On the face of it Arsenal are unbeaten since losing at home to Liverpool on the opening day of the season, but they are labouring to victory far too often for my liking just like they were at this time last season. Up until the turn of the year last season Arsenal kept pace at the top of the table without playing well and I hoped they would eventually improve and win a league title which was there for the taking. What actually happened in the new year was that results caught up with performances and we managed to sneak into second place on the final day of the season.
Real good displays were few and far between last season and yet again this season that seems to be the pattern. The home win over Chelsea was our best performance so far, but we haven't kicked on from there and we have been patchy at best. It looks like it's going to be a very open title race with five or six teams looking to challenge for the title. The results against the other title contenders could have a real bearing on the outcome of the title and Arsenal haven't exactly had the best of it yet.
They have played at home to Liverpool, Chelsea and Spurs and only taken four points from those games. They haven't travelled to any of the contenders yet and the outcomes of their away games against the other contenders could determine an awful lot. If United are one of those contenders then we will have a better idea of Arsenal's chances very soon as their next game is at Old Trafford next week. They're not exactly setting the world alight at the moment, but there are so many reasons why they will feel they can get back on track against Arsenal.
With Jose Mourning in charge they have a manager who Arsene Wenger has an awful record against and there is nothing he would like more than to get one over on our manager again. We went up there last season when Louis van Gaal was in charge looking to keep pace at the top of the league which was ours for the taking and put on a horror show. We may have only lost 3-2 on the day, but it was against a very weak United team who we should have beaten.
The draw against Spurs was a disappointment because it was a chance to ascend to the top of the table after City failed to win and we bottled it. We played with no rhythm or belief and the best thing that can be said is that at least we didn't lose. A home game against Spurs has to be an easier prospect than a trip to United and we might just get to see if Arsenal truly are title challengers in that game.
I know you can't win the title in November, but you can certainly come very close to losing it. If Arsenal are to be taken seriously this season then I think the game against United could be crucial. Win it and we might just get the confidence we need to become real challengers, but lose it and I fear we could become also rans yet again this season.
That's it for today.
See you tomorrow.