How do Arsenal shape up against title rivals?

There is a stranger and unfamiliar sense of optimism running around Arsenal Football Club at the minute, as shown in an earlier article where Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain expressed his belief that the Gunners could finally put an end to all this talk of a trophy drought.

Of course, the main trophy that Arsenal want to win is the Premier league title, but that is the hardest one. The league is widely believed to be the strongest in Europe and the world, not necessarily because the world’s best teams are in it, but because of the strength in depth, when even the promoted teams like Cardiff and Hull can beat the big teams.

There was a feeling in the summer that this season would be the best chance Arsenal had in a while to be crowned champions of England, because of the strong finish to last season as well as the changes going on at the other big clubs, but just how strong will our rivals be?

Man United, last year’s champions, have changed manager’s after the long run of Ferguson, and they are already showing signs of suffering from a Fergie hangover. They had done even less transfer business than Arsenal by the final day, but they eventually scooped up Fellaini from Everton. From the rumours of bids for Fabregas and others in the window, it seems as if Moyes would have liked to add more players, but we must not forget that this is the same team that won it, and if Moyes can get them performing, they are a quality bunch. However, if Arsenal perform well, I think we can overhaul them while they get used to the changes.

Man City, the previous years winners have spent big again, but they are also showing signs of struggling to get used to the changes. It also appears that Vincent Kompany will be out for longer than expected, and his influence is massive. If they click quickly, they will be hard to beat, but they do not strike me as a strong team but rather a lot of top players.

Chelsea are a lot of people’s favourites, because of the players but mostly Mourinho. However, the Juan Mata situation suggests that he still has a knack of rubbing some players up the wrong way. Yes, a lot of the older players have great memories of him, but there are not too many of them left.

Then there are Tottenham and Liverpool, who have spent money and added a lot of players to their squads. I do not think we should dismiss them so easily, although I do think it will take time before they see the value of their signings and know whether they are of enough quality or not. I do believe that, for a while, the spuds will miss Bale more than benefit from the new men.

Liverpool have started well, being the only team with a 100 percent record, but they have all been narrow wins. Can they sustain it? I have my doubts, and think a lot may depend on just how happy Suarez really is to still be at the club, as well as how consistent they can be. They mat be able to turn over United, albeit a poor United, but can they grind out a result away to Stoke?

Arsenal do have a great chance to lift the first title since the invincibles 10 years ago, but we will need to be at our best and get a bit of luck along the way.

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30 thoughts on “How do Arsenal shape up against title rivals?

  1. PatLloyd

    Better manager than all rivals.
    Better team than United.
    City and Chelsea have better teams and squads.
    If we win it will be because all our boys know each other (only Ozil new in starting XI) and because Wenger is only one of two managers in the league who know how to win it.
    Liverpool and Spuds arent title contenders

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 94 Thumb down 3

    1. ergs

      @Pat
      Better team then United!!!!!!!!????
      Very questionable!!
      Our squad is literally 1 Center half injury and a Giroud injury away from struggling!!
      If this isn’t addressed in January we will never win the league.

      Opinions divided. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 7

  2. RK1339

    Mesut Ozil revealed that part of his training was playing chess. He stated that when he plays chess, it develops high patience levels which helps him when he plays football.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 83 Thumb down 2

    1. cYphEr

      mate u took my comment(previous article) far too seriously….LOL
      still can’t get my head straight…IS ozil really a gooner?…still dazed and awestruck
      yup this is our year lads…striker in jan or not we can beat the sh!t out of spuds, manchesthair or chelshites any day of d week…we’ve got the rythm goin…clearly an invisible entity in the former mentioned teams
      COYG

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 18 Thumb down 1

      1. jibber

        our real concern is lack of players, causing lack of depth.
        The youngsters will get a their chances for sure, but I don’t see them stepping up just yet, especially in areas of need such as ST, CB, DM.
        if we don’t pick up more injuries before jan window, i think there is a high chance we can stay top 4 by jan. And then we’ll be in a great position to make more purchases.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  3. AFCEdwards

    Why even include Tottenham and Liverpool? I thought it was title contenders. Neither of the those teams know what it’s like to win the EPL and I doubt they will for at least a decade.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 45 Thumb down 9

    1. Disturbance

      Liverpool made some good business for reasonable money. Mignolet and Sakho in particular were very good additions and with Suarez coming back soon they could be in for the top 4 this year.

      Spuds payed huge money for average players. Honestly i’d take Soldado as Girouds backup but none of their other signings offers too much. Bale gave spurs extra 15 points from spectacular solo goals last season but even with all their players that came in i’m not too sure they overall have a better squad than last year. Still dangerous though and will be close to the top 4 but i still see them fifth or sixth even.

      City will need some time to move from Mancini to Pellegrini and i’m not sure Manuel is the man for a title winning club. He did well in Malaga and Villareal but he was highest paid manager of Madrid remember how that ended ? I like Negredo and Navas and i think both would have suited our style and not cost too much, but their defensive problems and keeper problems ( something happened to Hart recently) will be a problem.

