The Hawthorns

Next Game

W Brom v Arsenal

Saturday, 29 November 2014, 12:45

Barclays Prem

Emirates Stadium

Last Game

Arsenal 2 - 0 B Dortmund

Wednesday, 26 November 2014, 19:45

Champions League Group D

Smith: All about the big games

Alan Smith says Arsenal must prove themselves against the Premier League big boys if they are to be title contenders.

Last Updated: 14/07/14 at 15:45 Post Comment

Arsene Wenger: suffered woe at Stamford Bridge last season

Arsene Wenger: suffered woe at Stamford Bridge last season

Arsene Wenger’s side led the Premier League for much of the last campaign, but suffered heavy defeats to the likes of Chelsea (6-0), Liverpool (5-1) and Manchester City (6-3) as their challenge faded and they finished fourth.

Hopes are high that Arsenal can improve this term following the purchase of Barcelona forward Alexis Sanchez, but former striker Smith says they need to start winning the big games, including the Sky live matches against Chelsea on October 5 and Manchester United on November 22.

“It was those matches where they came undone and came undone quite badly,” he told Sky Sports.

“You think of the defeat at Stamford Bridge and Arsenal are facing Chelsea at Chelsea before the end of November. Arsenal fans will be looking at those kinds of matches.

“They entertain Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United at the Emirates as well, so in order for Arsenal to be proper challengers they have got to do better against those title challengers.

“That will tell us a lot as to whether the side has improved or not.”

The North London derby will also be live on Sky Sports on Saturday September 27 with Mauricio Pochettino facing Arsene Wenger for the first time as Tottenham manager.

And Smith says that could prove to be an entertaining game, as it comes so early in the fixture calendar.

He added: “It’s always one as an Arsenal player and as a Spurs player where you look at where those fixtures are.

“Arsenal, down the last few years, have had a good record against Spurs and at home it’s a nice early derby for the Arsenal fans and for the travelling Spurs ones.

“Those matches don’t normally disappoint.”

Liverpool’s first five Premier League games are live on Sky Sports with new signings Rickie Lambert and Adam Lallana facing former club Southampton on the opening weekend.

However, Sky Sports pundit Phil Thompson is more excited about Liverpool’s first away game of the season against champions Manchester City on Monday August 25, following the Reds’ thrilling 3-2 victory the last time the sides met.

“The Manchester City one is going to be an absolutely great game,” he said.

“People are probably still thinking of the game at Anfield when it was nip and tuck going for the title and Liverpool came out on top in an absolutely thrilling game with Vincent Kompany making a mistake and Philippe Coutinho scoring a goal.

“Liverpool were 2-0 ahead and then hanging on and Coutinho came up with a winner. It was a sensational football match and everyone will be thinking this is going to be another great game. I certainly hope so.

“Last season, Liverpool went to the Etihad around Christmas time and gave a truly wonderful performance and actually got beat in that game.

“For the first five games to be live on Sky is quite unique, but it all comes down to what the football club have been doing.”

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

I

sn'tthis strange. Last season we were worried that we were stuck with a Dinosaur in Moyes while Liverpool and Everton were disappearing into the distance with their young, spritely managerts, playing football from heaven. Progressive managers, they said. Managers who understand the modern game.........

HarryBoulton
Rodgers: The pressure's on

B

eing consistently and unrelentingly dog turd really takes it out of you. Try shadow boxing. That's what it's like watching Liverpool, punching thin air.

sinbadsdad
Neville: Reds need a rest

G

ood list, some crackers in there. For me, I'd have had Steve McManaman for Liverpool away at Celtic in the UEFA cup in 1997. I was in the ground that night and everyone kept screaming at him to make a pass, but he just kept going and going and going...brilliant, and in the dying minutes too.

uncle-muller
F365's Top Ten Counter-Attacking Goals

Footer 365

Champions League: Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund to make last 16

Arsenal beat Borussia Dortmund 2-0 at the Emirates on Tuesday night in Group D of the Champions League.

Champions League: Liverpool share points with Ludogorets

Liverpool drew 2-2 away to Ludogorets to keep their Champions League dream alive with one game left in Group B.

Mignolet 'worse than Dracula'

Bruce Grobbelaar has lambasted Simon Mignolet's reluctance to command his box, saying: "At least Dracula comes out of his coffin now and then."

Mail Box

Mails: Quit Massaging Mourinho's Ego

That's the message from the afternoon mailbox after it was claimed that the Chelsea boss has transformed Cesc Fabregas into a complete player. Plus, more on Arsenal...

F365: Saving You From Bad Relationships

A cracking Mailbox, with thoughts on Chelsea, Willian, Jurgen Klopp, Brendan Rodgers and Aguero. Plus how Football365 saved one man from an unhappy relationship...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property