Robbie Savage has said he’s not sure that Arsenal will throw away their strong season in the same way they did in 2011.
Arsenal were right in the mix for the Premier League title but ended up falling away and finishing fourth, and they also lost the League Cup final to Birmingham City, from then on their season seemed to implode.
The Gunners are entering an important spell of their season where they travel to Anfield tomorrow to face Liverpool before hosting champions Manchester United in midweek.
They take on Liverpool in the FA Cup before their last 16 Champions League tie against European Champions Bayern Munich.
March is also a difficult month with the second leg of their tie against Bayern before facing Tottenham, Chelsea and Manchester City.
Savage wrote in his Daily Mirror column: ‘Nobody gave them a prayer when they were turned over at home by Aston Villa on the opening day of the season and we were swamped with calls on Six-O-Six demanding his head.
‘Three months ago, I revised my pre-season prediction, that Arsenal would finish outside the top four, and said what other pundits could not bring themselves to admit… namely that Arsenal could win the title.’
Savage is right to highlight the turnaround – with a seemingly groundhog day like atmosphere surrounding the club after Villa left the Emirates Stadium with all three points, with some suggesting the club was somehow in ‘crisis’.
Admittedly it led to some writing off the Gunners chances of lifting their first league title in ten years – but praise must be given to Wenger to get his side into such a position heading into the crunch matches, especially given the spending power that their main rivals Manchester City and Chelsea have at their disposal.
It’s a big ask, but the first game in this difficult run, could be the crucial one for them.
image: © Ronnie Macdonald