John Sailsman wonders why everyone’s tipping everyone else to win the league apart from Arsenal.
Well we’re 21 games into the season with 17 left to play and after a rather (too) comfortable win at Villa Park we are still top of the league.
Great news for Arsenal fans as it seems we are the only ones who think that we can win the title. I mean, listen to those pundits, if it’s not Man City it’s Chelsea. Granted people are talking about Liverpool, Man U and Spurs in the same vein suggesting they can’t win it, but let’s be honest, apart from Liverpool who under Mr Rodgers finally look like a real team, no one but no-one thinks we can do it. Even ex players stutter when asked the question, I think only Ian Wright has put a positive foot forward and reckons we can be champions this season.
Now as far as the contenders go, in my opinion the top four will consist of Man city, Chelsea, Liverpool and us. Everton might spring a surprise but for me that’s about it. Man United not only have to deal with a manager who is clearly out of his depth but their star man, who was once our star man, is crocked and going nowhere for a while. (serves him right I hear you say?) don’t be cruel, the grass is always greener on the other side Robin, until it rains and it turns to mud. But this isn’t the place to gloat.
Rather than to focus this article on our title rivals’ weaknesses I would like to focus on our strengths and put forward a viable view as to why I think we can win the league and if “can” is not a positive enough phrase, then I will boldly venture the view that we WILL win the league. Why am I so confident? Well there’s a few pretty good reasons.
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For 1). We’re showing the kind of defensive fortitude that a title winning side should, we actually have the best defence in the league. 2) Pundits agree that we are learning to win dirty and can’t always ballet dance our way through the league. 3) We score goals and even a 1-0 under Wenger is something that we can do 4) We still can’t always beat the big boys but there are more big boys fighting for the title this year and they all have to play each other and try to cancel each other out. There are results outside of our control that can go in our favour.
But I guess my biggest reason for believing that we can do it this year, is the fact that every single year regardless of what we are chasing we always end the season well. Let us not forget that, even though the squad members may not be used to winning the league, the boss has. At the end of every season he manages to rally the team for the final run in of games and in truth by the end of every season under Wenger we have rallied to ensure we achieve a champions league position and we have always achieved it.
One of the things that was famously known about Alex Ferguson’s Man United was that they always came good in the second half of the season. What is not regularly highlighted about us, is that we always finish the season strongly and achieve whatever it is we are chasing.
It just so happens that this season we are chasing the league title. With 17 games to go I believe it is possible. I don’t want to play the game of how many points you think it might take just do the maths yourself. in 08/09 we lost only two of our remaining 17 games, in 09/10 we lost 5 of the remaining 17, in 10/11 we lost 4 games, in 11/12 we lost 4 and in 12/13 we lost 3.
As I have mentioned none of our current squad have been there and done it. but Wenger has and he knows how to galvanise the squad for the final run in. Stay confident gooners -my man Bob Marley said “the stone that the builder refused. Shall be the head cornerstone”. They can discount our title challenge as much as they want, its all about faith and belief if the players don’t believe it the fans never will and if the fans don’t believe it the players never will. Lets do our bit to get behind the fantastic squad we have this season.
17 games and counting.