Arsenal fans are well used to hearing our club criticised, with everything from the club’s transfer policy, the tactical ability of Arsene Wenger and the heart and talent of our players coming under fire. And for a good few years, there was little we could say, as the years went by without a trophy.
But last year saw the Gunners get some silverware in the cabinet and spend more time at the the top of the Premier League table than any other team, so there is a lot of confidence among us that Arsenal are on the up, especially after some quality business done in the summer transfer window.
However, our optimism and confidence are not shared by many football pundits, including the pairing of Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, who both dismissed our title chances on Sky Sports last night. After watching Chelsea blow newly promoted Burnley away in the first half, Neville claimed that they and Man City were the only teams in with a realistic chance of becoming champions, mainly because of the power in their squads.
He said, “I’m not writing Arsenal and Liverpool off on the first day of the season, but I’m not sure how they can win it,” he said on Monday Night Football.
“You look at champions and they have to fight when they have to fight. Chelsea have got a back four that’s massive and they’ve got Nemanja Matic and Diego Costa. Man City are the only side that can match them for size and power.
“They’ve got every single thing you look for. Can they counter-attack? Yes. Can they keep possession and control a game? Yes. Have they got dribblers? Yes. Have they got passers? Yes. Can they fight you? Yes. Are they good at set pieces? Yes. Have they got a good goalkeeper? Yes.
“They’re not going to concede a lot of goals, they are going to keep possession and they’re going to score a lot.
“I know it’s only early on, but there’s Ramires to come on, Mikel is to come on and Filipe Luis is to come on. They’ve got power and strength in depth and I think they are going to take some stopping.
“Of those two, definitely one of them is going to win the league, I think. In power, size and physicality I don’t see how the other teams can match them.”
There is still time for Wenger to add to the Arsenal squad before the window shuts, of course, and surely a defender and a defensive midfielder would add strength to our talented team. If he doesn’t, though, do you think that we can prove the Sky boys wrong with what we have?