As the Premier League nears the midway point of the season, here's a look at table-topping Arsenal’s campaign ahead of their clash with Chelsea.
So good. Arsenal have surprised everyone this season; while everyone else has been changing managers and splashing the cash, consistency has been key for Arsene Wenger’s side on their way to the top of the table.
Faith in the youth has finally produced rewards for the Gunners, and the players are coming of age at the right time when everyone else is in a period of transition. Defeats against Manchester’s big guns have left many questioning their title winning credentials, but they have led the way for a while and look very capable of continuing that run.
While Wenger didn’t part with cash to snap up the likes of Higuain and Suarez, the acquisition of Mesut Ozil remains one of the buys of the summer. The German playmaker gives purpose to all their possession; Ronaldo has credited him with being the main supply line for his goals at Real Madrid, and he continues to show his worth with seven assists in 13 Premier League matches so far. He brings out the best in the players around him and even chips in with a goal or two himself; his form will be crucial to the success of Arsenal’s season.
One to Watch
With the quality oozing from Arsenal’s midfield this season it is difficult to earmark one man who should be watched closely. However few could dispute that this has been Aaron Ramsey’s season.
The Wales midfielder signaled his intent for the coming season with his performance and well earned goals in the dispatching of Fenerbahce in the Champions League play-off, and has gone on to be a star turn in the league leader’s team this season. A delightful volley against Liverpool and double against former club Cardiff are the latest of his goals, but expect many more as Arsenal drive towards silverware.
Top of their Christmas list?
Despite the impressive form of Olivier Giroud, many worry that injury to the Frenchman could leave Arsenal limited up front. Wenger retains faith in Danish forward Nicklas Bendtner but the striker’s header against Hull was his first goal in a while and it’s doubtful that he could lead the line in the absence of Giroud. Capturing Suarez in January could be a game changer in the season but it’s unlikely the Uruguayan would switch Merseyside for London at this stage, while Higuain only moved to Napoli in the summer. A loan move for Alvaro Morata is on the cards, and it’s clear that fans would feel reassured if they signed some cover in attack.
First, why not? No one will back them based on recent history, but they’re the form team and are the most consistent both home and away. The returning Mathieu Flamini is something of an unsung hero, mopping up in midfield while Ozil’s creativity has certainly given them more goals. They've coped admirably with being top of the tree, now they need to maintain their form over the second half of the season to deliver a first title since 2004: 1st
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