How did Arsenal change Charlie´s mind on title hopes?

The former forward of Arsenal, Celtic, Scotland and more, Charlie Nicholas, has not seemed overly confident about the Gunners and our chances of winning the Premier League in recent seasons. The football pundit has been critical of various apparent weaknesses in the squad and Arsene Wenger´s transfer policy.

Early on this season, Nicholas was adamant that Arsenal would not be able to win the title this season unless the boss spent some money, with a striker one of his demands but a defensive midfielder top of his wish list. This week, however, after seeing Arsenal defeat Stoke City and move into the top four of the table, Nicholas is sounding a lot more optimistic.

As reported by Sky Sports, the Scot is now saying that Arsenal do have a squad that is capable of winning the title, even though Wenger bucked the trend of panic buying and only signed Petr Cech from Chelsea to bolster the first team options.

Charlie says, “I may be the only one who thinks this but I believe that this current group is good enough to win the league.

“They had an awful start against West Ham but all of a sudden they have got a pretty good run of games going.

“I would’ve liked a holding midfielder but I think these guys can win the league.

“But it is up to them to prove their competitive edge and spirit.”

So why the change of heart Charlie? Could it be because Arsenal have bounced back from the early season struggles, while the likes of Liverpool, United and Chelsea are still looking decidedly dodgy? Has Coquelin´s continued excellence, which has started to get noticed more and more, convinced him that the Gunners do not need a holding midfielder? And does his experience as a striker tell him that Arsenal have enough fire power in Walcott, Alexis and Giroud?

And do you agree with Charlie Nicholas that Arsenal have a title winning squad?

Tags Coquelin Giroud Walcott

41 Comments

  1. Mick The Gooner says:

    Yeah sorry, nothing is going to distract me from what happened tonight. I’m just so angry about what’s happening at this club right now.

    What got us knocked out against Monaco? Arrogance. Has Wenger learned from that? Playing Arteta over Coquelin? No Cech? Not even worth Ramsey and Bellerin making the journey? Giroud starting so he can try and get form in a game that seemingly doesn’t matter? It’s a disgrace.

    18 years in the Champions League Wenger has had. Probably the most experienced manager in all of Europe in the competition, yet he still makes basic errors and shows so much disrespect to other teams it’s embarrassing. I was embarrassed for us tonight. How dare we play anything but our first choice team in the Champions League. If I was a Zagreb fan I’d be laughing my head off at that arrogant team from North London who did think my team was worth their time, ‘they think they’re so great but they’ve never even won the CL’ is what I’d be thinking. I don’t care who we play. It’s the biggest club competition in football and to put out backup players like that is a joke. It’s not the league cup.

    1. truegunner12 says:

      The issue isn’t so much that we had back up players starting as it was a mere 2 players we changed. If 2 players miraculously turn your team to putty vs Zagreb then depth is a bigger concern than people would like to admit. Chelsea had Matic, Terry, Ivanovic, Pedro and Costa all on the bench and in the end only Costa came on as Willian went off injured and that’s if you discount Courtois’ lengthy absence.

      We lost for 3 reasons today in my opinion:

      1. We were tactically outdone
      2. The quality of our replacements
      3. And most worryingly, we didn’t show up.

      It’s all good and well having Arteta in the team IF he can do the job, it defeats the purpose if he can’t.

      1. Seetsuma says:

        No, we lost for 1 reason and 1 reason only today. Giroud. The 11 that Wenger started with were more than capable of winning. Up until Giroud was sent out, we had 68% of possession, had forced a number of quality saves, and had hit the post once. The moment Giroud went out, the tides turned. The fault lies 100% with Giroud this time.

      2. Jimbeam says:

        Giroud not good enough
        Arteta not good enough
        Debuchy out of form
        Ox out of form
        Flamini – dont make me laugh
        Rosicky always injured
        Wilshire always injured
        Welbeck always injured

        Arsene doesnt buy anyone in the transfer window. WTF??

        Can Sanchez, Theo, Ramsey, Ozil, Cazorla and Coquelin play 50+ games this season without any injuries and drop of form?

        Well, we better start praying because thats what it comes down to.

        Thank you Arsene, only you could have managed so well.

        1. k-ool says:

          I would like to do a number for the one and only…Giroud,
          na na na na…na na na na…hey hey hey Giroud.
          😀 😀
          Applauses,
          Thank you. Thank you. You’re too kind…thank you.

    2. davidnz says:

      Not the same as the
      Monaco home loss
      in the knock out stage.
      An away loss to Zagreb
      in the group stage is
      no big deal. We will destroy them at home.
      Zagreb beating Bayern now that would be bad.

      1. medvet says:

        like monaco??

  2. Durand says:

    Uhh, Charlie probably won’t agree after that nightmare. Turns out he was right the first time. Arsenal do indeed need a DM and a striker.

    We can always recall Sanogo or Akpom. Gibbs, debuchy, and Arteta to be banished to Island of misfit toys.

    Honest question; better to have started Coq and Walcott and then subbed out at halftime?

