Arsenal began 2014 top of the Premier League, but with just two wins from their last six Premier League matches, manager Arsene Wenger and his men have slipped to third – currently four points off leaders Chelsea.
Arsenal’s inability to beat top rivals has been in evidence all season, but recent games against Southampton and Stoke suggest that teams further down the Premier League have also worked out how to be effective against Wenger's side.
Ahead of Saturday's Arsenal’s clash with Stoke, the Gunners had won just once of their five previous visits to the Britannia stadium. And as the Potters had already taken points off Manchester City, Chelsea and Manchester United there this term, Arsenal were always likely to face a stern test.
Despite England international Jack Wilshere’s admission that Arsenal had prepared for Stoke’s physical play, the Gunners failed to produce anything near their best Saturday, and ultimately succumbed to a late Jon Walter’s penalty.
Although the 1-0 loss (and current form) is a blow to Arsenal's Premier League title hopes, Wilshere remains adamant that Arsenal can still overtake Chelsea, and other rivals, and finish at the top the of pile.
The Arsenal player told Sky Sports: 'The good thing is, this month, we play them. We play all the teams at the top so that's a good thing. And if we win those games, we're going to be up there.
'We have to keep going until the end. Anything can happen as you've seen today and in previous weeks'.
Arsenal have crucial league fixtures against Chelsea, Spurs and Man City this month, and they can’t afford to drop many more points if they want to end their trophy drought by bringing the Premier League title back to the Emirates.
Have Arsenal blown their chance of winning the Premier League title this season ?
image: © Jenny Leigh