The season has already started, pundits and punters are already making their pick of the teams that will battle for the title, the ones that will make top 4, drop out of top 4 and the ones that will suffer the drop. Former Liverpool, Real Madrid, Newcastle, Manchester United and Stoke footballer Micheal Owen has added his voice to the cacophony of voices as regards what the season would look like. While he didn’t stick his neck out for any particular team wining the league, he declared that Arsenal won’t make the top 4 because they aren’t just good enough. Well, this isn’t the first time I’ll be hearing that, it has been on for several seasons and Wenger’s men has been the only constant in the top 4. Chelsea and Liverpool have fallen out of it at different times with the Reds particularly struggling to get
“From the start I had my reservations. They seemed not to be spending but then came up with one big investment right at the end of the transfer window,”
“When I look at a squad I see a decent collection of players but not a top-four operation.
From the back: the goalkeeper, Wojciech Szczesny is capable but I would have the keeper of all the other top teams ahead of Arsenal’s.
“In defence, Arsenal are decent, but again none of their back four would make a composite Premier League XI.
“If I look right the way through the Arsenal team, with a view to picking an all-star side from the top six clubs, I would struggle to nominate one Arsenal player. Mesut Ozil is the only one who would have a chance.”
Risible thoughts from the former England striker. Obviously, a good player doesn’t automatically make a decent pundit. Owen is obviously one of the worst around. In his expose, he claimed Arsenal lack the depth to last the whole haul. He also declared that Arsenal’s players aren’t good enough when compared with the stars of other teams.
Let me address his arguments one after the other.
The claim that Arsenal lack depth is silly and unfounded. The position where I can say we lack depth is in the striking position but despite that, we are one of the highest scorers in the league with 13 goals in 6 matches. That isn’t poor, is it? He accused Arsenal of having not good enough players. He even said, our players can’t make an all star team from the top 6 teams. Let me guess those that will make it, as an itinerant player, he will have many options from the litany of clubs he played for. Maybe Kolo Toure who is a spent force, Vidic or Ferdinand who are horrible at the moment will make it or is it Skrtel that is so average that no top team want him on board despite him hawking himself around Europe and Liverpool willing to let him go.
He said out of the entire Arsenal squad, perhaps only Ozil will make it. Interesting! So Cazorla, Wilshere aren’t good enough? If Liverpool had a player in the mould of any of them, they won’t have to do much convincing for Suarez to stay. Coutinho whose absence has seen them loose 2 games on the bounce ( until they won yesterday ) can’t even tie the laces of Wilshere.
As for Manchester United, they don’t even have any creativity in their midfield. So confused now that they play Giggs in central midfield. While I am not saying we have the best players for all the positions, we have a good bunch and some very good players and an exceptional Ozil. On current form, I doubt if there is a better box to box midfielder in the EPL other than Aaron Ramsey. So where does he get the belief that we don’t have players that can make the all star team?
He said we cannot make top 4, meaning we can never win the league but he failed to tell us those that could replace us. Let me guess Tottenham and Liverpool because of their spending and summer buys. I know Tottenham would be a good force but not Liverpool. After starting out well, grinding out results, they have started loosing, lost 2 games on the bounce. Arsenal are 2 points clear at the top of the table, winning 5 straight league games (home and away). It’s easy to argue that we were able to put together such an amazing run because we haven’t played any of the top teams but we have played big spending Tottenham and also won at difficult Liberty Stadium. His erstwhile teams lost to Southampton and West Brom at Anfield and Old Trafford respectively meaning our wins over Fulham, Sunderland and Stoke can’t be ignored at least the Potters are better placed than both teams.
He shouldn’t. Also forget that we are playing with a stretched squad at the moment owing to injuries and by the time they all return, we would even be more dangerous. Who is there to fear in the EPL? Chelsea that are struggling, City that are blowing hot and cold, Liverpool that have run out of steam or Manchester United that are totally confused.
Mr. Owen, before you make damning predictions in the papers, get your facts right.
Glasses don’t fit you, let alone coloured ones.