Arsenal-Wigan: Gunners' Biggest Game of The Season

Martin BentleyCorrespondent IDecember 5, 2008

You can understand all the talk about the big games of the season coming against Chelsea, Liverpool or Manchester United, but for Arsenal, it's different: The biggest game of their season is at home against Wigan Athletic.

Arsenal's current longest winning streak of the season is three games, and that isn't good enough for a team with ideas of winning the title. Far too often this season big victories have been followed up by embarrassing defeats, and that's why Arsenal are being written off by many pundits.

For instance, after the victory over Manchester United in November, Arsenal followed it up with a home defeat against Aston Villa, and then a big 3-0 defeat at Manchester City. Their next win was against Chelsea of all teams, which shows a worrying trend of beating the big teams, and failing miserably against smaller sides, with Arsenal also having lost to Fulham, Hull City and Stoke City this season.

To prove that Arsenal mean business, they have to beat Wigan tomorrow afternoon at the Emirates Stadium. Arsenal's youngsters have already done it in the Carling Cup this season, but it remains to be seen if the first team can follow suit.

Steve Bruce knows what damage Arsenal can do when they've got the ball and are running at the defense, so he will come to frustrate the Gunners. Also, as proven against Liverpool, Wigan can score big goals away from home, and Amr Zaki is set to return for the Latics from injury, so Arsenal's defense will have to watch out for him.

The questions will not go away if Arsenal beat Wigan. There will still be massive pressure on Arsenal to beat Middlesbrough the following week, and then Liverpool at home just before Christmas.

If Wigan win at the Emirates, serious questions will be asked as to Arsene Wenger's capability, and Arsenal's chances for the future, especially as they have been knocked out of their most realistic chance of a trophy, the Carling Cup.

If Arsenal fail to win, they will seriously consider putting all their eggs into the FA Cup or the Champions League.