How many times have Arsenal been written off? How many times have journalists predicted the end of Arsenal as an elite club? How many times have the likes of Liverpool and Newcastle been touted as their replacements?
The fact is, Arsenal do not follow the model of a typical club and the media still doesn't understand why Arsene Wenger's men continue to defy their expectations.
Many still see a very black and white answer when it comes to the current state of the Arsenal Football Club:
They don't spend crazy money, so they're not ambitious enough, and won't make an EPL challenge until they do.
Therefore we (the media) deduce that Arsenal will not be successful this season and will take a downward turn from now on
They couldn't be more wrong...Arsenal can win the EPL this year.
Last season I predicted Chelsea would win the Champions League after they lost 3-1 at Napoli in the first leg of the Round of 16.
I got ridiculed for that prediction as you can see from the comments (many from Chelsea fans) and there will probably be plenty who will do the same with this one too.
I almost fell over my seat when I saw Arsenal priced at 20/1 to with the EPL this season. 20/1 seriously?!
They're not the favourites by any means but don't be fooled by the table, they're very much in the hunt.
Then again, Chelsea were 40/1 when I tipped them last season—stranger things have happened!
Yes, the loss to Chelsea was a big blow, but for a team who have already gone to Anfield and won easily, been the better side in a draw with Manchester City and hit six twice in September—people need to beware an Arsenal side hungry for revenge.
Is Van Persie a loss? Yes
Is Song a loss? Probably not
Is Carlos Vela a loss? No
Have Arsenal extracted the highest possible price for every one of those players? Absolutely
Congratulations Arsene Wenger for making the very best out of a potentially destructive situation.
Van Persie, Song and Vela or Podolski, Cazorla and Giroud?
Who would you rather have at your disposal? Anyone agree with the latter?
Now comes the million dollar question? Can Arsenal win the EPL? Absolutely
Why? Because they have as much quality at their disposal as Chelsea and Manchester United. They don't have the depth of Manchester City, but The Blues have shown a fragility both defensively and psychologically.
But results is where it matters and Arsenal have continued to slip up against teams they should really be beating.
Their European form has been first class and for the first time in a long time, sides are beginning to fear going to the Emirates again.
Saturday's game at West Ham represents a spell of four fixtures that will determine whether this is going to be the season it all comes together.
West Ham (A), Norwich (A), QPR (H), Reading (A)
Are 12 points attainable? Certainly
What's the least they can afford to take? 10 points
Do you think Arsenal can win the EPL? Ask yourself the question now and in four games time...your answer might be very different.
Gunners fans.....it might be the same ;)