Date:Tuesday October 8 2013
Moods change very quickly in football. Between our opening day loss to Villa and the final day of the transfer window predictions were not only the now regular annual media forecast that we would drop out of the CL places but even cast doubt whether Arsene would end the season as Arsenal manager. A few weeks later and we're top of the league, have won both our opening CL group games having first qualified against Fenerbahce without conceding a goal, Ramsey, for a good part of last season on many supporters deadwood list, is player of the month for September and the manager many supporters felt should not be re-employed if he even survived this season is manager of the month.
But it is early days. We've had good starts before and floundered later in the season. As Flamini tells it - it's a marathon not a sprint. Still while the competition hasn't been the very strongest we've met all challenges and have done so while dealing with the usual frustrations of losing to injury important players from the same playing areas. A little while back in the forums one vital member had the excellent practice of looking at the coming months fixtures and trying to guess where we might be at the end of the month. It was a good way of testing the mood at the beginning and end of each month.
So, October then! It has already started poorer than September though maybe the point against West Brom was a point gained rather than two lost. Take in Adrian Clarke's excellent breakdown of the game over at Arsenal.com for a good perspective on the successes and failures in that game. But we still sit top of the league. October offers the following fixtures:
19th October Arsenal v Norwich PL Home
22nd October Arsenal v Dortmund CL Home
26th October Crystal Palace v Arsenal PL Away
29th October Arsenal v Chelsea CC Home
At first glance it doesn't look too daunting but it's 4 games in 11 days which could have an effect on the mood going into what seems a tricky November schedule. Before then we'll need to count how many are still standing after the interlull but we should also have some crocks back. Though football has a nasty habit of biting us in the bum we'd hope to get maximum points out of the PL games, which unless we're dislodged on goal difference or goals scored should mean we end the month still top of the league. Dortmund at home will be tricky but winnable and would put us in a very strong position to qualify from the CL group stage before facing Chelsea in the COC, with a home game against Liverpool which may well determine whether we start November still top just 4 days later. In some ways it's good that it is a team like Chelsea because they aren't likely to field any other than a costly second string so we've little to lose by putting out the kids again.
Nevertheless, it is possible to still be in strong positions by the end of the month in at least the competitions that matter and in the current atmosphere of positivity maybe all three! So what do you think October holds for us? Reasons to be cheerful or fearful?
Date:Tuesday October 8 2013
Jenkinson: We're Taking It One Game at a Time (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Match Discussion - Napoli (a) (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Vital Arsenal: Join The Debate/Twitter/FaceBook (Tuesday December 10 2013)
Arsenal Host Spurs in FA Cup 3rd Round (Monday December 9 2013)
Arteta Praises Former Club (Monday December 9 2013)
Stats: Arsenal v Evertone (Monday December 9 2013)
5 Things We Learned This Weekend (Monday December 9 2013)
Wenger Wants TV Ethics Committee (Sunday December 8 2013)
Barry: I Nearly Joined Arsenal (Sunday December 8 2013)
Arsenal v Everton Match Preview (Saturday December 7 2013)
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