Play like it's a final - My Arsenal Blog

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Play like it’s a final

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Harry Kettle

It’s rare that you’re faced with games that could define your season this early on in the campaign, but that certainly appears to be the case in this instance. Arsenal Football Club have had a rollercoaster ride of a season already under the guidance of Unai Emery, and even that may be an understatement. It hasn’t been a disaster by any stretch of the imagination but if you offered fans the chance to change a few things, then we have no doubt in our mind that they’d bite your hand off.

Give it everything

In terms of the ‘defining game’ that we’re referring to, it’s Arsenal vs Chelsea at the Emirates in Saturday’s late kick off. Without sounding too overdramatic it’s definitely the most important game of the season so far, and we aren’t just referring to the fact that the Gunners will be out for revenge against the Blues. We are, of course, referring to the six point gap that stands between Chelsea in 4th and Arsenal down in 5th.

It’s not the biggest gap for Arsenal to pull back at all, but if they suffer defeat at the hands of their rivals at the weekend, then that extends to nine points. With a three game stronghold there’s a lot of room for leeway if you’re Chelsea, and that can only be a good position for them to be in.

Do or die

Earlier on in the season when they were in the midst of their 22 game unbeaten run, it felt like Arsenal were treating a lot of games like they were cup finals. That’s hardly a bad idea when you take into consideration just how far Emery was able to take the Gunners on that run, and if they can translate that into the Chelsea game, then we’ll have a much more competitive encounter than the one we saw at the start of the season.

Arsenal’s push for a spot in the Champions League doesn’t live and die by this game, but there also needs to be some kind of pre-game perspective taken here. Even a draw would set them back substantially, and they can’t afford to let the Blues pick up even more momentum before they’ve even had the chance to bring in a new striker.

 

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