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Friday, December 31, 2010

Arsenal well in the mix

With just 4 points separating the top 4 teams in the Premier League, this season’s title race is more wide open and exciting than ever before. Man United, Man City, Arsenal & Chelsea are the sides battling it out to become champions of England and its those in Arsenal football shirts who have come out over the Christmas period and shown their title winning credentials by brushing aside fellow contenders Chelsea on Monday.

The Gunners comprehensive 3-1 win at the Emirates bought to an end their recent barren home run against their London rivals and made people sit up and take notice of their title bid.

Without a Premier League title for 5 seasons, Arsenal have an excellent chance this season of once again being English champions. Currently sitting 2 points behind leaders Manchester United having played a game more Arsenal find themselves in this position even after a mixed bag of results this season.

After home defeats by West Brom and arch rivals Tottenham a lot of people wrote Arsenals title chances off this season. But with their latest win over Chelsea to go with away wins at Man City & Aston Villa, pundits are saying that this is Arsenal’s best chance in years of regaining their Premier League crown.

As with any Arsenal team, they look close to unstoppable going forward; with the likes of Samir Nasri on blistering form for them so far this season. With the influential Cesc Fabregas being in the treatment room on more than one occasion this season, Nasri has really had to step into the limelight and he has done this with aplomb; sitting top of Arsenals scoring charts and putting in some eye catching displays at the heart of the Arsenal midfield with his mazy runs.

Marouane Chamakh has also been a revelation this season for the Gunners following his free transfer move from Bordeaux in the summer. The Moroccan could end up to be the bargain of the season if he continues his goal scoring form throughout the season, but it’s not just his goal scoring that has caught the eye. His link up play is second to none and he brings a slightly different side to Arsenals game, as they can use Chamakh as more of a target man; a style of play which the Gunners don’t usually adopt.

I won’t be fully convinced of Arsenals title credentials until they shore up the defence, as they are still leaking goals all too often. Summer signings Squillaci and Koscielny haven’t convinced me and they have been unfortunate to be without the services of Thomas Vermaelen for the majority of the season.

With Arsenal currently sitting in 3rd, they are well placed to mount a serious title challenge this season. If they can keep the squad fairly injury free and ensure they can take points off of their fellow contenders I think they will be there or thereabouts. This is a very good squad assembled by Arsene Wenger; I’m not saying they are the invincibles of the 2004-05 season, but if they can bring the Premier League trophy back to the Emirates then they will be held in very high regard by the Arsenal faithful.

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