After such an incredible run at The Emirates, our away form is yet again threatening to derail our season.
Ten consecutive wins at our home ground – the first time since the Double-winning season of 97/98, has propelled us up the table and given us a genuine shout of reaching the hallowed ground of the top4, and the Champions League next season.
Our away form is the Jekyll to our Hyde though. One away win since December – at bottom of the table Huddersfield. No clean sheets away from home – the only side still without one. Dropped points to Brighton, Southampton, West Ham, Everton. All have been poor performances ill at odds with our searing home form.
Now we are at the stage where we have six games left, and two thirds of those games will be played at our opponents ground.
It is hardly a fact to fill us with confidence. The facts point to a real problem when we go on our travels, but can we overcome it?
Last season saw the same problem, and it ended with our lowest finish under Wenger – 6th. We have been an improved team under Emery, and tactics have been sharpened, but it is yet again our away form that threatens to undo our hard work.
Even our Europa League campaign isn’t safe. The two previous knockout rounds we have navigated – against BATE Borisov and Stade Rennais – saw us play our away leg first and subsequently stumble to a loss. A 3-1 loss to Rennes was equalled by a humbling 1-0 loss in Belarus to BATE – the first time an English side had lost in Belarus in a competitive fixture.
Now we face Watford, Wolves, Leicester and Burnley, with Palace and Brighton our home fixtures. Two home wins won’t be enough to get us into the top four – we will need another three wins at least.
Can we confidently say that we will beat Watford, Wolves? Both are chasing seventh. Same goes for Leicester, resurgent since the appointment of Brendan Rodgers.
So that leaves a visit to Turf Moor, and Burnley won’t be giving away any points to anyone other than an eleven who are committed to giving their all.
Our run in is fraught with peril, but it is still in our hands – but only a radical overhaul of our away form will see us avoid a repeat of Wenger’s lowest finish.
Time to take some travel sickness tablets.