Despite some scintillating team performances this season and some individual moments of brilliance some pundits still refuse to believe that Arsenal are serious
challengers for the Premier League title this season.
Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Liverpool at the weekend signalled the intent of a side full of confidence and quality. This victory came after back to back defeats in the League Cup and the Champions League which could have derailed their season but they showed great character to bounce back. Even in defeat Arsenal showed the quality they have, particularly against Dortmund when their ball retention was first class until they were caught on the counter attack by a sucker punch.
The Gunners have shown this season that they can compete with some of the best teams in England and Europe and with a squad capable of overcoming the demands of a Premier League season they look to have their best chance in years to bring success back to The Emirates.
During the summer the North London club showed their intent by smashing their transfer fee record by bringing in Mesut Ozil, a truly world-class player, from Real Madrid. This one piece of transfer activity not only signalled their intent to their Premier League rivals but also gave their supporters hope for the future. With a midfield now capable of rivalling any in the Premier League Arsenal have a depth that will be the envy of most clubs.
The form of Aaron Ramsey has been an additional bonus for the club. His performances, not to mention goals, have been one of the main reasons why Arsenal are now five points clear in the Premier League title race. Despite injuries to players such as Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade Chamberlain Arsenal have shown they can cope with setbacks. Olivier Giroud has shown excellent form so far this season with both goals and assists.
So why are critics still intent on dismissing them from the title race?
Critics will point to the fact that many of the Arsenal players have never experienced life at the top of the Premier League so will they crack under the pressure particularly in a league where a number of clubs are capable of winning. They will be facing tricky games most weeks during busy periods which will test their resolve and resources. It could also be argued that it is very difficult to win the Premier League if you are a London club due to the added pressure of
a number of north London derbies in a season.
Arsenal have so far benefited from the indifferent form from many of their title rivals which will surely not continue all season. Many of their rivals have new managers at the helm which has meant clubs are still searching for their best teams whereas Arsene Wenger is the longest serving manager in the Premier League and knows his players well.
The busy Christmas period will be a drain on their squad and is often a time when a clubs true credentials are tested. If they can come through the festive period relatively unscathed and still challenging then I see no reason why they cannot maintain their form. I have no doubt injuries will occur during the season but they have shown they can cope so far and in January they may well further their credentials with another high class signing. Another goalscorer may well be required particularly if the likes of Giroud and Ramsey fail to find the net on a regular basis.
I believe Arsenal can sustain their form this season and, if their rivals continue to slip up, may well end their trophy drought in spectacular fashion in May.
Are Arsenal fans as confident as I am that their challenge can be maintained or are you just enjoying life at the top while it lasts?
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