Is it Arsenal's year?

Tuesday, 11 September 2007

Just so that you don’t think that this is a glorified Liverpool fan site, this article has been decided to restore the balance which has been disturbed by Kofi’s musings. Although I agree with his article which suggests that Liverpool are genuine title contenders, I feel it would be unfair not to consider the other challengers.

Man U and Chelski have proved in the last couple of years that they have the ability to win the League. So, in this article, I shall be playing devil’s advocate to Kofi, as although I am a supporter of an unnamed Championship team, I am also a closet Gooner.

So could this be Arsenal’s year?

Well, let’s start with the summer of discontent. The departure of Mr Va Va Voom cast a cloud over the Emirates, as did the departure of David Dein. Arsene Wenger’s future was in doubt as was that of Cesc Fabregas. Many people thought that Arsenal were on the point of imploding. Things were looking so bad that people even began to think that Tottenham were going to finish higher than them. The natives were restless.

Fast forward into the new season though and people are again taking Arsenal seriously as title challengers after last year’s disappointing campaign. So what has brought about this new found optimism?

The departure of Henry appears to have galvanised the team. There were many rumours that Henry thought he was the big cheese at Arsenal and that this disrupted the karma of the dressing room with many players retreating into their shell. However, with Henry now gone, the likes of van Persie and Adebayor look as though they are determined to take up the mantle. Also, Arsenal tended to over rely on Henry in previous seasons, whereas now, there early performances have suggested that they have the ability to score from all corners of the pitch. Arsene Wenger’s decision to stay on at the club has shown his dedication to the task in hand and it looks like his young squad are beginning to live up to the hype.

Fabregas has been a revelation this season. Many football fans have said that Fabregas was like Scholes without the goals and some even said he was no better than Jermaine Jenas (I won’t name names). True, his goal scoring record as a midfielder was terrible but early season form shows that Cesc is really on his game this year. As said before, with Henry gone, the Arsenal players have realised that they really need to improve their goal ratios in order to maintain a sustained title challenge.

It must be remembered that Arsenal have played three games at home this season and not against the most illustrious of opponents. However, last season, these were the sort of games that Arsenal were drawing, and now they have been snatching wins and finally putting away the dozens of chances they created which definitely shows they are moving forward. Arsenal generally produce in the big games, and it was their results against the lesser likes last year which were their downfall.

One criticism levelled at Arsenal is that they have no plan B. This is something which is hard to argue against, but only a Lemon howler prevented them winning against an excellent Blackburn side which suggests that they are learning how to mix it. Their away form will definitely need to improve, especially when it comes to the long winter months.

If anything is to prevent Arsenal winning the League it may be the depth of the squad. They are probably a little bit short in most areas, but there is no doubt in my mind that if they can keep their players fit then they can definitely grab the League title this year. Obviously, that’s a big if. Arsene really wants to compete in the League though and he may decide to rest his players for the FA Cup as well as the League Cup this year which may prove fruitful.

I think it is fair to say that the purists would love Arsenal to win the League, as they are the most entertaining team to watch. Whether they can or not will largely depend on their ability to escape injury though. Will Arsenal be Premiership Champions this year? I certainly hope so (sorry Kofi). Either way, the future is bright; the future is red and white.

5 Responses to "Is it Arsenal's year?"

rafasnewbeard Says:

Nice article, you have made some interesting points, but as you said they are still short in many areas. Its a long season and Wenger will want to win the CL more than anything. He might prioritise that, and then who knows. I agree they are better without Henry but they need more time.

your mum Says:

I personally disagree that Wenger wants the CL this year. He has just signed a 3 year deal, his priority is to again establish Arsenal as worthy title challengers

rafasnewbeard Says:

Surely he must want the only trophy he has failed to win with Arsenal. Many people may not see Wenger as an all time great manager until he wins the big one. Regardless of how pretty the football is.

your mum Says:

I think you should shut your mouth and know your role

Jol for England Says:

sorry to let the facts get in the way of a good story but the arse would have exactly the same points from the same fixtures last season, except a better goal difference last season based on those 4 league games to date. To suggest that Arsenal are suddenly winning matches they used to draw is therefore simply Michael Ballacks.
I am sure they will probably do us tomorrow too!