The Curse of the DW Stadium

Since the renaming of the JJB Stadium on August 1st 2009, Arsenal have failed to win at the DW Stadium.

Last season, Arsenal threw away a 2-0 lead at the DW Stadium in the final 10 minutes, to lose the game 3-2. Many consider this to be the game that ended Arsenal’s title race. This evening’s draw hasn’t ruled them out of the title race just yet, lying 2 points behind Manchester United in third place.

With this evening’s draw between Wigan and Arsenal, Manchester United’s odds dropped to 11/10 to win this season’s Premier League title.

Arsene Wenger decided to make 8 changes to his team that saw off Chelsea on Boxing Day. A suspension to Cesc Fabregas was the only forced changed. The Arsenal team that played at Wigan this evening failed to create enough chances and ultimately paid the price with a late own goal from Sebastien Squillaci; a player whom had been dropped for their victory over Chelsea.

Despite this draw, only Manchester City have picked up more points on their travels than Arsenal so far this season. 3 home defeats have been a big problem for the Gunners so far this season. 17th place Birmingham City have lost just once at home so far this season, they host Arsenal on new year’s day. Only Stoke City, Newcastle, Wolves and West Ham have lost more games at home than Arsenal.

It was dropping points on the road that is the talking point for Arsenal tonight. They have failed to take advantage of Manchester United’s late slip up at Birmingham yesterday. Defending a set piece against 10 men will be the biggest talking point from this game.  And as I have said all season, I don’t believe this Arsenal team, with this defence are good enough to win the Premier League.  I know Arsenal fans would love them to prove me wrong, but Arsenal aren’t going about it the right way with results like this.

Chelsea returned into the top 4, and are now 2 points behind Arsenal thanks to a 1-0 victory over Bolton Wanderers this evening. Now having won their first game in 7, Chelsea entertain out-of-form Aston Villa on Sunday with a great opportunity to put back-to-back victories together for the first time since October in the Premier League.

Wolves’ odds have moved above halves to go down now following their 1-0 victory at Anfield. This result leaves them 1 point from safety and sends West Ham back to bottom of the Premier League.