Can Arsenal get through the next two games unscathed?

By Avenell Dave

Well, it's not often I feel proud of myself for having confidence in the team but I called it right on Friday that Arsenal would beat Liverpool. 

Who knows why I had such confidence but even when the teams were read out and our bench looked weaker than Manu Eboue's sense of fair play, I was sure we would win.

Of course, games can flit either way and if Jordan Henderson had some cojones when the defence opened up and the midfield was nowhere to be seen, we could have had a very different game. 

I have to say that I loved Sagna's foul on Suarez in the first half. It was the sort of ruthless, professional foul we have to be willing to concede when teams get ahead of us.

If we had shown that when Dortmund broke, we would have probably not lost the game at home.

Yes, Suarez had a couple of chances (but taking a free kick quickly was sour grapes because no-one in the Arsenal team had carried on playing, waiting for the ref) but the fact remains, we were positive, insightful and dominated Liverpool. 

Does that put a marker in the same for the rest of the season? Not really. It means we have beaten a team in form but I still struggle to see Liverpool challenging for the title. 

The real tests come when we face United, City and Chelsea. 

And that brings me to my greatest concerns about the next week. 

We have internationals coming up, time for a few players to get a rest, to relax and enjoy themselves, I hope, even though France's failure to get through means Giroud will have no such respite.

But the next two games are a real test. 

As the bench showed on Saturday, we really are struggling to find players to come off the bench and with Wilshere and Gibbs now struggling, we are in an even more difficult position.

The problem we have is that the more these players play every much, the more tired they are going to get, which means either losing matches or succumbing to long term injuries. We cannot afford either situation to happen.

I'd quite happily take two draws right now but such is the mindset of the team, I can't see us settling for anything other than two wins.

What was clear on Saturday is that if teams sit off us - can you believe how much time Ramsey was given to shape and shoot for the second goal - we will destroy them. 

But I suspect Dortmund and United won;t make the same errors Liverpool did and we'll have to work much harder to get space and opportunities to shoot. 

Think back to the Chelsea game and even with a shadow team, Chelsea hunted us down and we hardly registered a shot. 

A five point lead at the top of the table is no bad thing and ten games is a fair point to start assessing our chances.

But the Club must start putting January transfer plans in place now so we don't end up wondering what might have been once again because of a failure to invest.

We're so close to success, but the injuries prove we still have a way to go and the current first XI cannot go on every week without us suffering as a consequence.