Wenger feels pressure as Italian test could ruin Arsenal’s season

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Over reacting can often occur following the first day of the season – Manchester City have drifted out to 4/1 to win the title without even kicking a ball – but in Arsenal’s case their fans can be worried.

Cesc Fabregas looks certain to complete his move to Barcelona today leaving Arsenal £30m in profit but without an influential midfielder, and having witnessed a languid display at St James’ Park on Saturday the Gunners certainly need to find a quick replacement.

There is no way that replacement will come in time for Arsenal’s Champions League play-off first leg with Udinese on Tuesday night, and the game sparks a tricky couple of weeks for Arsene Wenger.

Having failed to splash the cash during the summer the Arsenal fans are losing their patience with their manager, and defeat to Udinese would have a damaging effect on Arsenal’s season.

It may only be a first leg and Arsenal may be 1/2 to win, but defeat would put their Champions League campaign in serious jeopardy and with their place in the Champions League at risk, attracting new players will get even harder.

With the money now available Wenger is able to make moves in the transfer window but it seems he has missed his chance with Valencia’s Juan Mata after the Spanish club said they will not sell him last week.

Games against Liverpool and Manchester United, plus the two legs with Udinese, are Arsenal’s four games between now and the end of the transfer window leaving Wenger with plenty of work to do.

Not only does the Arsenal manager have to get his tactics spot on for all four games, he also has just 16 days to source the big name signing the fans are clamouring for.

Arsenal have now drifted out to 12/1 to win the league and have seen Liverpool (11/1) overtake them in the betting for the title.

The next two weeks will define Arsenal’s season and the way things have panned out through the season, the future looks bleak for the Gunners.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.