Who are Arsenal’s REAL title rivals? Let’s analyse them….

Arsenal’s best chance of winning the League? by JH

I write this article today with the obvious expectation that AKBs and AOBs are united in their great mood.

We struggle against the big sides, that’s what we are supposed to do, so when we had beaten Man United (so-called title contenders) in 20 minutes of sublime football, I think it is safe to say none of us could believe it. I roared loud enough so that my neighbours knew Arsenal had scored the first two times, but when Sanchez fired in a third, I was sat in pure astonishment. I laughed out of pure amazement, picked my son up and kissed him. After anticipating a very nervy 90 minutes, the game was over in 20. Not just that, but we played football the Arsenal way, we tore through them with quick incisive counter attacks, each move accompanied by great movement, fancy flicks and pure desire.

For those first 20 minutes Le Coq spent his time deep in Man United’s half, battling to win the ball back instantly as they tried to get some sort of respite.

Theo Walcott throughout the game played as if we had injected him with the soul of Alexis Sanchez, his energy, his desire, his quality.

Mesut Ozil, as Henry said, “came to the party” he was at his mercurial best, making us tick, scoring the second cooly.

Even at the back, Mertesacker was superb, he read the game very well, Gabriel seemed to win everything in the air in those final 20 minutes.

Then we have the fans, whilst it is of course easy to maintain such an atmosphere when we have basically won the points after 6 minutes, I thought the fans were immense, we were up for it from first minute to last, we truly were the 12th man, and we must do this for our players for every single game.

Now comes the point of my article, during the analysis of the game, Thierry Henry said something I didnt agree with at first, but having thought about it, he is part right, “Arsenal have to win the league this year, they have to”.

Now at first I thought that was a bit harsh, I mean we are capable of challenging in the seasons ahead, it is not like our squad is aging or players are going to be leaving.

But then it dawned on me, whilst we may not “have to” win it this year, this year does give us our most realistic and, for want of a better word, easiest opportunity. Look at the teams people claim are close to Arsenal at the present. I shall start with the ridiculous and work up.

Tottenham, whilst the media probably see this as being as ridiculous as we do, I thought I’d give their poor fans a mention. Spurs have won just 3 of their first 8 games so far, they however have only lost once, can Spurs be considered realistic challengers for Arsenal?? No, they our a million miles away from the Gunners right now, I struggle to think of a player in their side who could get into ours. Fans last year would have said Harry Kane, but he has scored the same amount of goals for Spurs this year as he has for Swansea. I believe Arsenal are superior to them in every way, and cannot take them seriously as contenders.

Liverpool, as Jamie Carragher said yesterday, “Liverpool are becoming Tottenham. They think they are a big club, but they are not, the big clubs don’t take any notice of them” I think this is clearer than I could have put it myself, at the time of writing nobody has been hired to replace Rogers, and of course the change may change people’s perception of them, but not this year.

Chelsea. Now where do I start with this, Chelsea are the Champions, they started as favourites to win the league again, however 8 games in and they find themselves 16th averaging a point a game, their defence is a shambles. Their attack seems no better, and their manager seems too busy blaming everybody from Eva Caneiro to John Terry to Arsene Wenger to all the refs, to actually sort it out. We currently lie 8 points clear of them already, and quite frankly should not be caught by them now.

Man United. I think all the media saw United as genuine titles contenders until 16:06 yesterday afternoon. Arsenal had hit them for 2 after just 6 minutes, and pretty soon Alexis Sanchez was about to fire into the top corner for 3. I am a firm believer that Utd are not challengers, whilst they currently lie just 2 goals behind us, their next 3 games are, Everton away, Man City at home followed by Palace away. So as long as we keep on form we should be clear of them soon.

Man City. The team that I see as our only big rivals for the Title, they sit 2 points clear of us right now, they just tore Newcastle a new one, and are just about everybodys pick for the league, and the only real test in the league coming soon is at home to Man United (Pray for a draw), but whilst they are everybodys pick, they are favourites, they are still not untouchable. Beaten soundly by West Ham, before Spurs tore them apart at WHL, they are beatable. We do not get our crack at them until mid December, and if we start how we did against United we will beat them.

So I come to the conclusion that Thierry is correct. In the summer, Man Utd will once again spend heavily. Liverpool with their new manager will spend heavily, win the league or not. Man City will again spend heavily, and Chelsea (I believe with their new manager) will also spend heavily.

Whilst we do not HAVE to win the league this season, this is our best best opportunity for some time, and possibly for some time to come, and If we can maintain the desire and quality we did yesterday, it’s hard to see who can stand in our way.

What do you think guys? Can this be our season?

By JonnHirons.

