Monday, November 1, 2010

The November Curse: Will it trouble us again this season

We are now in the month of November and no Arsenal fan need to be reminded of how the team has traditionally been hit with the November curse. Countless times has the Gunners gone into the month high on confidence only to suffered setback after setback. Just last season, we came into November in high spirits with 5 successive win following the double blow in Manchester. However, when the month ended, we took only three points from the maximum nine for that month, losing expectedly  to Chelsea and most unexpectedly to Sunderland. Furthermore, we lost Robin van Persie for six months after he broke his leg playing for his country in an friendly match in November. Need I say more!

This season, the November schedule is an extremely hectic for the boys. there will be eight matches in all competitions this month. The schedule is as follows:

03 Wed      Shakhtar Donetsk - Away
07 Sun       Newcastle United - Home
10 Wed      Wolverhampton W. – Away
14 Sun        Everton – Away
20 Sat        Tottenham Hotspurs – Home
23 Tue        Braga – Away
27 Sat        Aston Villa – Away
30/01        Wigan A. – Home

Just looking at the fixtures for the month, you can see how crucial and difficult this month will be. The Champions League matches will be a distraction for the team so if we can clinch our spot with a win on Wednesday night, then the remaining ties will be insignificant and the manager can give the young players a run out while saving the first team regulars for league action.
In the league, the schedule is anything but easy. Everton and Aston Villa away are potential banana skins and this is not even taking into account the trip to Wolves who have just beaten Manchester City at Molineux. Our home games too are a tad tricky. The match against Newcastle should bring in three points but the North London derby against the Scums may be a little tougher. I have no doubt we will prevail but the it is going to be a hard fought match.
So this November is going to be a pivotal month in the race for the league title. It could be a decisive as the Christmas schedule, with fifteen points up for grabs this month. If we are going to be in for a shout of the title, then we cannot take anything less than double digit points from this month.

The good news is by November we are going to have all out players back with Van Persie, Vermaelen and Ramsey all scheduled to make their return this month. We just have to pray and hope that the November curse gives us a skip this season and not take any more of our players.

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