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Arsenal: What do they need to maintain title challenge?

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The month of December was tough and hectic as they were up against the threats such as the away matches against ruthless Manchester City, resplendent Newcastle, tenacious West Brom and motivated Napoli and the home matches against defensive Chelsea and hard-working Everton.

They did well in the league to give away just one loss against City and achieved credible draws against Chelsea and Everton. The loss at Napoli hurt the chances of a strong Champions League campaign as the resultant secondposition in group stage led to a last 16 draw with Bayern Munich.

Though they gave up their five point lead at the summit, Arsenal will top the table come end of the year 2013.

Looking ahead into 2014 and the January transfer window, here are a few things Arsene Wenger and AFC need to sort out...


1) Buy a striker: With Walcott and Podolski returning, the goals are flowing for Arsenal again, but Wenger still sees both primarily as wingers and past endeavours of playing them in the striker position has failed miserably.

Giroud is going off the boil and though he holds up play excellently, a striker should essentially have goals in him. The only other senior striker option in stock is Bendtner who has just scored a single goal this season for Arsenal.

Dream options: Robert Lewandowski, Diego Costa
Good options: Fernando Llorente, Alvaro Morata, Konstantinos Mitroglou, Christian Benteke

2) Buy a centre/right-back: For any serious title-challenging side, having eight senior defenders is a bare minimum. Arsenal right now have seven. And while the seven are in themselves very efficient, injuries and suspensions later (when the yellow cards start racking up) can leave this defence threadbare.

The left-back position seems the most stable with Gibbs and Monreal being two excellent ones. Presence of only three centre-backs, Sagna's contract-stand off and the inconsistent Jenkinson makes the purchase of a central defender who can play right back an essential need.

Good options: Kurt Zouma, SFabian char, Seamus Coleman, Mathieu Debuchy


3) Get Ozil and Ramsey firing soon: With a player of Ozil's ability and class, it's only sooner than later that we will see him creating and finishing off goals again. Wenger needs to sort out the mental problems Ozil faces with the team and get him clicking with the team.

Ramsey on the other hand is going through a period of injury that may see him lose his hot scoring and assisting form. Something that needs to be avoided at all costs.

4) Get Cazorla and Podolski fully fit and in form: Mixing the playmaking and assisting ability of Cazorla with Podolski's crossing and finishing ability gives Arsenal something very deadly.

Combine that with Walcott's pace and Ozil's ability of popping in and providing final balls, this could be the most dangerous attack in EPL if they click.

5) Get maximum points in January: With the relatively easy fixture list in the form of Cardiff (H), Aston Villa (A), Fulham (H), Southampton (A) and Crystal Palace (H) Arsenal would only do very well to obtain maximum points from these games as they head into the difficult February and March periods. Absence of Champions League headaches make it that much more important.

6) Remain in the challenge come end of March: The only big fixture after the February and March runs would be Everton away and if they remain at or around the top position come the end of this period, we can definitely hope for Arsenal to clinch the title this season.

7) Use his younger in FA Cup runs and easier Premier League fixtures: Returning Oxlade-Chamberlain, Sanogo, Zelalem and Miyaichi will be important as they can help keep the first team energised while gaining some important experience.

With tough upcoming fixtures in Champions League and FA Cup, EPL seems to be the best option for Arsene Wenger to grab a title. However, it wouldn't be easy as we stare into the second half of the season.

Biggest threats to the title: Manchester City

Title pretenders: Liverpool, Manchester United and Tottenham 

Prediction: A close call between Arsenal and Manchester City with a couple points/GD deciding the fortunes, with City nicking it.

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This article has been written by a member of the GiveMeSport Writing Academy and does not represent the views of GiveMeSport.com or SportsNewMedia. The views and opinions expressed are solely that of the author credited at the top of this article. GiveMeSport.com and SportsNewMedia do not take any responsibility for the content of its contributors.

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