Are Arsenal Title Contenders This Year?

We are just a little over a third of the way through this year’s Premier League season. It has been one of the most exciting starts to a season in recent memory. The division has served up some classics and there have been goals galore. Much of the focus has been on free-scoring Liverpool, and Man City, and until recently, unbeaten Chelsea. But is there a sleeping giant in our nation’s capital?

Solid foundations

I don’t think anybody thought that when Emery took the reigns at The Emirates that he would set the world on fire. Arsenal have, pretty much since the inception of the Premier League, never been a bad side per se. At times they have been the best side in the league. Need I mention the invincibles? But frequently under Wenger, especially in recent seasons, they have often been “not good enough”.
What Arsenal fans didn’t want was “more of the same” and in the early season, it looked like that’s exactly what they had on their hands. After two games Emery found himself with no points and facing a winless Pellegrini at West Ham. Arsenal claimed the victory and then went on 7 matches winning streak in the league.

Just in touch

A couple of draws recently has seen them slip off the pace a little and they do find themselves 8 points of the top spot, but their form is white hot at the moment, coming off a great comeback against their fiercest rivals and fellow title hopefuls, Spurs you have to wonder where Emery’s boys can go from here. But they have flown under the radar a little and so it will be interesting to see how they fair now. This recent win against Spurs almost announces Arsenal as a force to be reckoned with this season. And perhaps they are.

Reasons they are good

Well partially due to the new coach. Emery has restored the confidence and got great performances out of the likes of Iwobi and Lacazette both of whom floundered last term. He also has in Aubemeyang a legitimate world class striker and one of the best in the premier league. He is an all round, pacey frontman who can score from various positions and is equally effective through the middle or out wide. Comparisons with Thierry Henry are not made lightly. It would be fair to say that this is the best forward Arsenal have had on their books since then. Even Martin Keown, a man that knows a fair bit about Arsenal, has said that Auba is as talented as the former Gunners legend.

But can they push on?

Well that’s the burning questions, isn’t it? To use a cliché the proof is in the pudding. They are making good progress in the Europa league. You wouldn’t put money against them having a solid run in the contest. But what of the Premiership? 8 points seem like a lot this early on and the Liverpool and Man City are both strong contenders. Then there’s Chelsea who had a long unbeaten stretch of their own. But with so many quality teams in the league this year there are a wealth of people who can take points away from the top teams. Arsenal has a struggling Man Utd up next. If they are going to mount a real threat they need to win that game. In the coming weeks City has a visit to Chelsea and in just a couple of weeks, Liverpool takes on UTD to test their title-chops. Whatever happens in those games it has been a captivating start to this season and it will be interesting to see how the table looks after Christmas.

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