Can Arsenal Win the Champions League

After being knocked out of the Capital One Cup by Chelsea in midweek, Arsenal's chances of a trophy this season have been slimmed down to three competitions: the Premier League, the FA Cup, and the UEFA Champions League. While some believe that Arsene Wenger should have played a full strength side against Chelsea, and tried to win a trophy as soon as possible, others believe that there are more prestigious prizes up for grabs. But are Arsenal serious contenders for the Champions League? Has the solitary, but important, capture of Mesut Ozil taken them from pretenders to contenders? The short answer is, no.

Arsenal may not make it all the way, but you can ensure that you have tickets to see final match of this season's UEFA Champions League. If last year's intense final is anything to go on, we will be in for a cracking finale in May.

Arsenal fans might be excited by their start to the season, including the excellent win over Napoli at the Emirates Stadium. However, they need to realize that this is a team that has failed almost all of its major tests this season. While victory was achieved over Tottenham, that was a "backs to the wall, parking the bus" victory, where Tottenham dominated both in possession and in chances. Two other tests were seen, and both failed. Borussia Dortmund left the Emirates with all three points, and Chelsea cruised past Arsenal in the COC in midweek.

This is a Gunners team that will have few problems swatting aside inferior opposition. Mesut Ozil, Aaron Ramsey, Olivier Giroud, and Theo Walcott combine to form a very powerful attack, and few teams can hold them back. However, against sides of equal quality, Arsenal will struggle. There are two reasons for this. Firstly, Arsenal do not have the squad depth that other teams possess. Their bench is weak and flimsy, even when all players are fit. Secondly, Arsenal have been big game chokers for the past eight years. They have lost almost every major game they have played over these years, and lost out on many titles as a result. 

Mesut Ozil adds a lot of quality to this side, but it is foolish to think that he will make the difference between being big game chokers and big game winners. He cannot wave a magic wand over all of Arsenal's players and give them added intensity and character in crucial moments. A great footballer he is, but a magician he is not. When Arsenal face their sternest tests in the coming six or seven months, there is no doubt that they will fail most of them. Yes, there may be some excellent wins, and some teams will get battered. However, when the going gets tough, Arsenal inevitably disappear. That is why the COC was such an important trophy, and a missed opportunity.

Arsene Wenger, and Arsenal fans, may think of the Capital One Cup as a minor trophy, and as something that should not be aspired to. Yes, there are more "important" competitions still to be won. However, no trophy in eight years is a LONG drought, and every team must start somewhere. In fact, the all conquering Manchester United side of Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo got their first taste of silverware through the Carling Cup. It was only the League Cup, but it was the trophy that helped transform an underachieving side into serial winners.

Arsenal could have done the same thing with this year's Capital One Cup. Yes, they did not sign Mesut Ozil for 40 million pounds just to win the Capital One Cup, but it would have been a great starting point. The COC final takes place at the turn of the year, and Arsenal could have grabbed the first major silverware on offer this season. Not only would it have ended their trophy doubt, but it would have given them greater confidence for the rest of the season.

Despite their COC failure, there are still plenty of exciting games coming up for Arsenal,. You can look for football tickets on Ticketbis, and take the opportunity to see the team live at the Emirate Stadium.

Can Arsenal win the Champions League? No. Their defense is still porous, their goalkeeper a liability, and they do not have the strength of character to stand up to the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Barcelona. When they come up against a better side, they will get played off the park. Ozil will bridge the gap a bit, but he will not be enough. After all, he could not win the Champions League at Real Madrid when he had Cristiano Ronaldo as a teammate.

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