Last August, following Arsenal’s opening day loss against West Ham, we wrote an article about this season being the perfect one for Arsene Wenger to aim for the Premier League. Four months later, the Gunners still have a big chance at it and could be on top of the league by Christmas for the first time since 2007 but will they seize the opportunity?
Arsenal’s last Premier League winning campaign was more than 10 years ago. However, this year it could really be theirs as their opponents are suffering from inconsistency. Chelsea are deep in the relegation battle, Liverpool and Tottenham are trying their best to enter the top four while Louis Van Gaal’s philosophy is not working as Manchester United lost to the Premier League’s smallest ever club, Bournemouth and finally Manchester City have been plagued by injuries.
Away from Arsenal’s opponents and focusing on the Gunner’s firepower. They seem to have finally found the right mix. The signing of Peter Cech from Chelsea has brought leadership and experience to the team’s backline and his saves week in week out could earn Arsenal at least 10 extra points by the end of the season. Cech’s last clean sheet against Aston Villa saw him match David James’ record of 169, one more and he will break the record. Defensively speaking, Arsenal have only conceded 13 goals so far. In case they concede one goal or less in their next two games then they will break their own record of 15 goals conceded in the first 18 Premier League games of any season. Up front, under-fire striker Olivier Giroud is fending off his critics thanks to his 14 goals so far this season, three of which came in the crucial tie against Olympiakos in the Champions League. The French striker is on form and as long as he’s scoring goals, his confidence will grow.
While Giroud is scoring goals, credit has to go the German playmaker Mesut Ozil who notched 13 assists in only 15 matches, he’s only 7 assists away from reaching the Premier League record of 20 assists in one season set by Thierry Henry. Ozil alone was enough to make us forget Arsenal’s injury crisis: Santi Cazorla, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta, Tomas Rosicky, Danny Welbeck and Alexis Sanchez have been injured but the Gunners march on.
Wenger capped off a perfect week following wins over Olympiakos and Aston Villa but more is needed if his side is to dethrone Claudio Ranieri’s Leicester City. Ranieri’s team has the Premier League’s best duo Riyad Mahrez and Jamie Vardy, if the two continue to play the same way they have been doing so far then Leicester have a big chance at the title but on the long run, Arsenal could dethrone them but first they need to address a few issues.
Injuries have not been causing a lot of trouble so far but they can always sting and cause damage, perhaps if one of Ozil or Giroud was sidelined it could kill their momentum and form. Arsenal will need both men fit throughout the whole season and on top form. Another long-standing issue is the lack of a holding midfielder. Arsenal need a defensive midfielder now more than ever. Francis Coquelin is no Patrick Vieira even if he’s a good player. Luckily for them, the January transfer window is just near and they need to be searching well for the perfect signing and grab it even if at high cost. Southampton’s Victor Wanyama and Crystal Palace’s Yohan Cabaye could be potential signings.
Arsenal are only two points of Leicester City but up next is Manchester City. The Gunners need to consider this game as the perfect opportunity to prove their credentials for the title race. A draw could be good but a win is decisive. This is Arsenal’s season, the perfect one for them to grab the title. It’s down to them and to you, their fans. Your support is essential to them, how far will you go to help your team lift the title?