Following the weekend’s demolition of previous league leaders, many fans now have aspirations of a first Premier League title in 11 years.
My instinct says no. We have all seen Arsene Wenger’s men in this position before. Similar dents still occupy key positions, this has been the mindboggling case for many years and until these holes have been filled, the Frenchman will not be lifting the top flight trophy. But how can it be fixed?
An argument that splits Arsenal fans is the most advantageous position of Theo Walcott. His blistering pace makes him the perfect candidate for a place out wide. While if it even is on an inconsistent scale, his scoring record has improved drastically while placed in a more advanced position. The debate was first sparked when from his mid blowing hat-trick in the 2012 league cup tie between the Gunners and Reading. Back then despite having the piercing speed to slice through the Royals defence, his lack of hold up play, and ruthless finishing meant that he was not number one candidate for a starting spot on the front line. Since then he has been troubled by various injuries, a hampering groin strain and a Cruciate ligament rupture, meant that he was limited to 14 league appearances last term. But as he is now back to full strength, 15 goals should be the minimum target for the England man.
I have to say I am a huge fan of Olivier Giroud. The 29-year-old has received an unfair amount of criticism in his 3 full seasons at the Emirates. He has a steady and proven goalscoring record. 17 goals in his debut season, 21 the following, and 19 strikes in 2014/15 campaign. He boasts one of the most consistent goalscoring records in the league, something very difficult to come by in this days and age. Even the likes of Rooney and Costa have been going through dry spells of late. Supporters will not mind who is getting on the score sheet, so long as their side is banging in the goals. Walcott and Giroud are two players I feel could steer them towards the title if they stay clear of injuries.
The void of Patrick Vieira has never been filled. Mathieu Flamini tried and failed. Abou Diaby spent more time on the treatment table than on the pitch. And Mikel Arteta has offered precious little defences protection since his arrival in 2011. Francis Coquelin seems to be the real deal. His tireless nature and enthusiasm to win the ball back has earned him comparisons between French compatriot Vieira. He will need to be at his spine tingling best with the defence looking as leaky as ever. Per Mertesacker has lost another yard of pace, not that he ever had any. An injury to Laurent Koscielny would cause supporters to jump to panic stations, and call for Wenger out as the performances go down hill.
With Chelsea seamlessly out of the title race it could come down to the two Manchester clubs. Obviously City are by far the more luxurious side. Nobody knows how many millions of pounds has gone into that squad. United are constantly making forward strides but Arsenal played them to death on Sunday and so long as Wenger can keep his players on their toes, Arsenal should be in with a shout.