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.