Six reasons why Arsenal are title contenders

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For a number of years now, many people have said his Arsenal side are very close to becoming a great side. Sitting two points clear at the top of the Premier League table, this could be the year that all Arsenal fans have been waiting for.

Last Wednesday night, Arsenal completed a huge victory over Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League to ensure they are on top of Group F with two fixtures to go.

Arsenal gave a real dogged performance in Germany, leaving Dortmund frustrated as they couldn't muster a way beyond Arsenal's back five. Some huge individual performances - including another goal by Aaron Ramsey - gave Wenger's men a vital three points in the search of Champions League knockout phase qualification and silenced the 80,000 Dortmund fans.

Despite suffering a 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, here are some reasons why Wenger's men have gone from title pretenders to real title contenders:

Signing of Mesut Ozil

On the last day of the transfer window, Arsenal made their biggest transfer in the history of the club by buying German international Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid. Ozil has been amazing since signing for the Gunners, playing a huge role in Arsenal's good form.

Ozil has the natural gift of being able to find pockets of space for him to assist and find the back of the net himself. He has all the skills of a world class playmaker and his signing has lifted everyone around him.

Form of Aaron Ramsey

The emergence of Aaron Ramsey into a game changer has really helped Wenger's side this year. Ramsey used to be a squad player, but this year his performances have been of such quality that he is now one of the first men on the team sheet.

Ramsey has a great attitude for the game, a real hunger and determination which allows him to play in a defensive or offensive midfield role. Ramsey has been in incredible goalscoring form, finding the net 11 times so far this season.

Ramsey is a great team player and while he is getting the headlines, he is aware that he's part of a quality maturing side. Ramsey has consistently delivered big performances this year and if he keeps that up, Arsenal are in with a great chance of silverware.

Mertesacker and Koscielny partnership

For a number of years now, Arsenal have not had a regular pairing of centre-backs until Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny formed a great partnership. Mertesacker - who was criticised during his first season in English football - is showing everyone what he is capable of with some outstanding performances this year.

With Mertesacker's great reading and understanding of the game and Koscielny's pace and desire to defend, Wenger has finally found a pairing he can trust to be reliable at the back. These two will be vital if Arsenal are to win anything.

Maturing youngsters

Jack Wilshere, Ramsey, Kieran Gibbs and Wojciech Szczesny have all grown up and are starting to take on more responsibility this season. Apart from Wilshere, the other three were liabilities in seasons gone by, but it looks now as if they are ready to fight it out for the title with consistently good performances.

Gibbs and Szczesny have been very impressive at the back with Szczesny becoming a much more commanding figure and finally putting in performances to match his talent. While Gibbs and Wilshere can struggle with getting fully fit, they have shown they can be trusted after some impressive performances of late.

Wilshere is still developing and while there is no denying the talent he holds, keeping him fit could be difficult. Ramsey is so far having the best season of his career. 

Wise heads - Arteta and Flamini 

Mikel Arteta and Mathieu Flamini give Arsenal that extra bit of bite needed in midfield. They are both great readers of the game and understand their role to sit in front of the defence expertly. Flamini coming back to Arsenal was a great move by both parties as he adds experience and is a real competitor in the middle of the park who is not afraid to put his foot in.

Arteta has become a very influential player at Arsenal, dictating the play and becoming a deep-lying playmaker. His leadership is also crucial for Wenger's side.

Wenger knows best

Much credit has to go to Wenger for the belief that he has shown in this group of players. Wenger always had a brand of free-flowing football that the he crowd loved to watch but it ultimately disappointed them as it resulted in no trophies.

He allows his players to express themselves but is also aware of being smart and intelligent with and without the ball. With the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Lukas Podolski and Abou Diaby all to come back to fitness, Wenger has a good squad of players at his disposable.

The reliable Tomas Rosicky has proved what a good player he really is and if Thomas Vermaelen can re-capture his form of a couple of seasons ago, Wenger's squad will look very strong.

With maybe an additional forward to support the great work so far done by Olivier Giroud, Wenger's squad looks like the real deal. Don't forget, Wenger was criticised over Giroud last year but stuck by him and now the big Frenchman is playing a starring role in Arsenal's rise to the top.

Cazorla and Ozil have great technical quality and if they can keep delivering the goods, Arsenal fans could be in for a great season. It's only November and there is a long way to go until this season comes to a close - but Wenger's side are showing great potential so far.

Wenger knows Arsenal and his players better then anyone else and I'm sure he is determined to win trophies to show the world and the loyal Arsenal fans what he is still capable of. So much can change in a short space of time in the world of football, a truth Wenger only knows to well.

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