that awful game against Birmingham where Eduardo had his leg broken by Martin Taylor and Gael Clichy (with assistance from the referee) proceeded to see us concede an equaliser in the 95th minute. What proceeded was a run of 1 win in 8. Another title thrown away.

And finally 2013/14. Top of the league for much of the season, by 5 points at one point. A 5-1 defeat to Liverpool at the beginning of February saw us go on a run of 2 wins in 9.

3 titles thrown away as winter turned to spring.

The next 11 days is key to our title challenge.1234

Tonight we play Liverpool. The scene of that horrific defeat in 2014 which saw us collapse into oblivion. 4-0 down in the opening 20 minutes. The BBC described the result as making “a mockery of Arsenal’s status as Premier League leaders”. Hopefully history does not repeat itself. Liverpool are certainly not the team that they were 2 years ago, and you feel that Arsenal are certainly stronger.

Next up, another nightmare trip for Arsenal. Away to Stoke City.

A return to the scene of “get out whilst you can Joel” as Arsenal found themselves 3-0 down at half time, losing 3-2, and Arsene Wenger getting some disgraceful abuse from so called Arsenal fans at Stoke station.

Stoke City away has replaced Bolton Wanderers away as our nightmare tie. Since their promotion to the Premier League in 2008, Arsenal have played Stoke 8 times at The Britannia (including 1 FA Cup tie), winning just once. 5 defeats, 2 draws complete the set of results. It is certainly Arsenal field of broken dreams.

And then we follow Stoke away up with Chelsea. Just 5 wins in our last 29 games against the West London side. It is not a great record.

Get through the next 3 games without defeat, and our title challenge is well and truly on course (obviously not if we draw all 3). Come out with 0 points from the 3 games, and it will pretty much end our title race.

The next 11 days will define our season.

Keenos

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