They say football is a beautiful game and it deserves to be played beautifully – but, in some instances, you just need to win. Avoid the drama and avoid the hassle of playing great looking football for ninety minutes, and just register the three points. That’s the position that Arsenal find themselves in today, as they gear up for a big game against Leicester City on Monday Night Football this evening.
While they’ve been on a fantastic run of form as of late, this will feel a little bit different for the Gunners. All eyes will be on them given that they’re going to be taking part in the final game of the weekend, especially when you consider the results from elsewhere on Saturday and Sunday. In order to keep pace with the sides located towards the top of the table, it’s essential that they see off the challenge of the Foxes – and given that the game will be played at the Emirates, that shouldn’t be as difficult as some fans are making out.
Leicester are certainly a force to be reckoned with but they’ve been relatively inconsistent over the last few months, and that’s something that Unai Emery needs to expose. There should be no heightened emotions or feelings of pressure because, to be perfectly honest, it’s just another game. This illusion that things are trickier when the lights are on bright is just that – it’s an illusion.
Keeping it real
It’s no secret that the Gunners face a tricky schedule over the course of the next few weeks, if only because of how busy they’ll be in three different competitions. They’ve been able to deal with that pretty well so far but this part of the season is where things get really interesting, as the legitimate contenders keep pushing forward and the ‘pretenders’ fall away.
Under Arsene Wenger it always felt like, at least in the later stages of his tenure, as if they just couldn’t get themselves over the line when it mattered the most. We aren’t exactly expecting a title challenge or anything like that, but the top four is a realistic ambition for this club. If they can deal with this ‘pressure’ created by the media of playing on Monday Night Football, then they’ll be sending a big message to the rest of the division.
Plus – ten wins on the trot sounds pretty good.
Can Arsenal overcome Leicester City tonight?