Arsenal: 10 Reasons Why the Gunners Will Win the Premier League Title in 2011
Every season Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger upsets his fans by staying out of the transfer market and putting his trust in the young players coming through the Arsenal system.
Wenger believes that Arsenal are developing talent, and that they will be capable of winning the Premier League. Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, they have spent the last six years watching rivals Manchester United and Chelsea lift the trophy at the end of the season. During that stretch, Arsenal have managed to win just one FA Cup.
Arsenal have fans have been growing restless. They want to see their team win now, and if players need to be brought in, then they want to see that happen.
But the Wenger's patience may finally be paying off this season. Right now Arsenal are at 26 points, just two points behind leaders Chelsea. Even better for Arsenal, they are starting to get fit, while Chelsea are starting to lose players to injury.
After all that patience and frustration, this could finally be the year Arsenal return to the Premier League summit. Here are 10 reasons why Arsenal will win the Premiership this season.
10. The Emergence of Jack Wilshere
Last season Arsenal sent 18-year-old midfielder Jack Wilshere on loan to Bolton for the second half of the season. The move was done so that the 18-year-old could be given first team Premier League football on a regular basis.
The move has worked out tremendously for the Gunners. Wilshere was very impressive during his loan spell at Bolton and returned to Arsenal over the summer in preparation for the 2010-11 season.
Wilshere progressed so much at Bolton that he was able to play his way into the starting XI for the Gunners this season.
Now, not only is Wilshere commanding a place in the starting XI each week, but he is becoming a very important player for Arsenal.
Wilshere's ability to be a box-to-box midfielder allows Arsenal to employ him as a holding midfielder in front of Arsenal's defense. While Wilshere has the ability to be a great attacking midfielder, it just has not been needed yet for Arsenal.
Wilshere's ability to hold in the middle allows Arsenal's other proven attacking midfielders to get up the field and attack. Cesc Fabregas, Theo Walcott and especially Samir Nasri have all been benefiting from the great play of Wilshere, and with all of them attacking, it makes Arsenal a very dangerous team.
9. Arsenal Could Be Making Moves in the January Transfer Window
There are many reports in the tabloids right now that are linking Arsenal to some big transfer moves in the coming January transfer window. While many people are aware that many of these reports are just a ploy by the media to get people talking, and considering Arsene Wenger's usual transfer policy, it could be very easy to disregard these rumors.
But this time there could be some element of truth to Arsenal's transfer dealings.
Arsenal could be in the mix to bring in Fulham goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer. Schwarzer was a summer target of Wenger's, but his club Fulham turned down two bids that Wenger made for the keeper. It is being reported that many people believe Wenger is going to make another attempt to lure the Australian to the Emirates once again in January.
Other reports are saying that Arsenal are looking to bring in another central defender, especially while their top defender, Thomas Vermaelen, is out injured. Arsenal are reportedly very interested in signing Bolton defender Gary Cahill.
Cahill was placed on the transfer list by Bolton, and early reports are saying that Arsenal are the favorites to sign the defender. Arsenal are reported to have already made a formal bid for the defender, and both clubs are willing to do business with each other.
The issue Arsenal will have is that Bolton's asking price may be too high for Arsenal. If Arsenal could talk Bolton down, Cahill could be on his way to North London and be used to bolster Arsenal's defense.
8. The Gunners Have Already Played Three of Their Four Toughest Away Matches
One of the major benefits of Arsenal already having 26 points is they have already had three of their four toughest matches. The Gunners have already made trips to Anfield, Stamford Bridge and Eastlands. They also have a trip to Old Trafford coming up in December.
This means that in the second half of the season, all of Arsenal's rivals will have to travel to Arsenal during the title run. Meanwhile, Arsenal's opponents still have very difficult matches ahead of them for the second half of the season.
For Arsenal, the hardest part of their schedule is almost over. In their three big away matches so far they have taken four out of nine points. One win, one draw and one loss, you can't ask for much better then that.
The best news for Arsenal is that with 26 points they have more point than all but one team in the Premier League. They have gotten through the roughest part of their season and are second in the league.
While everyone else's schedule is about to get harder, second-place Arsenal's is about to get easier.
7. Arsenal Are Building Depth
If you ask any Arsenal fan, one of their biggest complaints over the past few season has been injuries. They will tell you, when Arsenal are healthy, they have a great team, possibly the best. But year after year, they get hammered by injuries.
Injuries have derailed Arsenal campaigns before, but this season it is looking like Arsenal are building up the squad depth that they need to withstand injuries.
Arsenal have already had to deal with injuries this season. Captain Cesc Fabregas started the season injured, and both Robin Van Persie and Theo Walcott went down early. While in previous years that could have led Arsenal to unravel, Arsenal have gone through without missing a beat.
With summer-signing Marouane Chamakh playing well and youngster Jack Wilshere impressing, Arsenal are blessed with the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, Cesc Fabregas, Samir Nasri and Alex Song to provide the squad with depth.
With striker Robin Van Persie set to return to action, Arsenal now have tremendous depth that will allow them to withstand injuries and keep winning.
6. The Other Teams Will Fall Off
While Arsenal are currently second in the table and are only behind Chelsea, Arsenal sit just 12 points above the relegation zone.
This is not to say that Arsenal are in danger of falling into the relegation zone, far from it. Rather it is just an example to illustrate how close together the rest of the league is.
With many of the teams being very even at the start of the season, many of the top teams have dropped points against mid-table teams. While it may show a weakness from the top teams, this trend will not continue for the rest of the season.
As the fixture list starts to pile up, especially around the new year, it will become all the more difficult for the mid-table teams. Mid-table teams don't have the squad depth to compete with the heavy load of fixtures. It will lead to them either playing weakened sides, or using the same players and tiring them out.
