Everyone connected with Arsenal is hoping for and expecting a better showing from the Gunners than we saw in the first half of the season. And we have made a decent enough start, with three wins from the four Premier League games since christmas.
But I am not sure that I quite share the optimism of our German international star Mesut Ozil, who The Mirror have reported as insisting that Arsenal are not out of the race for the EPL title race just yet, despite the fact that we are not even in the top four of the table and are currently 13 points behind the league leaders Chelsea.
Ozil said, “We have a really strong team. People could see that once again against Stoke.
“So I don’t see why we shouldn’t finish right at the very top of the table. When you play football you should always have belief in yourself.”
You have to admire his confidence, and we have seen bigger gaps closed before, but just how likely is it and what do Arsenal need to de differently to make this half of the season so much better?
The obvious answer, I suppose, is to have fewer injury problems, but that is not really something that we can do much about. Perhaps we should ask nicely for our opponents to stop kicking our players and pushing them into the advertising boards. However, barring more disaster, it does look like the Arsenal squad will be stronger from now on, with Ozil himself returning along with Aaron Ramsey, Walcott and Arteta.
But we need those players to hit form fairly quickly, because we cannot afford to drop too many more points. With our best players firing on all cylinders, Arsenal are a match for anyone, but I wonder how long it will take for them all to reach their top level.
There is another big thing we need if there is any hope of Ozil’s words coming true and that is down to the boss. Two good pieces of transfer business this month could have a huge effect on how the season progresses, with the FA cup and Champions League to consider as well.
I would of course love for the Gunners to prove Ozil right and I think that most of us would actually be happy with a strong finish in the Premier League and another trophy to celebrate, but will Arsenal do the things we need for this to happen?