    1. truegunner12 says:

      Better to start then sub out at half time. If the aim is 3 points you risk more by putting then in a position where they have to rescue the match later than if you get them on, kill the game then pull them off with half an hour to go.

  3. zelalem says:

    well, it might be easy to say this after the game but wenger lost the game! i mean 2-3 rotation and wrapping the game up early and subbing extra 3 players would have been enough rest at this stage of the season after all, all our star players like koscienly, sanchez, ozil and cazorla completed and got more exhausted as we played with 10 men.
    anyways hopefully they respond on saturday and make us proud and plz no Giroud no matter what.

  4. truegunner12 says:

    The biggest issue Arsenal have in my opinion is to be able to consistently rack up points. In flashes Arsenal have talent and ability in spades but we end up dropping too many meaningful points in tough circumstances to maintain a 38 title challenge. Over the past few campaigns there are always stints were whichever team won the league were not playing their best football but would pick up wins and that’s Arsenal’s biggest problem, machine like consistency.

    It’s all good and well talking about getting one over Mourinho and Chelsea but if City go on to win it won’t have made an inkling of a difference, same scenario different team.

    We may point to injuries and such but if you don’t prepare or ignore those possibilities you have zero excuses if it goes wrong. Case in point today vs Zagreb. If there isn’t any intention of winning a competition why compete?
    More simply, why start Arteta vs Zagreb in a tough away tie? The squad depth isn’t good enough for that and it showed.

    So we rested 2 of our first team starters in a competition we are allegedly aiming to win, got nothing from the match while our next opponent made 6 changes to their starting 11 and won comfortably.

    The need for consistency is paramount and until we can do that at the Emirates, Zagreb, with players injured or rested inthe CL, PL or any competition we will always find winning said competition out of reach

    1. Mick The Gooner says:

      We started Arteta because Wenger doesn’t want Coquelin to play every game in case he gets exhausted. So in other words, we’re playing Arteta because Wenger was too cheap and blind to buy another suitable defensive midfielder in the transfer window incase Coquelin can’t play.

      Were there top quality defensive midfielders available this summer? Yes. Would they have come to us? Yes. Did we have the money to buy one? Yes. So why didn’t we get one? Because of Wenger, clearly. But if anyone has any other suggestions as to why we didn’t sign one I’d like to see it.

      1. Ezat says:

        Mick you are correct, first he refuse to buy players for backup which should be almost as goog as the X11, then he is forced to use a out dated player whos best years are behind him!!!! this is the result of being so cheap, and stubburn.
        Wenger cares about owners he doesn’t give a damn about Arsenal team, and fans.
        That is why he has to go, support, Pierce Morgan in demanding Weger to be kicke out.

  5. Hafiz Rahman says:

    We are just not good enough…..

    we were 3 to 4 players away from being a world class team….

    yet Wenger refuse to spend

  6. davidnz says:

    Chelsea are at their
    weakest since Villas-Boas.
    Cech Bellerin Monreal
    and Coquelin will all be back
    A sure 3 points for Arsenal.

    1. Hafiz Rahman says:

      Hope we dont get hammered…..a draw game would be an excellent result for a team that plays physical and park the bus

    2. truegunner12 says:

      Monaco weakest CL opponents left a sure win
      Birmingham City cup final a sure win
      Worst United under Moyes a sure win
      Dinamo Zagreb group minnow a sure win

      Please keep them predictions coming

      1. GoonerLad says:

        Wenger sets the team up for failure, he wants a cohesive dressing room but if no one is arguing with each other how are they supposed to point out each other’s flaws ? If I was manager I would’ve sold Giroud, bought Draxler, sold Arteta and Flamini and brought in Kondogbia. Only clubs with no ambition are happy to rely on players that we have, cannot believe someone aiming to win CL will put faith in mediocrity and be deluded enough to think we can win against the likes of Bayern with players that wouldn’t make it into the top 7 teams of England.

      2. eloaking says:

        Years after, I still can not fathom how a miserable David Moyes side came to the Emirates and got 3 points off Wenger. Now Mourinho is planning to use the Arsenal game as a spring board to lunch chelsea back into contention. If Wenger drops 3 points at the bridge on Saturday then he should bury his head in shame… oh, I forgot, what manner of manager would mark his 1000th game with a scandalous score line and still be comfortable. Only Wenger. The guy is simply immune to failure.

  7. Robertthegooner says:

    Wenger’s failed transfer policy is too blame

    Why play Arteta when we could have had Kondogbia Or Krychowiak?

    Why play Giroud when we could have had Martinez or Cavani?

    Ridiculous transfer policy

    1. Hafiz Rahman says:

      We should have sign Benteke and Martial….

      1. medvet says:

        We should have sign someone better than arteta and flamini too….

