Monday, August 15, 2022

Arsenal’s November Blues: Can The Gunners Reverse The Trend?

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Arka Tarun Mukherjee
Arsenal fan and football expert, Arka Tarun Mukherjee actually used to play cricket at semi pro level. An ardent student of football tactics, ATM is very passionate about the tactical aspects of the game and has a dream of being a football manager in the future.

Arsenal sit pretty in the 2nd spot of the Premier League table currently with 23 points which is the same number as Manchester City and Liverpool but the Sky Blues lead the table by virtue of their superior goal difference as the Gunners lead Liverpool with theirs. This season has already shown glimpses of the changed attitude in amongst the players of Arsenal with the team seemingly looking to be more well balanced, having a bit of strength in depth for the first time in the last 10 years.

With the squad being bolstered by summer signings of Granit Xhaka, Shkodran Mustafi and Rob Holding, Wenger has the security quality players to the side as well some talent on the bench.

After finishing in the last three years with a sequence of 4th, 3rd and 2nd, many feel that this is finally the year the North London club can finish the order in the perfect fashion and claim the long-awaited Premier League title but the thing which stands in the way is the month which has severely scuppered the club’s chances of getting their hands on the league title in the previous years.

The Month of November is in many ways the where the Gunners experience the horrors post-Haloween. Even though it is celebrated across the globe on 31st October, it feels like November really does open the gateway to the varying degree of dread the Arsenal manager and their fans experience owing to their results as things start to go wrong sequentially.

Arsenal's head coach Arsene Wenger gives a press conference on the eve of the UEFA Champions League group A football match between Ludogorets and Arsenal in Sofia on October 31, 2016. / AFP / DIMITAR DILKOFF (Photo credit should read DIMITAR DILKOFF/AFP/Getty Images)

Since the inception of the Premier League statistically, Arsenal has picked up just 1.55 points per game in the month of November, which is their lowest tally with respect to all the other months of the year.

Last season for example, the Gunners were riding high in the league winning all the league games in October and picking up 12 points and just when it looked like the Gunners were about to strengthen their hold at the top, the month of November yielded just 2 points for the team and at the end it proved vital as they lost the league to Leicester by 10 points.

This year Arsenal do have some challenging fixtures in November once again with a home tie against Tottenham Hotspur next followed by a trip to Old Trafford and then tackling Bournemouth at home. There are also fixtures of the Champions League and the EFL Cup in between where the challenge of Paris Saint-Germain and Southampton await.

Once again, the Gunners have enjoyed a good run of form in September and October as they gear up to face November, but this time it finally seems that it would be the Red and Whites who will come out on the other side with the smile of a victor on their faces rather than the gloom of the fallen.

The Arsenal fans had a chastening experience after the first 20 minutes of the group game against Ludogorets, but the team showed some resolve and won the game in the end. It was nervy but in the end, a good start to November, so that fans will want more of the same and come out strong in what‘s a tricky month.

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