      United are on the downhill. Moyce may have a scotish accent but he’s no Ferguson! Moyce has a bad record against most top teams and failed to improve united. Fellaini helps but he’s not what united needed. I think that if they start playing Kagawa they’ll improve by 20% but its their problem really.

      Chelsea … A lot of money and a lot of arrogance back! They started to play some nice football and Mourinho is back to ruin this. Why on earth is Mata not playing ? Mourinho cares only about results. Nothing else. And that works out for him. He hates spainards after madrid i think. Mourinho doesn’t have Drogba anymore and Ba and Eto’O at 32 will not replace him. Torres is a player that would greatly fit into an Arsenal side. I think we should be lurking around him if Mourinho completely ditches him.

      And here we are. We still finished miles behind United last season and we need to improve. We need to finish off lesser teams and start beating the top clubs. We need to beat Chelsea, City, United and Liverpool at least in our home games! Although Mesut Ozil is a huge step in the direction Arsenal need to go, we still have Nick B. as our backup striker. We could have easily nabbed Begovic and a CB would have been nice. I like Vermaelen but will he come back strong and fight to regain his place ? We are risking it a bit on the GK and the Striker and that’s why the title will be a big ask this season. Midfield and defense will be our strong points this season and we need to move up. We need to finish at least second or third at worst. There are reasons to be positive and i’m looking forward to an exciting season! I can’t wait to see Ozil play and we need a win at Sunderland! Come on Arsenal !

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 33 Thumb down 1

      1. jibber

        I think 3GK’s with Sczc being a gd potential world class is great, it’s always been the GK coaching that’s worrying.

        Rate this comment: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  4. RK1339

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    Out of tune?. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 22

    1. rambo

      Erm, you’re saying Man Utd have no chance, lets be realistic here they finished last season at the top by some distance, that squad hasn’t changed…so it would be foolish to write them off.

      Liverpool will not win it, their squad doesn’t have enough depth, attacking flair nor quality to win the whole thing, they might come 4th or 5th.

      Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 42 Thumb down 5

      1. Henryesk

        Don’t be too sure about Liverpool if you look at their squad properly, they have quality and depth.. In Suarez and Sturrige they have 2 strikers capable of getting 25+ goals each. Mignonet is a top GK, Toure and Sakho are beasts and Agger is a top CB.. Gerrard and Kucas provide great cover and pure grit and determination, and Coutinho had the best assists to games ratio in the league last year. Don’t count them out just yet. Nonetheless I still feel although they have more depth we have greater quality and same goes for Tottenham.

        Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 2

    2. permagooner

      I am also not yet convinced about city (but much can change through the season)

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 2

  5. ArashBehnia

    If all of our players play at their best without sustaining injuries we will win, we have players who at their best can fit even in Barcelona and Bayern but it really depends on them being consistent.
    I feel like this is year we will come in the top 3 at least but if in January we pick up Reus then 1st is not that hard.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 29 Thumb down 1

  6. Archangel

    Lets include everton too, since we are including just about everyone that can win 2 games in a row…

    Unied is weaker (but they have been weaker for years no, and yet they manage to win stuff), city is 1-0 team, so is chelsea, liverpool will falter…we have chances, its up to us if they are to be taken…

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 0

  7. NickTheYank

    United: already showing cracks in their team. With the window over and Rooney still there I expect him to play his heart out as a “come and get me” plea to increase his value & marketability. Their biggest weakness is in midfield and I don’t think Fellaini is their answer. Giggs is too old and for some reason they’re wasting Kagawa!

    Chelshite: have a great manager who makes it all about himself. His team may be the strongest experienced team and adding Eto’o will help them greatly. If they can gel as a team under the special crybaby they will be tough, especially breaking down their back four.

    Citeh: a collection of overpaid stars who will struggle to come together as a team but if they do will be in the top 2. Once Negredo & Navas hit their form and the team adapts to Pellegrini’s style they will be tough offensively.

    Pool: spent a lot but without a healthy Gerrard all season to lead them I don’t see them as a threat other than top 4. Suarez if huge stays out f trouble I. Predict as top scorer thanks to Coutinho. I can’t stress enough how good Mignolet is and how much he’ll save them!

    Spuds; LOL

    Arsenal: still need someone to step up in the goals department (Theo where are you?) If Giroud dries up. Podolski & Ox out hurts a lot! Szczesny has got to be better every game than he was the Last and cut out the stupid errors (Oh how I wish we had signed Begovic!!!!!!!!!!!). Back four must stay healthy & form a solid back line without exposing counters too often (see Villa game). Gibbs can’t continually leave BFG exposed. Jenkinson needs to improve when given the chance.
    If we can integrate Ozil, Rambo/Arteta, Santi, Wilshire & Theo into the midfield we will surely wreak havoc on all teams & scoring records.