        1. Goonsquad8 says:

          But it’s hard to justify spending £25m on a back up to coquelin.
          I don’t think arteta was the problem it was the fact wenger paired him with cazorla who I thought should’ve been rested. Both arteta and cazorla don’t have the legs and wenger should’ve known this. Arteta is a capable back up, if anything I thought we should’ve replaced Gibbs he’s a huge liability imo

          1. k-ool says:

            It’s hard to justify when the manager is aiming for 4th in the EPL and targeting an exit at the round of 16 in the CL.
            I understand you Goonsquad8. You are right. You AKB’s make lots of sense. 😀

            1. Goonsquad8 says:

              I’m willing to have a conversation with you if your capable of making a post with substance that also makes sense. I can’t stand you emotional people who attempt to converse with no logic whatsoever

      2. liangyu42087 says:

        Rather have Lukaku, but it might be too difficult.. Benteke would be fine as well.

  8. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Come January we need to bring in at least 2 players to strengthen the team

  9. Jimbeam says:

    Guys – this is a moment where once again EVERYBODY was right and Wenger was wrong. So many of these instances have happened through out the years of wasted transfer windows, stupid tactics, players in the wrong positions etc..

    I really dont understand that there are simply no consequences to this type of obvious mistakes. I mean if you do everything right and loose, it’s one thing, but if you are stubborn and do everything the opposite way and loose, there has to be consequences.
    This man Wenger, has been tooting his own horn, his own way, unsuccessfully for a very long time. In any competitive industry he would have been long gone.
    No sports figure would have survived this long, no movie director after so many flops, no CEO after so many bad quarters, I mean only Wall street bankers and Wenger get away with so much crap.

    1. Goonsquad8 says:

      GUYS everyone knows more than wenger none of us have ever managed a youth team but we know more than wenger guys

      1. Jimbeam says:

        Sure hide behind his experience, it has served us well.

        Is there anyone in football that thinks Giroud is good enough for Arsenal?
        Is Arteta a good alternative at DM for Coquelin?
        Should Ramsey be played as a Winger?
        Is it normal for a team of Arsenal’s stature and apparent ambition not to strengthen the squad during a transfer window.

        So if you think that all on all of the above Arsene is right then you need help friend.
        If not then, stand up and form your own opinions instead of hiding behind the old man.

        1. Goonsquad8 says:

          Hiding behind his experience what are you talking about? Your sitting there in your arm chair thinking you know more than wenger….

          But why do you think anyone that defends wenger just blindly follows him? I’m a documented wenger fan sure but AFC comes first for me, wenger has delivered 2 FA cups and 2 Community shields the last 2 years so he deserves some more time. And
          if he doesn’t deliver this year then well talk cause he will have no excuses since we have money and a strong squad.

          And yes wenger might’ve rotated too much but before people would be screaming at him to rotate and now when he does people yell at him not to. He played 2 direct pacy wingers on the wing, a traditional CF, and all the other players in there preferred position.

          We made slot

      2. rkw says:

        On this idiotic logic any manager of a professional football team from Newport county to man city could manage arsenal … You people are no longer even funny …

    2. coqBRIGADES says:

      you think in real madrid he will last more than a year?

      that’s why he always annoyed us by not wanting out for good.

  10. Fatboy Gooney says:

    100% right!
    Which would could only mean that Wenger owns Arsenal fc
    ?
    The yank and Russian are his decoy buddies

  11. Gigi2 says:

    Well he will go back to his former thoughts after Zagreb

  12. gmv8 says:

    I think what stands out to me was that we approached this game like a league cup match against a conference side. Debuchy and Gibbs didn’t look fully match fit, Giroud is obviously still having mental problems from his international break, Arteta cannot really play DM on his own anymore in high intensity games and Ospina certainly didn’t look match sharp, although he did make some good saves.

    I think Wenger thought it would be an easy match and was using it to get these guys back up to speed, but a league cup qualifier is more the time to do that, not a CL match. 3 points is 3 points, whether it’s against Dinamo Zagreb or Bayern Munich, so now we are going to have to work a lot harder to make up for lost points.

  13. Hafiz Rahman says:

    Wenger must leave now….

    Lets bring in Klopp

    and a couple of signings in January….a DM and Striker a must

    1. Goonsquad8 says:

      Hahah leave 1 month into the season? Thank you @hafiz I needed a laugh

  14. coqBRIGADES says:

    wake me up guys, when wenger is gone.

  15. papacini says:

    we will beat Chelsea. the mentality of d players is what will decide our win.we just have to turn up. as much as I dislike Walcott as a striker i think he should start against Chelsea,and sanchez should really work on his passing. Chelsea despite their win wasn’t convincing. maccabi would have been whooped by crystal palace by the same scoreline. I wish Wenger will stop being stubborn and stupidly loyal to mediocre players like giroud and get a striker.

  16. YingYang69 says:

    I think its a mixture of what resons you gave. Che are one of those teams that you cannot slip far behind or they will just grind out the title. Arsenal when started poor have usually grew with confidence and experience periods where we are best. There is plenty of goals in this team. The coq situation is where Charlie wanted another body so Im guessing that Charlie is praying he stays fit. We do have a realistic good shot at winning.

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