Down the years, Arsenal and November have been a duo which has ended horrifically. The eleventh month of the year tends to throw up several ‘big games’ both in the league and in cup competitions.
Last season the Gunners accumulated just one win in the Premier League for November, whilst the season before, racked up two points out of a possible nine.
This Sunday marks the start of another testing November as Arsène Wenger’s side travel to runaway leaders Manchester City in a glamour Premier League encounter at the Etihad Stadium.
A North London derby at the Emirates Stadium follows after the international break, before a tricky-looking trip to Burnley concludes Arsenal’s annual bogey month.
Man City game a real test of character
Arsenal will arrive at the Etihad this Sunday knowing that they're up against one of the best teams in Europe right now. City look absolutely devastating, and are deservedly some way in front at the top of the Premier League.
Sunday’s game comes at a good time according to Wenger, though many others might not see it that way. City have scored the most goals out of any team in the top five European leagues and given Arsenal's record against the so-called 'top six' away from home, fans can't help but fear the worst.
The form of playmaker Kevin De Bruyne is a top priority for Wenger and his side, as they will attempt to try and conjure a plan to keep the Belgium international quiet this weekend, which is easier said than done.
Throw in to the mix the fact that Sergio Agüero is fresh from breaking City’s all-time goalscoring record, momentum is certainly soaring on the blue side of Manchester with Leroy Sané, Raheem Sterling and Gabriel Jesus also all in excellent form.
All eyes switch to Spurs…
Come Sunday evening, the Premier League takes a back seat for a fortnight, as the international football has its painful say. Though, once the final international break of the year comes to an end, attention will be firmly glued on to one of the most eagerly-awaited North London derbies in recent time.
Tottenham Hotspur will arrive at the Emirates as the current top dogs in North London. Though, again like with this weekend’s game at City, the derby in two weeks' time will be a massive chance for Arsenal to make a statement.
If the Gunners can manage to get two positive results in this forthcoming back-to-back blockbuster of games, then consider it a huge corner turned.
Though, the same old headlines and reports will be awaiting Wenger’s men if, come mid-way through this month, there are minimal points on the table.
A new November? Or same old?
Come the end of November, we will once again be able to see which Arsenal to expect from here till the end of the season. That 4-0 thumping at Liverpool at the end of August must still be fresh in the mind of Wenger, and you would like to think that lessons have been learned heading in to the biggest couple of weeks in Arsenal’s campaign so far.
There is optimism. If the Gunners can replicate the disciplined and professional performance in their goalless September draw at Stamford Bridge, then there is no doubt that Arsenal can’' shake up the Premier League this coming weekend.
A lot depends on the game plan that Wenger adopts in both games against City and Spurs, as we can expect a ‘Chelsea-like’ attitude on Sunday at the Etihad, but when Spurs arrive at the Emirates, it presents a whole new challenge.
One thing that is for certain is that this November is set to be as eventful as recent years gone by, with Arsenal’s season hanging on the line once more.