Over the second half of the season, the top teams will drop less points to the mid-table teams as they will have the depth to withstand the fixture load. As a result the table will form its usual shape, and the mid-table teams will not provide as strong of a challenge as they did in the first half of the season.
5. Arsenal May Have Found the Answer to Their Goalkeeping Problems
Over the past few seasons, several different goalkeepers have tested the patience of Arsenal fans. Arsenal fans had become used to seeing goalkeepers making costly mistakes, and they were growing tired of it.
Over the summer, Arsenal tried to lure Mark Schwarzer away from Fulham but failed. They are being linked to moves for both Schwarzer, and Manchester City's Shay Given in the January transfer window.
But Arsenal might have found their No. 1 goalkeeper right from their own squad.
Since taking over for Manuel Almunia, Polish international Lukasz Fabianski has been very impressive for the Gunners. Fabianski has not been the victim of costly mistakes the way previous keepers for Arsenal have been.
Fabianski believes he is capable of being Arsenal's full-time No. 1 goalkeeper. Goalkeeper has been a weak position for Arsenal in recent years. If Fabianski could continue to play at the level he is at, he could solve that problem for Arsenal and make Arsenal a very dangerous opponent.
4. The Return of Robin Van Persie
Robin Van Persie has been out for an extended period of time for the Gunners. That didn't stop Holland from giving him a call-up into the squad for their friendly against Turkey, much to the surprise of Arsene Wenger.
Wenger has since changed his mind and has said that playing 45 minutes for Holland could be great for the striker's fitness.
Either way, it means that Van Persie is very close to returning for Arsenal. Van Persie has been out since August with an ankle injury.
In his absence, Arsenal have still been able to find goals from several different players. But adding Van Persie to the Arsenal attack will do wonders. Van Persie is easily the best striker the Gunners have and links very well with Cesc Fabregas.
Despite Arsenal getting goals from many different sources, the return of Van Persie will take some of the goal-scoring burden off the other players. More important, it will give Arsenal the chance to rest their players more often as they will have one more body to throw out there.
The added rest, along with the skill of Van Persie, will make the Arsenal attack very dangerous.
3. Cesc Fabregas Is Possibly the Best Midfielder In the League
Arsenal possesses one of the best weapons there is in the Premier League right now, Cesc Fabregas. With Steven Gerrard fading and Frank Lampard out injured, there is very little question as to whether Fabregas is the best midfielder in the league right now.
Fabregas could even be the fourth best midfielder in the world; it is just unfortunate for him that the top three are also playing for the Spanish national team and keeping Fabregas on the international bench.
In the Premier League, though, not many other players can influence a match like Fabregas. Planted firmly in the middle of the field, Fabregas takes control of the whole match.
His great passing starts attacks for the Gunners, and Fabregas has great finishing ability. It is very difficult to count Arsenal out of any match when Fabregas is pulling the strings.
With Cesc Fabregas taking control, Arsenal are a dangerous team. Fabregas has the skill to win any given match on his own, which could lead him to take control and win the title for Arsenal.
2. No One Is Very Good Right Now
While Arsenal have dropped points at home to teams that they shouldn't have, such as Newcastle and West Bromwich Albion, so has everyone else. The league is such a tight race right now because no team has established themselves as dominant yet.
Manchester City fancied themselves title contenders this season, but they have dropped points in several games and are coming off of back-to-back goal-less draws.
While Manchester United are the only unbeaten team in the league, this has not led to dominance in the Premier League. Instead, United have won six games and have drawn seven. Several of these draws have come against weaker opponents. United have both struggled to win matches away from Old Trafford, but they have also struggled to hold onto leads when they have them.
While Chelsea started the season looking unstoppable, they have looked much more human as of late. The worst came in their last match when Chelsea lost 3-0 at home to Sunderland.
While things were looking bleak for Arsenal after dropping points in games that they shouldn't have, the future looks bright for Arsenal as after all that they are only two points behind Chelsea. The entire league is continuing to drop points, leaving Arsenal in a great position to overtake Chelsea.
1. Arsenal Is Getting Fit, While Everyone Else Is Getting Injured
Arsenal got off to a slow start to the Premier League campaign in terms of having their entire squad fit. Arsenal started the season without Cesc Fabregas, and they quickly lost Theo Walcott and Robin Van Persie to injury as well.
Fabregas was first to return, Walcott returned recently, Van Persie is expected to return soon and Arsenal are expecting Thomas Vermaelen back in December.
While Arsenal are starting to get their players back, their rivals are all losing theirs.
Manchester United have been without Wayne Rooney for some time, and while they believe he will be ready to return soon, no one really knows how well that ankle has really healed.
Meanwhile, United are starting to feel the injury toll, as they have lost Owen Hargreaves once again, Michael Owen and Ryan Giggs are both dealing with hamstring injuries. Antonio Valencia is out long-term and center midfielder Anderson is still out. Meanwhile United seem to constantly have defenders going down injured and needing to be replaced.
In West London, Chelsea have not been able to escape the injury bug either. Didier Drogba has been diagnosed with malaria and has not looked like his normal self. He hasn't scored a goal in Chelsea's last six Premier League matches.
It's gotten worse for Chelsea as Yossi Benayoun is out until April. While Chelsea thought Frank Lampard would be ready to return, a setback will cause him to miss even more time. Lastly, Chelsea have now learned that defenders Alex and John Terry will both be out with long-term injuries.
With Chelsea starting to look more human, these injuries are definitely not a welcome sight. Manchester United are continuing to deal with injuries. Meanwhile, Arsenal are starting to get all their players back, which will come as a major advantage during the heavy fixture list at the end of the year.