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How come Arsenal can’t go all the way and win the league?

Arsenal have made an impressive start to the season, picking up nine points in five games. It may not seem like on overly impressive points total, but it’s not that which is unusual. Usually their defensive displays are rather dismal, however this season they have been one of the best teams in the league defensively without buying any new defenders. They have also made some brilliant signings like Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski, which has really bolstered their attack. They have also bought Olivier Giroud, who, despite not playing up to his potential, scored 21 goals last season to help Montpellier lift the Ligue 1 title. Once he has gotten use to the pace and physical abilities that you need to play in the premier league, I’m sure he will also turn out to be a very good signing.

Many people doubted have doubted Arsenal this season, which is quite understandable considering they sold Robin van Persie and Alex Song to Manchester United and Barcelona respectively. Critics have said that Arsenal need to spend the amount of money the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, Chelsea and even Liverpool do on players. Some people also think that Arsenal are turning into a selling club, which, seeing how many players Arsenal have sold in the last 2-3 years, is easy to understand. Cesc Fabregas, Kolo Toure, Samir Nasri, Gael Clichy and the two I have stated above are just some of them, and, even though they have made a decent amount of money out of them, they have failed to spend on rejuvenating their side. Last year they bought four players in the last week of the transfer window after selling Cesc Fabregas too late on to Barcelona, and, although Per Mertesacker and Mikel Arteta have been successful signings, Andre Santos and Park Chu Young have struggled. There have also been signings like Marouane Chamakh who have been total flops. As well as all of this many teams last season were able to expose Arsenal’s defensive frailties, with Arsenal conceding the most goals out of the top six in the league, which meant that to finish where they finished they had to rely on Robin van Persie to score the amount of goals they did. This season however, they have turned their performance around in the transfer market, as well as their defensive displays on the pitch.

Some people believe that the reasons why their defensive displays have improved is the inclusion of Steve Bould in the coaching set up. The former Arsenal defender came in towards the end of last season when Pat Rice, the former assistant coach decided to retire after 44 years of service to Arsenal, both playing and coaching. Since then Arsenal have had a good pre-season and an impressive start to the league campaign. The fact they have not signed any defensive players, in fact they have sold some, even more influences peoples interpretations about Steve Bould. This, coupled with their brilliant attacking signings and their good performances this season, leads me to the question, Why can’t Arsenal challenge for the title this season?

Personally, I think it is possible. If they keep the good displays up, they could get onto a decent run of results and gradually become stronger and stronger. Last season one of their failings was their lack of being positive enough to beat the bigger teams. Watching their game against Manchester United, the 8-2 loss at Old Trafford, they looked almost resigned before United had even gone 3 goals up. They can’t afford to be like this season. They have to be much more competitive against the bigger teams. Last weekend they had their first big test against Manchester City, drawing 1-1. That was a good result, although it should be said that they never really struggle against Manchester City. They also need to stop giving silly points away against the lesser teams, which was another problem last season, although if they keep up their defensive displays they should eradicate that. So I think they could win the league. I’m sure many people will continue to doubt them, and the competition will be tough, but I think they have that perfect balance now that they have so desperately missed over previous seasons. And I think it is that, with many other things, that makes me and many others think they could do it.

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