Arsenal’s season will be defined over the next month with crucial fixtures
- Credit: PA
The month of March is set to define Arsenal’s season, with crucial European ties against Olympiacos, a north London derby and a trip to West Ham United.
Mikel Arteta’s side started this month with a draw against Burnley at Turf Moor.
A poor result for Arsenal, who haven't beaten the Clarets in the last three attempts. The first time since 1975.
Furthermore, it was the first time Arsenal have not beaten the Lancashire side in three attempts since 1975.
It was fine margins but still an unacceptable result. When Pierre Emerick Aubameyang beat Nick Pope at the near post many thought that three points would follow at full-time.
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The freak goal from Chris Wood, at the hands of Granit Xhaka, proved that silly mistakes are still proving costly.
The draw has kept Arsenal in tenth on 38 points after 27 games. The rest of March will see games against Spurs and West Ham, both placed above Arsenal in the table.
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The Gunners are aiming for top four but are nine points adrift from that target. A small improvement on the first half of the season when there was potential talk of a disastrous relegation.
Maximum points are paramount against Tottenham and West Ham if Arsenal are going to gain any credibility from this season.
They could potentially gain an unwanted record for the first time since 1982 if they lose to their arch-rivals after not beating them in the last three meetings.
More importantly, the Europa League should be the number one aim for the club.
It will be déjà vu for Arsenal after drawing against the Greek champions. It was a humiliating defeat after bowing out to the 45-time winners of the Greek Super League.
The defeat last February in the last round of 32 was the first time Arteta's role as Arsenal boss was questioned.
This time round must be different. Arsenal have not been in the Champions League since 2017.
The club's recent history in the Europa League has been unsuccessful after exiting at the semi-final and final stage.
Arsenal must be less naïve and more ruthless against their Europa League opponents in mid-week.
Bowing at this stage again will be a humiliation and warning signs must be highlighted around the club's hierarchy if the outcome isn't a victory