Are Arsenal now a serious contender for the title?

United beat Arsenal

After we brushed aside a rather naive looking Arsenal in the 3-1 victory in January, I honestly thought there would be no way back for Arsenal. Combine that with a 2-0 defeat at the hands of league leaders Chelsea the following week, I smugly presumed that my prediction from the week before was highly accurate. Fast forward a month and Arsenal are two points behind United and three points behind Chelsea, whilst it appears that the Gunners have an easier run in than both United and Chelsea. So I lay it down to you, are Arsenal serious contenders for the title? Or will they fall at the wayside as they have done in the last few seasons?

Firstly, we at wish Aaron Ramsey a speedy recovery from his horrific leg break that he sustained at Stoke City the weekend. No fan wants to see a young starlet suffer such an injury and we hope that he is back playing his football next season. He does look a great talent and Arsenal will obviously suffer without his craft and passing range.

People have also suggested that there is similarity with the injury to Eduardo against Birmingham with the injury sustained by Ramsey, the only difference is that Arsenal managed to fight back and win the match 3-1 – where as they were left shell shocked at St Andrew’s with William Gallas summing up the Gunners feelings that day. I watched the second half on Saturday and Arsenal were clearly distraught for a good ten minutes after the injury, but went onto win the match through a Fabregas penalty and a late Vermaelen strike. So two years on from Eduardo’s horrendous injury, can this Arsenal side now recover from such a set back?

Arsenal have played both Chelsea and United home and away – losing all four games. However, in that time Arsenal have beaten Liverpool at Anfield (United lost 2-0), beaten Fulham at Craven Cottage (United lost 3-0), beaten Aston Villa at the Emirates (United lost 3-0), beaten Everton at Goodison (United lost 3-1) and drew with Burnley at Turf Moor (United lost 1-0). So in the six points that United gain over Arsenal, they have collected thirteen where we have lost. Of course they lost elsewhere, but looking at their run in – you can see them going on a run of wins, which means that our games against Liverpool, Chelsea and City are pivotal. Arsenal’s toughest game will be away to Spurs, however they have a great record there over the last couple of seasons. So where do you see them dropping points?

At the start of the season, although we lost Ronaldo to Real Madrid, I still thought that we would be stronger than Arsenal and have proved that over the two games we have played against them. They will of course argue that they deserved something out of the first game, whilst we will also say that there was no way we should have lost against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a few months later. There is no doubt that this season has been an extraordinary one with no one capitalising on the mistakes of the other. Having said that, I do believe that United will be going into the final hurdle confidently. Regardless of the fact that Nemanja Vidic could well be off in the summer, the availability of the Serbian is a massive boost to Sir Alex Ferguson, who was forced into fielding Fletcher and Carrick as make shift centre halves on multiple occasions earlier in the season. Nani is surprising everyone at Old Trafford with his recent performances, even though slightly tainted by his sending off against Villa earlier in February. United have the experience and quality to win a record fourth league Championship, however there is no doubting now that Arsenal are a major contender to that target – even if we have beaten them home and away this season.

22 Comments on Are Arsenal now a serious contender for the title?

  1. My reckoning is Arsenal will win it tho united for 2nd, no way will chelsea get more points that united or Arsenal. However united for the champions league ^^;

  2. thanks for the sporting comments mate, a fair and balanced view of the title race. as an arsenal fan its good to see us in the title race. must be honest tho i dont think its because we are stronger this season, its just that the performance of our 3 main rivals has not been to the standard of previous seasons. best of luck tho, its gonna be tight.


  3. Im an Arsenal fan, but reckon Chelsea will win with United in 2nd.

    I only say this because I dont think Arsenal will get anything from Spurs away, and might drop points against Man City at home.

  4. As a Man United fan I’d rather have Arsenal win the title then Chelsea.

    But no doubt that this will be out 4th title in a row.

  5. Have to say as a Gooner that I love reading sensible and good United blogs like yours. I’ve been here before and will return to read sound and sensible soccer bloggin from a guy who understands what soccer is all about.

  6. I am arrogant….so, Its United! championship to lose.

    chelsea wont win it. fact.

    Arsenal ‘may’ win it, if United lose it.


  7. Very few of us Gooners (AW aside) have really been convinced we could win it until now. But even allowing for our easier run in Arsenal’s major problem remains our massive injury list. We have the quality and the resolve but much may depend on how the three contenders progress in Europe because that will have a major spin-off effect on the League…could be a very interesting finish to the season. Should Rooney and Drogba get injured – then it’s ours for sure.

  8. Fair play: balanced view and comments re: Ramsey appreciated.

    I think post Stoke, our hardest 3 will be Sp*rs (a), your nearest and dearest (h) and… perhaps in light of the Stoke game… Birmingham (a).

    I would rather you won it than Chavscum (buying it) – but I say it through gritted teeth! :oP

    My guess is that it WON’T be Chavscum. We need to keep key players fit – although you would surely suffer if Rooney was out for any period.

