Do Arsenal have a shot at the title?
I’ve actually intentionally waited for the euphoria and excitement (in me) that came with the deadline day signing of Mesut Ozil to die down, before I wrote this post. Simply, because I want this post to be as objective and as factual as can be.
So the question in everyone’s mind is: will we be able to push for a trophy this season with the signings we’ve made?
That is an opportune question: one that I will address by analyzing our signings and the competition. I will start by obviously putting aside Yaya Sanogo, because he obviously wasn’t brought in for the first team, which leaves us with Viviano, Flamini and the big one, Mesut Ozil.
It goes without saying that Ozil is the signing everyone wanted, and quite frankly, we landed gold. In the past 2 seasons, I have felt that even with Cazorla in the side we haven’t been creating enough clear cut chances. Our game has been characterized by a slow build up consisting of a lot of tentative passing, which more often than not leads no where, except when Wilshere is in form. With Ozil, however, that is all going to change and I expect Giroud and Theo to be the main beneficiaries of this.
Then there’s our second master signing in the Flame. Admittedly, I wasn’t too excited when we brought him in, but within a minute of his introduction against Spurs he won me over. It is worth noting that his performance came off the back of a long time without game time, so he can only get better. In my opinion, he solves our DM issues and then some more, considering he can play as a full back too. Then there’s Viviano, Italy’s number two goal keeper. He is actually a good GK who will not just serve as Szczesny’s deputy but will fight him for the number 1 spot, which I think is what the pole needs in order to fully unlock his potential.
We are not without our weaknesses because I feel we are still in dire need of a striker, a fourth CB and a winger, with the latter being the least important to really solidify our team.
In terms of our competition, there have been quite a few developments.
First of all, I expect Liverpool to compete for 4th place but not much more. They’ve made good signings and a good start, but their signings are youngsters who will need a lot of time to adapt.
Then there’s city who’ve made some class signings but have an uncharacteristically poor defence. I watched them get repeatedly carved open by Hull last week, to my utter disbelief. Don’t get me wrong they are still title contenders, but their defence might be their downfall.
Then there is Mourinho and Chelsea: the title favourites in my view. They have a mean defence but if Eto’o doesn’t perform, and Torres doesn’t step up, they might struggle because the title isn’t won on perpetual 0-0 results. That said, you can’t underestimate Mourinho: anyone can win the league without a functioning strike force, he can.
Then we have Spurs, the biggest spenders. They have assembled a very good squad but it remains to be seen how long it will take them to gel. That is always the danger you face when buying more than 4 players at a go. What I can tell you for sure is they are definitely stronger than they were last season, and I expect them to mount more of a challenge this time round, eventually becoming title challengers.
Finally, there is Man Utd. They lost their godfather in Sir Alex and are currently a team in transition. Moyes may not have found his rhythm yet, but let’s not forget that this is the exact team that won the league by a landslide. It’s difficult to tell where they stand, at least for now.
With all that in mind, I believe that Arsenal are genuine title challengers. It may be by just a whisker considering injuries – especially up front could ruin us – but as it stands, if we can keep Giroud and Theo fit until January and take advantage of our first ten fixtures, we can find ourselves in a very favourable position come February.
Based on the determination, hunger and team spirit we currently possess, anyone who doesn’t rate us with the best is asking for trouble. If you don’t believe me, ask the Spuds.
Written by: Marcus.