Could this be the season that the Gunners end their trophy drought? Arsene Wenger desperately wants silverware as do the players and the fans. It’s been too long for a club of the stature of Arsenal to be without silverware. Whilst it hasn’t exactly been a scintillating start to the season, there are signs that this side are capable of winning things. Below are five reasons why I believe that Arsenal are genuine title contenders this season. Yes, there is some room for improvement, but the current state of Arsenal FC also offers a number of reasons to be cheerful.
5. Samir Nasri:
The Gunner’s young Frenchman really has a point to prove this season. Egregiously omitted from the French World Cup squad this summer, the 23 year old has started the season determined to prove his detractors wrong. It’s his third season with Arsenal, but even though it’s only the halfway point, he’s already managed to beat his personal best in terms of goals scored per season. He’s made 18 appearances thus far knocked home 9 goals – a feat that would have most strikers looking on with envy. Yet, Nasri gives Arsenal so much more than goals. He’s creative and intelligent and links up the play well. He chases back and gives 100% in every game he plays. With Fabregas struggling with injury this season, he has thus far been the Gunner’s best player. If Arsenal are to win something this season, you can bet that Samir Nasri will have played a large part in them doing so.
4. Arsenal appear to have found a 20+ goal per season striker:
Since Thierry Henry left Arsenal, they have struggled to find a striker who can knock home the goals on a consistent basis. Robin van Persie cannot keep fit long enough to support an Arsenal title tilt and Bendtner is too inconsistent. The less said about Adebayor, the better. Chamakh joined Arsenal this summer on a free transfer and has thus far endeared himself greatly to the Arsenal supporters. With Van Persie out injured once more, Chamakh has picked up the goal scoring burden and has already scored 10 goals this season, making him the club’s top scorer. He’s quick footed, great in the air, but more importantly, he appears to be the clinical player that Arsenal are often claimed to lack. If he keeps up the hard work, he’ll easily manage 20+ goals this season, a feat that might just be vital if Arsenal want silverware this season. There’s also the mouth-watering prospect of a Van Persie-Chamakh partnership upfront for Arsenal fans to contemplate.
3. The squad has good strength in depth:
Arsenal’s midfield is particularly congested with talent. You have Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song, Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky, Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin, Denilson, Jack Wilshere and more competing for midfield positions. Even Arsenal’s young talent are capable of turning matches in their favour. Particularly startling has been Wilshere’s rise to prominence. Still just 18 years old, he has been a key player in Arsenal’s season thus far. Then there is the likes of Aaron Ramsey (recently loaned out to Nottingham Forrest), Craig Eastmond and Carlos Vela – all of whom will have a role to play in the first team squad before the season’s end. Better still is Jay-Emmanuel Thomas, a striker who produces the goods consistently with the reserves. Is he ready to make the step up?
2. Arsenal are a physically tougher side this season:
Away from home, Arsenal have been able to exhibit a remarkably hard-shell. In previous seasons it has often been claimed that Arsenal were unable to deal with the physical or competitive nature of the game. “Arsenal don’t like it up ‘em”. That’s not the case this season. Everton skipper Phil Neville told the Press that Arsenal, “seem a little more resilient now”. He went on to say “We have always caused them problems with our energy before. They haven’t been able to cope, but they did this time”. His comments came after Arsenal beat Everton 2-1 at Goodison Park. If Arsenal can show the same strength in their home performances, they have a genuine shot at the title this season.
1. Despite not starting strongly, Arsenal are still only two points from the top of the table:
The Gunner’s have let a number of games slip this season. Games against Newcastle, Sunderland and West Brom should have brought with them 3 points, but Arsenal failed to deliver. Worst still was the way Arsenal capitulated against Spurs. Despite this The Gunners remain only two points from the top of the Premier League table. Neither Chelsea nor Manchester United have really kicked into gear yet. If Arsenal beat the other contenders to the draw, they could find themselves in the driving seat.
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