Seven games into the new Premier League season and Arsenal find themselves in seventh some seven points adrift of leaders Chelsea.
Sticking on the seven theme, Tomas Rosicky, Arsenal’s number seven, is set to return to action in the next few weeks to hand Arsene Wenger a timely boost, meaning optimism is high among fans.
The departure of Robin van Persie and Alex Song has not triggered the slump in fortunes that many predicted on the eve of the new campaign – not yet at least – yet the Gunners are still being viewed as outsiders for the title.
The bookmakers certainly don’t seem to rate Arsenal’s chances of ending their eight-year title drought as we’re priced as fourth favourites at 12/1 with Ladbrokes sport.
So can Wenger’s men really upset the bookies and the pundits who continually seem to write us off? Here we look at both sides of the argument.
This is Arsenal’s year
Wenger may not be universally liked by all Emirates regulars, but few can deny that his summer signings in the form of Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski have hit the ground running.
Podolski has shown flashed of brilliance in front of goal and has already netted four times in nine appearances.
If the Germany international can reach double figures before Christmas – and with games against the likes of QPR and Reading looming there’s no reason why he shouldn’t add to his tally – then Arsenal could be well placed to push Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City all the way for the title.
Cazorla also looks a great bit of business – as his match-winning performance at West Ham proved. The likes of Cazorla and Podolski have made an impressive impact and there looks to be belief in the players. Wenger seems to have belief as well. And belief breeds a winning mentality.
Will Arsenal be celebrating a title triumph on May 19? It’s not improbable.
The wait will go on
Progress is a buzzword at the Emirates at present.
But while the Gunners seem to be progressing and evolving as a team, so too are the other big clubs in the Premier League – and that renders Arsenal’s title push doomed to failure.
The strength in depth at Stamford Bridge and Eastlands is simply frightening in comparison to the Arsenal squad, especially when you look at attacking options.
United may look fragile defensively, but they’ve still got a handful of decent strikers. Wenger needs at least one other striker – and he needs one capable of scoring somewhere in the region of 20 goals a season.
Until then Arsenal’s wait for title glory will continue.