    Our biggest Achilles heel is consistency. What we did at the end of last season is a must. We can’t go on a string of ties & losses & lose confidence. If we stay healthy & bring back those who are out now I think we can challenge for the top 2 and win the league. Key s winning all games at home ( no draws) and getting as few losses away fom Emirates as possible. Consistency is key

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 3

  8. assnal

    lets take those chances,Mr Winger pliz get us a striker wuz more clinical….COYG!!!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  9. Arsenal Target

    Dear Arsenal fans,please don’t start moaning bout how we missed out on gustavo after that rocket he scored…………..@leo how many ozil shirts have we sold

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 2

  10. permagooner

    BTW:

    The US National Team played its worst game in years vs. Costa Rica on Friday and Joel Campbell made their defenders look awful. He was excellent.

    Anyway to bring him “home”

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  11. T-shirt

    quite funny comments this night,
    manchesthair urinated? RK13 hw do u come up with this names.

    the key to this title is consistency,if wenger can rotate this squad effectively to suit the proposed strategy ,then less injury will occur.
    its quite alarming how far some teams will go to win games thereby inflicting injury on our team, also early goals will help in bringing out the opponents to play and we punish them on the break.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  12. PatLloyd

    If Wenger does get this two year contract extension that will coincide with the end of Klopps contract at Dortmund, ideal

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 3

  13. permagooner

    You just can’t make up this stuff. A read a report that Kenny Dalgleish thinks getting Ozil was a mistake for Arsenal.

    Was Kenny not the manager who brought in Carrol, Downing and Henderson for 75 mil – players who are now not worth 20 mil altogether?

    Am I missing something or is Kenny just trying to be funny.

    Top Gooner!. Agree or not?: Thumb up 32 Thumb down 1

  14. jperiod

    AW said that there were 6 teams that could win the EPL this year with Arsenal being one of them. Others are Man City, Man U, Chelsea, Tottenham, Liverpool. I believe him. Just because they (Man U) are not playing well now doesn’t mean that this will continue. We are only 3 games into the season. It would be foolish to think that Tottenham will not get better as their new players learn to play with each other, same for Man City. Liverpool, I think has the least chance but with Suarez scoring who knows. But Arsenal has an excellent chance if we stay healthy, get consistence performance from our defense (no more Villa performances), and our attackers sustain their form. I think Ozil will make them all better. Also, I think another striker in January will be important. But to me the key will be our defense. Can we allow fewer goals than last season.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

    1. permagooner

      You have a point that Spuds could gel and improve throughout the season. They could easily vie for CL. But WIN the league? I would bet a lot of money and give you odds against that one.

      Rate this comment: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  15. Solwills

    With this present squad, form, chemistry and ‘Team Spirit’ I believe we stand a chance at winning the epl. However, that is if we put in consistent performances week-in week-out and come January, add an additional quality striker, (which I think is one if not the only position we are lacking in at the moment) that can create something out of nothing when those chances fail to come. Since players like Walcot, Giroud and Podolski mostly depend on ‘kiss the net passes’.

    The defence and mid-field can hold their own without any addition this season. While I understand their feelings as fans and appreciate their concerns, it pricks me when most Gunns still feel we need additions in cdm an cd as the addition of flamini would go a long way to help with the cdm and Met(though too slow for my liking), Kos, V5(when back to full fitness), and off course Sagna are just enough for that position at the moment. With sagna/Jek at Rb an Kibbs/Monreal at Lb. Even with the crisis at hand we look so strong, just imagine how strong when all are fit come December (doubt Diaby: pray he gets better). And yes things can get better with all our injury problems and remain that way or maybe not as worse as the previous season

    That been said, winning the epl is so achievable this season. Thank goodness for January transfer doors, since the summer window’s been closed. ###Ozil Is Ours.

    COYG!!!

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  16. JamesLeoAlain

    We do not have strength in depth…the season has just started and we have injuries and DeYaBe…our back up players are Park and Co. lets say all players stay fit all season they can not play every game and who are their replacements again? If Wenger had signed two more top players 25M to 35M not necessarily 40M plus I think we would of had a very good chance of the EPL title and more with new managers all over Europe….can we hold out till January? …..will Wenger spend…he said that it is had to find players in January as clubs no not want to sell in January and the best players are cup tied….so we may get 3rd if we are lucky

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  17. 9ce

    I tink arsenal fans underate dis squAd so much, they are the best in the league u can’t buy team spirit and that’s our strongest point now, am happy we didn’t buy much to distabilise the spirit of the team. I see us repeatin the 2007/2008 season performans were we almost won the league we were not the best then but the team spirit was great. And we are gonna need luck dats wat we hav been lackin

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  18. ergs

    We are in dog fight for the champion league this season with 5 other teams.
    Signing Ozil is all good but we needed a forward and maybe a Center half 2.
    Ozil signing may not be enough or us o finish top 4 still.
    Thinking about the title is mad at this point in the season.
    Liverpool have improved and so have Spurs.
    Man Utd will definitely gather less points this season and Man city are hard to predict the tem to beat for me is Chelsea whoever finishes above them will win the league for me.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  19. Arsenals Arsine

    In my opinion, I see the table going like this in May:
    1. Arsenal
    2. Chelsea
    3. Man City
    4. Liverpool
    5. Man United
    6. Spuds
    I personally see Liverpool beating United to the 4th place spot this season, due to all the signings they have made.

    Rate this comment: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

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