Arsenal 2010-11: 10 Reasons the Gunners Are Favorites to Reclaim the EPL

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Arsenal 2010-11: 10 Reasons the Gunners Are Favorites to Reclaim the EPL
Arsenal celebrate their last title at Highbury on May 15, 2004.

Conventional wisdom going into last season was that Arsenal had given up too many players and not spent enough money on high profile replacements to remain in the Big Four, let alone to challenge for a title.

Sympathetic, rather than rational pundits and media members picked Liverpool as the insider pick to topple Manchester United, while Manchester City's profligacy was deemed sufficient to purchase a chance at Champions League action.

Instead, Liverpool finished well out of title contention, a distant seventh, and the only EPL team that actually plays its home fixtures in Manchester failed to crack the top four.

Arsenal, on the other hand, rather than falling to fifth or sixth in the league, spent the first eight months of the season very much in the title race. In the process, the Gunners "inexperienced" side became the best in the league at beating the lower and mid-table opponents that have previously sapped their title hopes.

When the wheels finally came off in early April, it was not because the players they had were not strong enough to compete. With Alex Song, Cesc Fabregas, Denilson, Robin van Persie, Andrei Arshavin, and William Gallas all inactive for all or most of April, the sheer weight of injuries finally caught up to them.

Arsenal were just too worn out and stretched too thin to finish out the season in form.

Yet, the eight months that preceded the final bad one were reason enough to be optimistic about 2010-11. Add to that the relative stability of the roster, the deepening of the talent pool at key positions, and the relative instability among some of their key rivals, and this looks to be a glorious season at the Emirates.

In the following slide show, I have presented 10 compelling reasons why Arsene Wenger's team will hoist the Barclay's Premier League trophy come May.

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