The Players Believe We Can Win the Title. What About the Fans?
The second phase of international fixtures take center stage and there has been one casualty from an Arsenal perspective as David Ospina picked up a knock for Colombia in their last-gasp win against Bolivia. There was also a concern when Danny Welbeck was seen with an ice pack on his knee after he was substituted for Jamie Vardy.
After the international break ends, teams will concentrate on the business end of the league as points are there for the taking. For the title race, it’s looking like Leicester City and Tottenham are on the fore front with Arsenal trailing behind but despite this deficit, the players still believe that they have a fighting chance of winning the Premier League. It seems like a very long time ago when Danny Welbeck’s header put the Gunners two points behind Leicester but after a series of insipid performances against Manchester United and Swansea, the Gunners fell further behind the leading pack for the title.
Mesut Ozil has been one of the Gunners’ outstanding performers in the Premier League campaign and he has been instrumental to the team picking points with the plethora of assists he has garnered this season. The German midfielder, fresh from revealing his new boots and a disappointing friendly defeat to England, still believes it’s possible for the Gunners to win the Premier League,
“I do not think it impossible. Although there are only a few games left, Leicester have a run against some of the big teams to come.
“We ourselves must in any case not allow any more slip-ups. The hope of the title is still there – we have the players for the title.”
The midfielder commended Leicester for their fighting spirit but he’s hopeful for the table toppers to make mistakes, because as it stands, it can only take an implosion for Claudio Ranieri’s men to lose the title. They have been very focused this season and with 13 ‘1-0’ victories, it shows their high levels of concentration.
Laurent Koscielny, that has been skippering the side for a couple of games has shared Ozil’s sentiments on the team’s title chances. Koscielny has struggled a bit this season with injury concerns of his own was part of the Arsenal side that was so resolute defensively against Everton at Goodison Park. He says,
“We failed in some important games,” the defender said, speaking to a media conference. “When we had to score, we did not, we put ourselves in a difficult situation. We had to look forward and we did it this weekend at Everton. There are eight games left, eight finals to hope for something.”
“I can understand the frustration of the fans, we gave ourselves a chance of winning this trophy. I think the coach is still the man of the situation. Mathematically everything is still possible.”
Mathematically, it is still possible for Arsenal to win the Premier League but they have to go on a run of victories while their fellow title rivals slip up. The fixtures in the run-in are really tough but there are some that feel the Gunners might not be able to win the title because of their penchant for messing up when it really matters.
There is a lot of football to be played between now and the end of the season, so we have to remain optimistic as fans until it’s mathematically impossible to finish in first place. Leicester has been invincible in recent weeks but they have a challenging list of fixtures, as do Tottenham. This article on Sky Sports analyses the title race, even though it’s a bit on the old side.
Time to send a prayer or two for the Nigerians that play at Egypt tonight.
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