As Arsenal prepare for one last push for the Premier League title, the Gunners can hold their heads up high. This season they have showed some real fight I certainly have not seen in an Arsene Wenger side for quite a while. Whilst the Premier League title will probably elude them this season with Manchester United or Chelsea most likely victors. The future looks bright for the Gunners.
First and foremost it is imperative they retain the services of Cesc Fabregas. I do not wish to delve into superlatives for the Spanish playmaker as everyone seems to have been loving an adjective or two given Lionel Messi’s performance last week against said Arsenal. We all know Fabregas is a bit good and without him Arsenal would struggle to challenge Manchester United and Chelsea. Rumours of his impending move to Barcelona have died down somewhat, something Arsene Wenger in particular will be pleased with. I think Arsenal have shown Fabregas enough to stay one more season. Particularly if you consider that the Gunners are right in a title race this late of the season.
With Fabregas suitably pacified Arsenal will have more than a decent chance next season. Forget the humbling by Manchester United and Chelsea. The landscape of the Premier League is changing considerably. These games do not hold the weight they did two or three years ago. Everyone else is catching up and its points lost at the Reebok Stadium, Britannia Stadium and DW Stadium for example that decide the title. Arsenal are within three points of leaders Chelsea and two points of Manchester United. This is despite being destroyed 0-3 and 1-3 respectively at the Emirates.
If we look at the top of the table, both Chelsea and Manchester United have failed to win ten times each this season. After 33 games that is nearly one in three games both sides have failed to win in the Premier League. Given the dominance and grandeur we befall these two sides it is a very interesting stat. Arsenal have failed to win eleven times this season. Lower teams are beginning to take points off the supposed ‘big four’. You only have to look at how many times Liverpool has failed to win this season, (17) that’s even more than they have won! This all bodes well for Arsenal, as thing stands they cannot cope with the physicality of Chelsea or given their attacking style, the fluency and pace of Manchester United’s counter attacking game. Next season it won’t really matter. They just have to concentrate on beating the supposedly ‘lesser’ teams.
Now Arsenal need to invest, the stubbornness of Arsene Wenger is there for all to see but after the defeat in the Nou Camp it seems he may be finally seeing what is required. ‘We have to add something, for sure, but we have some time to think about that,’ admitted Wenger in his post match conference. About bloody time as well, I thought you were a Professor? The worst kept secret in football is that Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh is joining the club in the summer which gives the Gunners some much needed reinforcements up front. Keeping Robin Van Persie fit next season is also imperative to their chances. Where Arsenal would be now if he had been fit all season? Top of the Premier League I think. A centre back of international class is also required alongside a destructive force in the centre of midfield. Alex Song has really stamped his place in the side this season, but a more experienced Danielle De Rossi for example would offer the Gunners much more bite in the centre of the park.
The talk of ‘another year older’ garbage that gets thrown out by everyone at Arsenal every time they never win anything is over. Unfortunately it will be a step too far this season for The Emirates outfit. But they are beginning to finally show some heart in grinding out results where they normally would fold like a deck of cards. I felt Arsenal turned their biggest corner in a long time when they beat a battling Stoke City at the Britannia stadium in February. A 1-3 victory with two late goals after it appeared Arsenal had succumbed to a draw. Especially after the drama of Aaron Ramsey’s horrific injury. The Arsenal players picked themselves up and came through with a victory. Something they didn’t do at Birmingham City upon Eduardo’s terrible injury.
There is some fight in this Arsenal team and if I was a Manchester United or Chelsea fan I would begin to get very worried next season. With the right investment and showing the same determination they have this season, I reckon Arsenal could win the Premier League comfortably next year.
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