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Can Arsenal mount a title challenge this season?
Lessons to learn
For Arsenal fans one thing is for certain. This season, Arsenal will once again play some of the best football the Premier League has ever seen. The big question remains whether it will be enough to put a dent in Manchester Unitedʼs dominance, and be enough to snatch the top prize.
Last season the Gunners were in the running all the way up to the latter stages of the season, only to, unfortunately drop points against a number of teams, including Newcastle United in a memorable 4-4 draw – a match in which, until dropping a four-goal lead,
Arsenal were superb.
Leads dropped against Sunderland, Tottenham, Wigan and an injury time defensive lap against Liverpool in April eventually saw Arsenalʼs title hopes put to the sword. For Wengerʼs men this season, lessons must need to have been learnt. Consistency is key.
However, firstly the boss has a few things on his to-do list. Replacing departed players being at the top of it, if Arsenal are to challenge. The summer transfer window has seen former skipper, Cesc Fabregas depart for FC Barcelona, and midfielder Samir Nasri transfer to rivals Manchester City, in moves that should give manager Arsene Wenger a transfer war chest to reinvest in boosting an already talented squad, all be it filled with some of the best young talent around.
In Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Frimpong, Carl Jenkinson and hot prospects Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ryo Miyaichi, the clubʼs future is in safe boots. But the missing piece in the jigsaw could still be yet to arrive. The summer has already seen one major signing – Ivorian winger Gervinho from French club Lille, but fans are already looking forward to at least two more.
A new defender has been widely tipped, and excitingly the latest rumours suggest Wenger might be tempted to break the bank for the £25 million plus highly-rated Belgian and Lille winger Eden Hazard – tipped by fans to be the next Cristiano Ronaldo. Is he the type of player the Gunners need?
Whatever Arsenalʼs hopes of holding the Premier League trophy aloft come May, it wonʼt come easy. Last seasonʼs champs, Manchester United are favourites once more. Chelsea and new boss André Villas-Boas have already signaled the club’s intentions by singing some top talent, including Spanish World Cup winner Juan Mata from Valencia. Meanwhile Manchester City got its cheque book out once more to sign up, among others, Argentinian striker, Sergio Aguero – one of the world’s most sought after strikers – and he’s already banging in the goals.
Each of the top clubs have brought in new players. And it looks like Arsenal will also need to, to stand the best chance of winning the title. However there is much to look forward to. Past form has shown, that at full strength, this Arsenal side can beat anyone. As long as players stay fit and free of injury, and fans cross their fingers for a bit of luck, anything can happen.