    Time will tell… all I can say is that Sp*rs are likely to give us a harder time than they will when they play you! :p

  9. Nice post, maybe you guys ahve won too many trophies you’re taking things a bit easy and would like a bit more competition, I remeber after the ECL win at the Emirates last year a ManU fan on 606 basically saying he had hoped after the first leg that Arsenal would be a bit stronger – be careful what you wish for though (especially as ManCity could be anything next year, including very strong).
    I sort of hope the best team wins the league this year but I do think Arsenal could lose up to two more games and still be in the mix on the last day, maybe not if ManU can beat Chelsea though. Guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  10. I also meant to say to Dapxin at 7.04(?)
    Love guys who end sentrences with the word FACT
    Am I wrong or does that mean that in FACT they’re not really very sure about whether what they’re saying is true?

  11. Thank you for your very balanced and objective opinions. It is a pleasure reading such an article coming from a fan of a rival. I wish both teams every bit of luck but of course as an Arsenal fan, I hope that we can win this season

  12. Good to see a balanced blog from a United fan, and I am a Gooner. I think Chelsea will win it, Utd second, us third. We struggle to score with Van Persie.

  13. Great article. Arsenal are definitely in the title race but that doesn’t mean we’ll win it. Man u and Chelsea have won it before and have the experience. I don’t really believe we’ll win it, I don’t know why! But people are wrong to say that the rivals have thrown it away. Arsenal have been better this season. We have ten more points than at the same stage last season and have beaten the lower teams in the same way that united did last season. I sadly think Chelsea will still win it.

  14. Arsenal fan here. I think well win it in the end, even if only by an inch, because we’ve got experience.Maybe not experienced enough in winning it, but in being there and there a bouts several times before…

  15. The only thing you failed to mention was that you were totally outplayed by us at OT and had it not been for a bizarre own goal and a Rooney dive you’d have been three points behind us now.

  16. Great article.

    I think the race will go to the wire with Man U and Arsenal battling it out for first place. I think that Arsenal will win it and will be leading the table from the end of March. If Liverpool do manage to hit any sort of form and are intent on gettinjg fourth place then they could play a big part in the title destination – if they dont then they’ll finish sixth.

  17. Mike.

    Sorry mate, you must have missed this bit:

    “They will of course argue that they deserved something out of the first game, whilst we will also say that there was no way we should have lost against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge a few months later.”

    That’s football, yes you didn’t deserve to lose the game – as i’ve stated – but you didn’t play the masterclass of football that some Gooners make out. United played Arsenal off the park at the Emirates, it wasn’t that way at Old Trafford – HOWEVER – you didn’t deserve to lose the game. We were miles below par in the first half, second half picked up and won the game.

  18. Nicely balanced article. Like most level headed Arsenal supporters, I’m not convinced we’ll win the league. But the boys have done extremely well despite the Johnny Come Lately critics of Wenger. It’ll be United or God forbid, Chelsea this year.Rooney is now the complete player that Ferguson carefully created (the frightening thing is that he hasn’t reached his bloody peak yet!)Rooney IS unstoppable and will be raising his game even further to send signals for South Africa. Nani is a complete revelation this year and dare I say it Berbatov will probably raise a few eyebrows over the coming weeks DON’T underestimate him, he is genuinely WORLD class.

  19. Arsenal are a serious contender for the title on account of the easy run in they have. I would go as far as to say they should win every game.

    I must say though, sorry (well I’m not really sorry) to blow apart the general niceties here but it’s interesting to note Arsenal fans in general still pointing to their own injury list and trying to re-write history.

    Firstly, it’s due to other teams injuries that Arsenal still have a chance in the race at all. This blog is written on the back of Chelsea’s injuries and those alarming statistics about United’s defensive woes this season.

    Secondly, regarding the head to heads, there is the media-led misconception that just because we took a while to get into it at Old Trafford that Arsenal “played us off the park”. Is that the truth or is it merely that Fergie was unsure of the best system to use post Tevez/Ronaldo and United took a while to get into the swing of it? Stats of the match show we had 4 more shots.. I think we didn’t deserve to win but more down to our own failings rather than anything Arsenal did.

    Arsenal have consistently failed to deliver in a big match for a long time now when it really mattered. In the other three games (all of which Arsenal came into on the back of good runs) they weren’t just beaten they were destroyed and exposed by teams far better than themselves. That was evident; so it can be fair to say that should Arsenal go on and win the league they will be riding one almighty wave of fortune and probably be the worst/weakest champions this league has seen since Blackburn.

    Interesting though, as I said, to see all Gooners preparing “injuries” as a reason yet failing to acknowledge that that is the only reason they are back in the race, that and the kind way the fixture list has transpired. Am I surprised? Not really, because despite being nothing short of crippled with injuries nearly all season, United are reported as being weaker with no reference to the mitigating circumstances.

    Expect any Arsenal victory to be greeted with fanfare of a “victory for football”.

    And, Mike – it was a Rooney dive, really? Come on mate.

  20. No its not at all fair to say Arsenal will be the worst/weakest team to win the league…We are deservably where we are by merit and not by chance…We will win doing it the Arsenal way,where football is indeed nothing but believe,youth and pretty passing.It.’s just so easy.

3 Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. Chelsea to experience United defensive injury crisis? | Manchester United Blog | The Stretty Rant
  2. Are Arsenal now a serious contender for the title? | Manchester … | Soccer Yahoo !
  3. Arsenal title run in not so easy says Fergie | Manchester United Blog | The Stretty Rant

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