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Can Arsenal Really Win The Premier League Title?

Arsenal’s title credentials have been put to the test over the last couple of weeks. Wins over Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund have been somewhat overshadowed by the losses against Chelsea (League Cup) and Sunday’s defeat to Manchester United, made even worse by the winning goal coming courtesy of Robin Van Persie. However, the all important question, and the one which is article is focused still remains to be answered; can Arsenal really win the title? Anyone can win the title of course, but this is an unrealistic aim for all but a few teams. Because of this, the question, the question’ will Arsenal win the title?’, has more meaning. In my opinion they can win the league and this year it seems that they have their best chance of winning the league for the first time since the ‘invincibles’ season of 2003-04. However, I don’t think that they will win the league, for a number of reasons.

Firstly, their squad is extremely thin in both defence and attack, especially when compared to the other title contenders. A perfect example of this is Sunday’s game, when Arsenal, in desperate need of a goal brought on Nicklas Bentdner. Contrast this to their opponents Manchester United, who have Robin Van Persie and Wayne Rooney, two players who would easily get into Arsenal’s team ahead of Olivier Giroud. And that’s before even mentioning Javier Hernandez and Danny Welbeck, who would provide Arsenal’s number one striker some serious competition and definitely get in the team ahead of Bentdner. This situation is similar to a number of other teams who are challenging Arsenal. Because of this, Arsenal will certainly be looking to address this issue in January, with Karim Benzema seeming to be their number one target. However, it would suprise me if he decided to leave Real Madrid after forming a lethal partnership with Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale. The depth of Arsenal’s defence also seems to be an issue. This is because they only have three centre backs; Thomas Vermaelen, Laurent Koscielny and Per Mertesacker. An injury to any of these players could prove costlynwith the heavy Christmas schedule about to start. Midfield seems to be the only position where Arsenal can boast a number of world-class players, shown especially by Jack Wilshere’s struggle to gain a place in the starting eleven. However, if Arsenal are to win the Premier League, they will need to add some real depth, and quality, to their squad in January.

Another reason is that a number of Arsenal’s players have been in brilliant form, none more so than Aaron Ramsey. Whilst this doesn’t seem like a negative, it could be if their performances start to dip or they get injured. One example of this was Mesut Özil’s uncharacteristically poor performance on Sunday however, it is highly unlikely that a player of his quality will play like that for the rest of the season. Whether they are great players or just in a bit of good form will be determined over the next couple of months.

Finally, this is an unusually competitive season at the top of the league, with the top eight teams being separated by just six points after 11 games. Arsenal are only three points ahead of Southampton (if you had have told Arsenal fans that at the start of the season, they would have choked on their £9 pizza and taken to twitter to demand Wenger be sacked, lead by Piers Morgan). However, Southampton’s astonishing form will surely come to an end and Everton will eventually drop away from the title race. This six teams, the lowest of them being Manchester City who are down in eighth place. Despite this they are only six points of Arsenal and if they can sort out their away form they will begin to climb up the table, lead by the league’s top scorer Sergio Aguero (not to mention Negredo, Dzeko and Jovetic). There is another factor that will serve as an advantage for some of Arsenal’s title challengers, which is experience of winning league titles. Man Utd, Man City and Chelsea all have players who have won not only the Premier League but many of Europe’s top leagues. Arsenal have no Premier League winners and very few players who have won leagues. However, Man City were in a similar situation two years ago and still won the league, so Arsenal’s relative inexperience of winning trophies may not prove to be too important.

Whilst I would love to see Arsenal win the league this year, I just can’t see it happening, unless they make two or three world class signings in January. However the Premier League is incredibly unpredictable and this season looks like being one of the closest one’s yet.

 

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