Tags Man United Thierry


  1. i wld really wish that we measure our hype and not loose focus after what i wld call exceptional performance by our lads against MANURE.We can only hope that lessons have been learnt and mistakes of the past will be duly corrected as we progress forward. i wld also resist any temptation that we are now perfectly in the race for the title race until we achieve some consistency!

  2. Arsenal title rivals = 19 other teams, yes these also include Sunderland, Watford, West Brom, Aston Villa, Newcastle, Chelsea, and all the other lower teams (lol).

    My point is no team should be underrated and all teams should be considered title challenges at this point. We can win all games against the big teams but one slip (like the Stevie G slip) and the title can be gone. City looks on fire at the moment, but they are beatable too.

    Lets prepare well and win our games, and the rest will handle itself. That’s all we can do.

    1. All teams are dangers on a weekly basis,but in the long term? Liverpool? No. Spuds? Naaaahhhhh. Chelsea? Doubtful now, they hang their heads when they lose and they are practically acting like storks now!
      Man City, yes, but it has been proven they are vulnerable. Man Utd? Ditto, but more so.
      I see Chitty as the main danger as long as Wenger can keep the first team motivated.

    2. Ridiculous. Outside of a few teams, those in mid to bottom (the f*****g chavs excluded) are premier league rivals, not title rivals.

      1. Its just too early to determine who are title rivals at the moment not even Arsenal or City. Things will only become abit more clear say early January. As for now its ping pong. This is a very unique league its hard to determine who are favorite’s as any team can beat another at any time.

        Put on your seat belts and expect a lot of shockers this season. I see the small teams even doing better than some “big teams”.

  3. We need to be consistent; give it a few months – depending on those results, we can comment. We played like Arsenal against manure, I definitely agree with that. But taking into consideration all the results thus far this season makes me hesitate; we were firing on all cylinders for one game, so let’s not put ourselves on the pedestal.

  4. I’d rather be pleasantly surprised than putting my hopes too high. That’s why I am called an AKB, I preffer to speak on the Boxing Day.
    If Chelsea will bring another manager they can bounce back for the title. 8 points, 12 points this is nothing when only 1/5th of the league game unfolded. Remember last year? Chelsea got a lead of 9 pts and by January there were only 2. Then Africa Cup started and City cracked.
    If Mourinho will stay they will not bounce back this season. He keep saying players love him but it is easy to see the opposite is actually true.

  5. I’ll say ‘Let’s take one game at a time’. We see where we are in January. Hopefully, we have another great second half of the season. Arsenal all the way!

    1. I think we will take “one game at a time”, mainly because how can we play at home, then away at maybe Everton at once? Quite frankly we can’t.

      Unless you mean “Let’s take one game at a time” more in a football cliche kind of way. I’ve never been a fan of the football cliche though, but I will say this…..

      We need to look out for potential banana skins, park the bus, and win the title 6 pointers! If we do then if we set our stall out early we’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the day.

  6. I seriously believe that it is Arsenal’s turn to go on a run. Wenger has nurtured the players to make sure they are not overworked, and now the reserves have got a few games under their belt I think they will have enough to beat Watford. The international break is at a perfect time because the first team will rest on their return for Watford game, while the first 11 will be rested for Bayern.

    I’m in a confident mood.

  7. It’s interesting reading articles like this because I genuinely do not believe you can talk about contenders until January. But it was interesting that you ruled united out. I haven’t yet. If they win then they will have playing the most boring football around. City are amazing, but what if aguero gets injured. And they still look like they struggle to break teams down. The key this season is consistency. Whoever remains atva level and keeps key player fit can win.

    Hopefully Chelsea will remain consistenly poor and we will see how well mourinjo manages in the championship…

  8. CITY at the moment are by far better than the rest.

    I can’t predict where we will end up but I do not fear United, Chelsea, Liverpool or any other team other than City. All these teams can beat us and finish ahead of us but I don’t fear them when playing them

    City with Aguero on form and Silva, De Bruyne, Sterling, Kompany etc are a Tough ass team.

    1. I don’t fear City. I fear Mourinho’s Chelsea for yet another parody of a game. Otherwise I won’t fear any of these mentioned above. Now, the only team giving my shivers is Bayern. I admit.

  9. Actually, the best chance we had at winning the league was the 13/14 season, what with all the managerial changes. The season proved to be as open as many thought. If Wenger had signed a top striker and DM that summer, we would have won the league. Instead he gave us Sanogo and Flamini, and so 4th it was!

  10. Yess city is our main title rivle but we can make advantage of their inconsistency of we remain solid
    I’m hoping that united game is just a stepping stone for a a huge season

  11. OT: Really hate seeing Klopp head to Lpool. I love his style of football and would have preferred he manages a team outside the EPL. Oh well it will be interesting to see how he fairs there.

