Arsenal are currently top of the Premier League, 2 points clear of their nearest rivals Tottenham. Despite the bright start to the season, pundits have refused to be carried away, claiming the Gunners cannot sustain the tenacity since they lack the mental strength to last the long haul. The season is indeed long as many matches will be played and there would be a lot of twist and turns. They are all quick to make reference to 2007/2008 season when Arsenal led the title race until February when Eduardo sustained a horrible injury and the momentum was lost. Not only did Arsenal miss out on the title, they ended up finishing 3rd.
That’s a past I try not to remember because it is akin to crying over spilt milk but can there be a deja vu this season if Arsenal get to enjoy such momentum again? I don’t think so. The current Arsenal side has more depth in key areas such as defence, defensive midfield and attacking midfield. In the striking position, we are a bit short but have money to spend in January to beef it up. Also, there are more experienced players in the side that there were in 2008. We have 3 players who are in their 30s (Sagna, Rosicky and Arteta), we have a couple more who are in their late 20s ( Flamini, Mertesacker, Cazorla, Monreal, Giroud) and even those that are seemingly young are massively experienced. It’s no fluke now that Arsenal seldom has only let a lead slip once this season.
The desire to win is stronger than ever. Everyone is keen to see Arsenal return to winning ways, even Wenger and this has led him to tinker his style a bit. This season, Wenger brings on defenders and defensive midfielders in the twilight of games and not strikers. Monreal has played more from the bench this season. Not as Gibbs replacement but as part of the players asked to see out the win. Arsenal have been grinding out results even in the most difficult of grounds like Liberty Stadium and Craven Cottage. This is a prove of the winning mentality that has been lacking.
The squad is almost complete but still needs another versatile striker. We are currently living on the edge with regards to Giroud’s fitness. Should the Frenchman get injured, we might struggle with goals and could hamper our season. He is a strong man and I believe he can hold on till January. Wenger shouldn’t stretch his fitness too far, he should get him a partner. Someone that can relieve him. A new striker, doesn’t have to be a marquee one, another decent striker who is versatile added to the current Arsenal squad will be in with a good shout as to winning the title.