Arsenal have a real chance of winning the Premier League title this season, with rivals Manchester United, Man City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham Hotspur each in transition.
Arsenal’s impressive form this season has led to many in the media suggesting that the north London side could finally end their trophy drought after close to nine years.
The Capital One Cup final in March 2014 would be their next opportunity, should the Gunners make it to Wembley Stadium, but it is the Barclays Premier League that has seen Arsenal blaze a trail at the head of the table. However, the next few matches should prove indicative of their progress, with their next six games against Borussia Dortmund, Crystal Palace, Chelsea, Liverpool, Borussia Dortmund again and Manchester United.
Those may give an indication of Arsenal’s pedigree for the campaign, with Top Sports Betting Sites cutting the odds of Arsene Wenger’s side lifting the title from 11/1 before the start of the season to 5/1 in recent weeks.
The club record capture of Mesut Ozil from Real Madrid on transfer deadline day has certainly been a key element of Arsenal’s success, with the German already managing three goals and four assists in his seven matches for the Gunners, but his impact has not just been in his own performances. The signing of Ozil has lifted the entire team, and performances across the squad seem to have improved incrementally this campaign.
Players like Wojciech Szczesny, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud have all stepped up immeasurably this season, and the football being played at Emirates Stadium is noticeably more attractive than last season. Wilshere’s ludicrously good goal against Norwich City was clear illustration of that.
Arsenal’s pedigree as title contenders remains on a knife edge, with an injury to any of their key players potentially catastrophic.
The Gunners are in a better position previously, with the current squad less wafer thin than that of the last campaign, but their backup players are not of the same calibre.
Lukas Podolski’s role in the side is now of backup striker, but cannot play the same target man position as Olivier Giroud – a key element of the Gunners’ play.
Without Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain in the side, Arsenal have been forced to play the likes of Jack Wilshere, Tomas Rosicky and Aaron Ramsey on the right wing; none of which feel totally comfortable playing wide or are able to stretch teams through their pace like the injured pair.
An injury to Mesut Ozil meanwhile would be absolutely disastrous, given the effect he has had on the club and its fans since his arrival.
Still, the Gunners have shown considerable backbone already, with the opening day of the season setback against Aston Villa counteracted by their incredible form since.
If Arsene Wenger can keep players fit, navigate safely through the toughest games, and progress in cup competitions, Arsenal can end their trophy drought this season with the Premier League title.