  12. I dont agree with Merti having a good game. I dont agree naming fans into groups. I hate it when we dont perform and dont learn from our mistakes, there for i get angry with Wenger, doesnt mean i want him out at any cost. I want him to deliver and do his job. If he cand do it then someone else should do it.

    Same with the Akb’s. Lose or win, Arsene knwows best. Makes no sense to me.

    Walcott in me eyes is a player who is to lazy. But boy what a game he played last time. If he keeps it up, there will be no need for a new striker.

    1. You are so full of yourself. And, of course, a liar. Calling me AKB (which btw I don’t mind) is not naming fans into groups and of course it does not apply to you. As for Wenger delivering or doing his job it is not us to asses. It is the board, directors, owners. As a fan I can only hope we win every game although this is not going to happen.
      But! You have a valid point about Walcott, If you watched their comments after the game you’d hear Walcott explaining that the players talk among themselves and agreed that they should win in style FOR THE FANS. Observe how Wenger was not mentioned here. This is exactly what people said : a manager can only do so much, no matter the name. If the players have an off day it is still going to be the manager where as the main cause is THE PLAYERS. It is easy to point tactics mistakes AFTER THE GAME. Anyone can do it, including myself. But I don’t because it is pointless, game already gone and it is like saying water is wet. Yes, after you touch it, you know.
      Coming back to Walcott, when he slid in on Schweini it was a moment that illustrated how this team were approaching the game. There, proven, in front of our very own eyes.
      The reality is that this is what you have to do in every single game if you want to be champions. You can’t play like that just because a 3rd rated club wiped the floor with you at home. What stopped them play like that few days before? Because I can assure you it wasn’t Wenger stopping them.
      I hope people understand now why Wenger has SO MUCH CONFIDENCE in this lot. The big problem is that the players (bar few) have confidence in themselves and the best example of them all it this huge talent called Oxlade Chamberlain. Open your eyes, people. The answer is there. A scapegoat is only a scapegoat. It is not going to fix absolutely anything because you know, is just a scapegoat.

      1. And whose job is it to motivate the players and get them to work hard in games?

        Sure, when players have bad games, don’t blame the manager. But when half the team consistently takes games off that is down to Arsene not motivating them. We shouldn’t have to get embarrassed to see this kind of effort, it should happen regularly. You can see most of the players try hard all the time, but others tend to show up when they feel like it.

        Arsene has to keep these guys working hard like this consistently, and now that we have seen what they are capable of the fans will not accept anything less. Just wait until the next game that Ozil and Walcott jog around watching play. Or next time Ox stands at the halfway line to watch Bellerin try to deal with three attackers by himself. Does Arsene share no blame for letting them get away with it so often and not benching them every time they show a serious lack of effort?

        I’m usually in Arsene’s camp as I think he has done an unbelievable job to build a stadium and keep us as one of the best teams in Europe at the same time. But trying to deflect blame in this situation when motivating players is one of his main responsibilities is just silly.

        He believes in his players, and they have shown him and everyone else that they really DO have the talent, but having talent is not the same as realizing it, and talent does not win titles alone.

  13. Every man and his dog knows mancity will win the title the reason they have a big squad to compete and what do we have money in the bank.You cant have your own cake and eat it.I dont beat around the bush I go straight into the forest,which is now the most feared team in epl-mancity who fears wenger team not even olympiacos

    1. Yes, they are favorites, no doubt about but there’s one thing every gooner feels after last season games : we are not afraid anymore playing the so called big 4. Simply realized that they have players just like our players and if they have a day off or if we have a day on then we are perfectly capable of beating them. Even when we are two down.

      1. Arsenal only have themselves to beat no one else, it’s in us. team selection and players character. we are better what we think time has come to stop feeling sorry for ourselves.

  14. I wanted to see only Ospina’s face after the 20 minutes and trying to take a GIF but couldn’t, still i got to see his face when Petr Cech performed admirably against a sound opposition. He may now want a crack at the league so as to improve his performance and Wenger is a manager who is likely to give him the chance rather than shut him permanently. I am afraid that Arteta,Wilshere will soon try to use media to get interviews so as to feel still wanted but i don’t think that is going to happen any time soon. Mathieu Debuchy is a average player who is mistake prone and will leave soon. On Bellerin i think he is in the top 10 right backs in the world. Ramsey is surely the next captain in 5 years.

  15. great article.we should definetly win the league.theo,ozil and alexis are gelling nicely plus we still have players who carry the team during winter rocisky and willshere.

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