Arsenal's 2011 Premier League Season is Not Over Yet

Michael DoyleContributor IIIMarch 11, 2011

'The' incident from Arsenal's Champions League tie against Barcelona on Tuesday night
'The' incident from Arsenal's Champions League tie against Barcelona on Tuesday nightShaun Botterill/Getty Images

It is clear to see that over the last few weeks when Arsenal has approached big games such as the Carling Cup final, the Champions League matches against Barcelona and (to a lesser extent) the Premier League game against Sunderland, they have suffered a slip-up, to say the least.

To Arsenal fans, it may remind them of the 2007-08 season, when the team had their best start of a season since the "Invincibles'" season four years earlier, only to go on a run between late February and early April where the team got just eight points from as many games.

Manchester United won the title and Chelsea pipped themselves into second place.

So it is unsurprising that critics have been making the link from that season to this one, assuming that once again Arsenal's youngsters have again failed and that 2005—when Arsenal last won a major trophy—seems farther away than ever before.

But this strikes me as a bit extreme for a few reasons.

First, to assume Arsenal is going to throw their season away is also assuming that another team is in a strong position to take advantage, which simply isn't true.

Manchester United may be at the top of the league standings, but it is easy to see that they have had fared much better in recent years.

At this time last year, United actually had more points and they didn't even capture that league title.

Their form in the last month or so, with losses to Chelsea, Liverpool and Wolves, has brought up questions and shows they are no longer unbeatable. 

This may prove to be especially true, considering they still have tough games to face before the season draws to a close.

Manchester City fans are rubbing their hands in anticipation after seeing some of their title rivals slip, but they themselves have never even been in a Premier League title race.

City has also slipped in form since the turn of the year, with their only wins coming against teams in the relegation battle.

Even Chelsea, a team nine points back in the standings, has been tipped for a strong end of the season and has been playing better recently then all other title contenders.

This is a possibility rather than a probability, but if Chelsea can keep its current form, then they can be considered a dangerous prospect as we enter the latter stages of the season.

However, the Champions League probably provides a better opportunity of success for Carlo Ancelotti's team this year.

In addition, to assume Arsenal really threw away their season three years ago, is the same as the current one—too simplistic.

The squad is now arguably stronger than it has been in the last few years, since the current club is more balanced and depends less on Cesc Fabregas.

Players such as Jack Wilshere, Samir Nasri and Andrei Arshavin have proven their worth as some of the most dangerous players in the league.

It would appear that the various injuries to key players such as Thomas Vermaelen, Theo Walcott, Robin van Persie, Cesc Fabregas, Alex Song (I could go on all day...), could've spelled disaster for Arsenal, but the players brought in to replace them have done extremely well, keeping the club in title contention as we enter the closing stages of the season.

So although the club would've loved to have reached the latter stages of the Champions League, fans shouldn't be too pessimistic. 

It is too early to say Arsenal's season is over, and with 10 games left in an extraordinary—and unpredictable—season, they still stand a great chance of having a successful campaign.