Why The Premiership Title Is Beyond Arsenal
I am a huge Arsenal supporter. Ever since the day Arsene Wenger walked into Highbury and went about turning the Gunners into one of the most entertaining and finest teams in world football, I have been a huge admirer of the football club both on and off the pitch. Arsenal’s approach to footballl both on the park and financially is exactly what the game should be about and it pains me that they are not rewarded with trophies.
Similarly, I am by no means against Arsene Wenger and I fully support the approach he takes to managing Arsenal Football Club. Those who claim that Arsenal would be better off without him in charge are deluded and ignorant of the fact that were it not for Arsene’s unparalleled ability to discover and bring through young talent, Arsenal would not be able to compete against the Arab riches of Manchester City, Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea or Manchester United’s unlimited debt financial model.
Despite this though, I don’t believe Arsenal can win the Premiership title this season. I would love to be proved wrong but I fear that the weekends conquerers Chelsea are going to be too strong for those in Arsenal shirts this season.
The reality is, Arsenal dominated the game of football on Sunday. They went to the home of the Champions, a club with one of the best home records in Premiership history and were the better team for the majority of the football match. The fact of the matter is though, Chelsea are more ruthless, they are more clinical and once again, they organised themselves superbly defensively and stung Arsenal on the counter attack.
As impressive as Arsenal’s attacking game is, the offensive side is only half of football and Chelsea’s ability to defend and organise is as impressive as the Gunners flowing attacking instincts. As they always do, Chelsea restricted the space and formed a compact unit in a way that (in my opinion) only they can. Arsenal may have had all of the ball and they may have had their chances, but Chelsea’s counter attacking caused the Gunners no end of problems and it was no surprise, nor co-incidence that they won the game.
It cannot be ignored that Arsenal were without key men in Thomas Vermaelen, Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and Robin van Persie and yes, had they played it could have been different. But how long can Arsenal keep using this as an excuse, for it seems they are permanently without key men in big matches?
The title is by no means beyond Arsenal and the break for the Euro 2012 qualifiers comes at a welcome time, affording the Gunners time to regroup after back to back defeats. A seven point deficit at this stage in the season is by no means impossible to make up, but it will be very tough and Arsenal need to both keep their key players fit and develop a ruthless streak if they are to mount a serious challenge for the title.
Written by Colin Hill, a sports blogger who writes about new football shirts.