Football

Arsenal can battle through the Christmas pile-up

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Arsenal's surge to the top of the Premier League has brought smiles all over fans' faces. The same fans, who haven't seen their team anywhere near the top for years as the Gunners have previously been out of the race by Christmas.

This year, the Londoners managed to pull to the summit and keep impressing with consistency and marvellous team effort. Arsene Wenger couldn't be happier with the performance so far, but he should ensure his team's heads are cool as they step into the festive period.

History has shown that the Premier League title race can be more than unpredictable, many a time decided on the final day of the competition. Arsenal's impressive run reminds of that of Liverpool in 2008/09, when the north London outfit eventually surrendered the title to Manchester United.

Back in that campaign, United were blessed with few controversial decisions gone their way, but what essentially decided the title was Liverpool's inconsistency in the first months of the year, when the Reds dropped too many points in draws with teams lower in the standings.

Arsenal's situation is quite similar, and just as the mood at Emirates is jolly, the players should be reminded this journey is longer than arguably any other in Europe.

The Gunners host Everton on Saturday and meet Napoli and Manchester City within four days. That's before they clash with Chelsea at home on the 23rd followed by a visit to West Ham and a year-finale home game with Newcastle United.

Such fixture list suggests anything but a smooth sailing.

Wenger already lashed at the pile-up, but it is what it is. The manager would need to pick his starting line-ups carefully and he stated rotation would indeed be key to keeping the pace.

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini's been top-notch holding the midfield tight while Aaron Ramsey, Mesut Ozil, Tomasch Rosicky and returning Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott should be enough to keep the team firing.

Nicklas Bendtner, who hadn't started since March 2011, also returned to the squad firing within two minutes of kick-off against Hull City. And Wenger suggested he would have the 25-year-old Dane in mind.

Carl Jenkinson, who set up Bendtner's goal last night, could be played on the right and so could Serge Gnabry. Lukas Podolski returns from injury and although he hasn't played since 27 August, he could add the quality Wenger would deploy during the seven-match row.  

The Gunners might be in a deadly Christmas cycle, but with the right mind-set and managerial decisions, they shouldn't fall short of breath.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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