Can Arsenal really mount a title challenge this season?

by Charlie Coffey

Friday, October 12th, 2012

With the departure of two key performers this summer and having shipped off a lot of the squad’s dead weight too, questions were always going to be asked about the outcome Arsenal were headed for this season.

The demand from fans and further financial gain from these sales provided Arsene Wenger with greater determination in terms of bringing players in however, and the additions of Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud have strengthened things up immensely.

After an inconceivably great defensive start and attacking form really kicking in against Liverpool, things at Arsenal are already looking improved. The most obvious note is the creative flair that Santi Cazorla now offers the team. Playing ahead of the rest of midfield, the sharp Spaniard provides options through his dribbling, passing and shooting abilities. Bacary Sagna’s injury has allowed Carl Jenkinson the opportunity to step in and has shown great signs of improvement already, whilst Lukas Podolski has instantly impressed. It’s also been encouraging to see existing squad players return. A quality performance from Abou Diaby against Liverpool firmly springs to mind.

Championship winning teams simply can’t rely on players who don’t consistently perform though. With the likes of Gervinho failing to shine and Arshavin and Chamakh still looking adrift, the manager still has a slight tactical headache in terms of strength in depth. Providing the top performers can keep fit, there’s no reason Arsenal can’t and won’t push for higher than fourth.

As is often the case, plenty of the club’s title challenging potential remains off the pitch too. Potential injuries are always a concern, but it’s the same predicament for every club. On the positive side, Jack Wilshere’s return is rapidly closing in and will provide a great morale boost for the squad, let alone eager supporters. Also, rumoured future arrivals featuring the likes of Fernando Llorente and Falcao indicate further positive intent that Arsenal fans want to see.

In terms of winning it this season, I just can’t see it. Chelsea have come out firing and already look the most realistic threat in clinching it away from either Mancunian club. For Arsenal, I think it’s fair to say that this season provides the timeliest opportunity to now fully develop this promising and improving squad. The potential that this new team is showing highlights how Wenger has done everything right so far in order to become certified contenders, it’s just not time yet.





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  • Mystical Mike

    i can’t see Falcao coming to us. despite reports Wenger will try to sign him in January. City & The Chavs will offer double what we will.

    I’d take a 3rd place right now. But 4th is more realistic.

  • John

    You question Arsenal’s strength in depth? Eh?

  • jeff wright

    The bookies currently price us up at 9 -1` for the title – with City-United and Chelsea short priced favorites to win the Prem.
    This looks about right on any known evidence – a dodgy injury prone Diaby- who Wenger admits he has built his plans around this season is not a very solid base to work from – and Gervinho our leading goal scorer will be AWOL again at the African beano for up to 8 weeks in January. United don’t have any players at this fun-fest so that doesn’t do their cause any harm.
    City and Chelsea have bigger squads than us so they can handle injuries and loss of form to some players better than we can.
    However, the 5 points dropped already at home to Sunderland and Chelsea will be hard to get back – and United away is looming on the horizon . We will will have to win that game to stop our odds on us winning the title from growing even longer . Tbh 4th place is likely to be a struggle for us – let alone finishing in first .

  • Wolfgang

    What happens if our German stiker and Spanish maestro are injured/suspended?Do we have the qualityfor like replacement?Not likely but at least 80 % of the quality of the two players mentioned.I maybe wrong . Wenger could pull a master stroke . You never know.
    As for Arsenal winning the epl,I am not that sure.Finishing third could be a realistic target.Maybe Wenger has other ideas and strengthened the squad in Jan.Don’t forget,Gervino could be away for duty in the ANC.

  • Mystical Mike

    personally it’s a result if Gerviniho got the ANC. Walcott can play up front. We looked so much better with him up top against West Han

  • dadagbon

    If we are bold enough to get Falcao, the EPL is ours.

  • jeff wright

    I’ve more chance of winning the lottery tonight than there is of Wenger outbidding Abramovich or City for Falcao.

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