Football

Arsenal ready to end eight years of hurt

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Wenger refusing to get carried away. (©GettyImages)
Wenger refusing to get carried away. (©GettyImages).

It has been a slightly indifferent start to the season for Arsenal.

Manager Arsene Wenger had received much ridicule before the transfer window from very frustrated fans and he and the Arsenal faithful have not always seen eye-to-eye on the club's transfer policy.

But it seems after a long and difficult eight years, things are looking positive again at the Emirates. 

Arsenal started with a very difficult home defeat at the hands of an improving Aston Villa who capitalised on familiar shortcomings at the back from the Arsenal defence, which left the fans and Wenger alike floundering.

It seemed that the same mistakes as last season had not been addressed. However, Wenger's men have vastly improved since then and look like serious title contenders this year.

There are concerns about squad depth which has been reiterated by fans, pundits, journalists and indeed Wenger who has said that he does not think he has the squad at the moment to sustain the form they have been showing.

His comments can be taken one of two ways. To take this at face value would result in very negative feelings about the squad. Although I have been critical of Wenger in the past he has always chosen his words carefully and I am sure these comments were made to motivate the squad to prove him wrong and continue the impressive run of form.

After the poor opening day display the knives were out, Arsenal were being criticised by everyone you could possibly think of - how things have changed since then.

Arsenal have won both their Champions League qualifying matches as well as sitting top of their group after a resilient away win at Marseille. They have also strung together five Premier League wins in a row which has catapulted them to lead the way in the early stages. 

Speaking to Sky Sports, Wenger said: "We want the right balance between ambition and humility.

"To speak about the title today is ridiculous."

With these comments, Wenger has shown much needed calm. He has always shown confidence when asked about every Arsenal squad he has had. This pre-season he said he was confident in challenging and it would be very difficult to disagree on current form.

There have been some stand-out performances from £42.4 million man Mesut Özil, who has settled very quickly, Aaron Ramsey has looked revitalised and is looking more like the player Wenger thought he signed from Cardiff back in 2008.

Mathieu Flamini has shown the type of player Arsenal have been lacking since his departure to AC Milan in 2008, not forgetting Olivier Giroud who has started this season as impressive as any centre forward, scoring four goals in six games so far this season. 

It is early days and as Wenger has mentioned, it's too early to tell if this squad has what it takes to lift the Premier League title but the start has been encouraging enough to suggest they are serious contenders.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Arsenal
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