Can this Arsenal side be different from five years ago?

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In 2008 there were cases when Arsenal were in title contention, yet in the big games they let a winning position slip, can this side be any different?

Arsenal have had a magnificent time of things since the opening day upset against Aston Villa which led some to think it was groundhog day at the Emirates Stadium.

Since then they have kicked on and passed every test that has been put in front of them – yet the thought of Arsenal having a good start could remind you of their most recent prolific starts, in 2007. Unfortunately for Arsenal their challenge for the title died out. 

Arsenal’s start in 2007 saw an incredible run. Arsene Wenger took his side into games with Liverpool and Manchester United after only dropping two points, and came through them both without losing. Having only dropped six points by the start of November, it seemed that Arsenal were sending out a massive message to Manchester United and Chelsea who were in pursuit.

The unfortunate and horrific injury to Eduardo at Birmingham is well documented, and the last minute equaliser led to an incredibly bumpy run.

Arsenal were close, in fact they were so close, the only result they needed to change was a win at Old Trafford and they would have finished first - though admittedly that's just on paper, circumstances surrounding results during the run in could have altered the outcome further.

They were leading against Manchester United at Old Trafford, yet lost. They were leading at Stamford Bridge against Chelsea, yet lost.

If Arsenal find themselves in a position of strength at around the same time again, this is an experience they will need to learn from.

Players are stepping up to the mark this season in the form of Aaron Ramsey and Olivier Giroud, along with new signing Mezut Ozil, there seems to be some real quality about Arsenal – not too dissimilar to 2007/08 where the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor starred.

The thing that Arsenal didn’t do that season was grind out the important results. This weekend, the current Arsenal side did grind out a result against Swansea at the Liberty Stadium – a difficult place to go, and picking up points on a weekend where many of their potential title rivals dropped them, the all count at the end of the day.

That was a pressure situation, and one they came through – not to mention there have been a couple of injury worries.

The question is, if they are in a similar situation come February or March, can they dig out those results?

The comparison of Swansea now and Manchester United and Chelsea of five years ago might have a couple of flaws to it, but it does demonstrate that Arsenal held onto a winning position this time instead of giving it away then.

Do the same again when the heat is on, and they could be in decent shape.

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