Well, here we are, in that part of the season that people who believe in narratives drool over - the part where Arsenal go through what every single team in the league goes through, a patch where they're not scoring much in the league (on pace for their lowest goal total since 1999) and not playing up to their usual exquisite standard, and thus the part where some people get really, really mad, because something similar - that doesn't have a single bit of influence on what is happening today - has happened in the past.
But don't listen to the narrative pushers - This year, the year in which games are currently being played, Arsenal can still win the league. Why? Because 2013 doesn't play games any more. Nor does 2014. Even if they don't win the league, they will still finish above Tottenham. They'll snap out of this stretch of games, and you'll forget that in late January and early February you thought they were going to bottle it solely because you think they always bottle it. Because that's what Arsenal do, sayeth the narrative. And narratives are never wrong, right?
Anyway. Arsenal come into this game as healthy as they've been in a while, with only the addition of Tomas Rosicky to the long term absences of Wilshere, Welbeck, and Cazorla. They'll be looking to right the ship after firing 22 shots at Southampton with no goals to show for it, and a Bournemouth side who has let in 39 goals this season, fifth-worst in the Premier League, is a great place to put said ship right.
Bournemouth's attack, of course, is now led by one Benik Afobe, late of Arsenal until he moved to Wolves just over a year ago. After a year in the Championship, he was bought a couple weeks ago by Bournemouth, and since joining them, he has proved a good buy - three goals in four appearances, which are positively Vardyesque numbers (see what I did there, sample size fans?)! Anyway, I like Benik and I hope he quiets down tomorrow, but overall I wish him well.
With a Valentine's Day matchup against league leading Leicester City coming up (OH HOW ROMANTIC), Arsenal really need to maximize their points from this very winnable game.