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Have Arsenal Done “An Arsenal” already?
Even in the face of season-upon-season evidence to the contrary, a few months ago there was a large percentage of Arsenal fans who truly thought that this season was finally the year they got their hands back on the Premier League title. Well, with the campaign still some way away from reaching the home straight, the Gunners appear to have gone and done it again; raised their fans’ hopes with a sensational first half of the season only to lose touch with the league leaders before March. Still in contention in the FA Cup, it is the Premier League where Arsenal fans have been left frustrated so many times before, and the one competition in which failure could end up resulting in a change in manager.
Having gone 14 games unbeaten up until December, Arsenal looked like genuine title contenders as the season neared its midway point. In their 10 Premier League games since the middle of December, though, Wenger’s men have lost four of them, falling from the top of the table to their now trademark fourth spot, 10 points behind league leaders Chelsea. For those Arsenal fans turning up to the Emirates – who we learned from a recent study by Voucherbox would actually save £183 watching their team on the road rather than at their home stadium – another season of watching on as their rivals lift the title will be really tough to take this time around.
It’s been away from the Emirates where Arsenal have really struggled since the middle of December. While Gunners fans might have saved almost £200 on watching their team away from home, they’ve seen their team lose three times over the past couple of months and concede three goals in a 3-3 draw away at Bournemouth. It was the 3-1 defeat to Chelsea that really stung Arsenal supporters and perhaps proved again that there is quite a distance between the Gunners and the team that eventually go on and lift the title in May. With a number of winnable games coming up between now and the end of the season, though, is it too early to truly count out Arsenal just yet?
Following back-to-back defeats to Chelsea and Watford, Arsenal returned to winning ways against a Hull team that had come out of an intimidating two-game run against Manchester United and Liverpool with four points to their name. Alexis Sanchez was the hero of the hour against Hull, ending the game with two goals to take his Premier League tally to 17 for the season. The Chilean international has again been the Gunners’ standout player this year and the forward’s form over the next couple of months could decide whether or not Arsenal start clawing back Chelsea at the top of the table or drift throughout the rest of the campaign.
One thing is for sure, Arsenal fans will be desperate that this season doesn’t take the usual Arsenal path between now and the end of the campaign.