Reasons Why Arsenal are Genuine Title Contenders this Season
In the wake of Arsenal’s run of form against the so-called “big sides” coupled with what has been a phenomenal season thus far, Arsenal fans are daring to dream that this could finally be the season they send the huge Black Widow Spider away from their empty trophy cabinet.
Today’s features a guest post from Moses Wekesa, a young aspiring journalist that loves Arsenal more than the way Ashley Young loves diving. Over to you Moses…
If there was any season the Gunners were going to win the Premier League, it had to be this season. The League’s perennial winner, Sir Alex Ferguson, dominated the English game for nearly three decades and after winning over a dozen League titles, he decided to call it quits.
His recent autobiography has been the talk of the town but I must confess that seeing Sir Ferguson on the stands is more relieving than when I saw him on the touchline giving his tactics to his players that didn’t just know how to lose. Whether it was from help from an official or just their sheer ability, there was something about Manchester United’s mentality that was worth emulating in the Premier League. Even after the losses of Cristiano Ronaldo and Carlos Tevez, SAF still made a squad that dominated the league.
In Ferguson’s absence (thank Heavens), Manchester United summoned a David Moyes that had been a stalwart at Everton but his record against the traditional “big four” in their home grounds was downright abysmal. Then there was the sacking of Roberto Mancini after he failed to win the FA Cup against a relegation-bound Wigan and his departure coincided with the arrival of a prestigious manager in the form of Manuel Pellegrini. Then there was Chelsea, a club whose chairman changes managers like the way babies change diapers but he decided to bring a familiar face in Jose Mourinho.
These are all great managers but they’re going through transitional phases so Arsenal, a team with a stable institution under the guidance of a living legend like Arsene Wenger, as well as the fact that there was no major departure this summer (besides flushing out the deadwood), the team was quite settled from the onset and the acquisitions of Mathieu Flamini and Mesut Ozil gave the team a massive lift.
Arsenal has been on fine run of scintillating form and since that slump at the Emirates stadium in the opening day of the season a lot things as turned around in the team. Aaron Ramsey has had a magnificent season so far bagging 11 goals in 16 matches, he has been unstoppable in the both the midfield areas and his confidence and composure in front of the goal has been admirable.
It’s no surprise that he has won player of the month for the fourth consecutive time.
The Welshman has played a key part in the resurgence of the Emirates outfit. Moreover, the signing of the Germany playmaker Mesut Ozil was as fans expected going to have a positive bearing on the team. And it has been amazing how the 25-year old has seamlessly integrated into the team. The squad looks lively more than ever and it’s always beautiful to watch Arsenal play these days.
The midfield mixture of both young exuberant players like Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Mesut Ozil and experienced heads like Mikel Arteta, Mathieu Flamini and the evergreen Tomas Rosicky gels well with the attractive football synonymous with the Emirates outfit. The team also attacks more often and they keep their opponents on toes especially when moving forward. Even though there have been players who have been sidelined by injuries, the team has really coped well and covered up for their absence.
In the past, the squad struggled in the absences of key players like Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and others through injury, and when they finally departed, they left gaping holes in the squad that have been finally addressed by the manager. Fabregas and Nasri were equally replaced by a better pairing of Mesut Ozil and Santi Cazorla. The Gunners also coped from the loss of van Persie with the acquisitions of Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski that scored 33 goals between them last season.
In the Premier League, Arsenal sit on the summit of the table five points clear. They started rather poorly with a dismal performance against Aston Villa but it was followed with five wins in a row against Fulham, Tottenham, Sunderland, Stoke and Swansea. West Brom dented the amazing winning run with a draw but the Gunners have picked up where they left off in the league defeating Norwich, Crystal Palace and most recently, Liverpool.
On Sunday, Arsenal travel to Manchester United in another mouth-watering clash- we all know the build up to this game has always been. Manchester United has been trying to find form after a shaky start of the season under the new manager. I expect a hard game but if anything, Arsenal will carry the day. The worst result the team may get at Old Trafford is most likely a draw.
Arsenal also leads their UEFA Champions League group with nine points, having just lost once at home to Borussia Dortmund. Napoli is second placed after their Wednesday night against Marseille. Arsenal credentials this season as real title contenders looks more than ever.
People have talked so much about Group F which has been tagged as the Group of Death, but they tend to forget that in that group, Arsenal is the Team of Life.
I have got this believe that, this season, Arsenal will end up winning something. Some may say it’s too early to draw a conclusion but if the injured players return to action and then it happen that current form continues it will be hard to dislodge Arsenal at the top.
The happy times are back again and if the Gunners can maintain their level of consistency all season long, they would win the Premier League. It’s actually a marathon not a race.
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