Arsenal go into Monday’s clash with title-rivals, Manchester United, knowing that a win would see them almost certainly top the table at Christmas.
Wenger and his side have been heavily criticised this year for some lacklustre performances, but they’re still managing to contend with the big boys every single week and currently sit top of the Premier League.
So do they have what it takes to win the title?
The years of Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and Patrick Vieira have past and we now see a new generation of Arsenal stars taking to the field.
Jack Wilshere has finally broke into the starting line-up and we are now seeing him on a regular basis at the Emirates.
Arsenal’s goalkeeping problem has never been shy of media attention, Michael Almunia and Lukas Fabianski are both fighting it out for the number 1 jersey, but do either of them really deserve it?
After missing much of last season with a broken leg, Samir Nasri is finally showing the world-class potential that so many people had doubted. The french midfielder has arguably been the player of the season so far and has already quadrupled his league goal tally from last season in half as many games.
Plagued by injury, some might say Wenger has got a little unlucky, but with a full strength squad, Arsenal have the ability to beat anyone. It’s just whether the back-up are good enough to step up to the plate. With Wenger insisting that January would see no new faces join the Gunners, maybe their is a slight cause for concern?
Recently Arsenal have been on red-hot form running into the new year, but Arsenal have a tendency of throwing away precious points against opposition they are widely expected to humiliate.
Arsenal were beaten by West Brom, Tottenham and Newcastle at home and have dropped points at Sunderland away. Maybe loosing to Tottenham was explainable – after all they are a Champions League side – but considering that Arsenal were two nil ahead, it must of crushed the Gunners.
If Arsenal had won all those games, they would find themselves 12 points clear at the top of the table.
If Wenger can secure points against smaller sides, Arsenal are huge contenders for the league title. Having said that, I believe Arsenal’s media attention has been due to their below-par Champions League campaign. But on reflection, their league form is rather impressive and shouldn’t act as a hindrance to the side’s ability.
In this department, you’d assume Arsenal have nothing to worry about.
In the past decade Wenger has lead his side to two league titles, three FA Cups, two Community Shields and has collected runners-up medals eight times, including the Champions League in 2006.
But when you narrow those figures down to his performance in the last four years, Wenger seems surprisingly less adequate. Only a league cup runners up medal and the previously mentioned Champions League runner up achievement in 2006 are placed to his name.
Many claim he still has the skill to manage a title winning side, but sooner rather than later he will have to gain something to prove his worthiness as Arsenal strive for a long awaited trophy.
If Arsenal can eliminate all the small hindrances in their game, there is no reason why they can’t lift another title. Results against the ‘top 4’ will prove crucial. With fixtures against Manchester United and Chelsea coming up, Arsenal will have to step it up one more level to increase their title chances. Despite Wenger’s judgement, they will need to strengthen in January. They lack the quality on their substitutes bench to contend with the others but one or two bargains could see this problem disappear.
Personally, I think Arsenal are under-estimated this season and could take either Manchester United or Chelsea down to the wire for that much-respected trophy.