I must admit, as an Arsenal fan we have often been too hasty to herald a new era at the club. With players leaving in the past and us bringing in new talent, we’ve often claimed that ‘this year, Wenger has got it right!’ But I’m not so sure with this years side that we could win the league. Maybe I’m being pessimistic but looking at previous years, it’s not hard to justify my doubts. In season 07/08 we had lost Henry in the summer and Arsenal turned to new blood such as Eduardo to fire us to glory. We fell short that year despite being six points clear at the top in February. A squad that was too thin to compete was found out after a torrid march when injuries struck. The same went for season 09/10. The season prior to this we had dug ourselves out of a precarious hole; 8 points behind Aston Villa in 4th with a few months left of the season. After another promising start in 09/10 we fell short once more, running out of steam by March and capitulated because of, yet again, a wafer thin squad when our first team was a match for anyone but once players such as Silvestre and the returning Campbell had to step in, we struggled.
This season has a familiar ring to it; the egos have been sold (he who must not be named & Alex Song) and a couple of wins later, there is optimism once more. I too felt our performance at the Etihad was worthy of praise but our display at home to Chelsea left me guessing at our real aim for this year. In my opinion, we could yet again fall just short of the title, the big games are the most important and failing to win those will cost us. Conversely, if (and its a big if) players stay fit and we put a good run together then we could find ourselves near the top at the end.
February and March defines Arsenal and last year it was a catalyst to hunt down spurs, in previous years however, it has often been our downfall. Wenger must let go of the deadwood at the club who are eating into our wage budget: Squillaci, Djourou and Chamakh to name a few. Getting rid of these players however, our squad becomes reduced in size. That’s why Wenger must spend in January and sell said players. Bringing in suitable back up and another top class striker would suffice. Am I dreaming a tad? Most likely, but if he lets Chamakh go then there has to be a replacement. All in all, based on the quality of our current squad I think we would miss out on the title and we must be vigilant of those who will be chasing us. 4th and a trophy would be a realistic achievement.