The Gunners have this year been the shock candidates for the Premier league crown, surprising all critics with brilliant league performances from players that have been mediocre over the past few seasons.
Their title surprise title ambitions were boosted on the last day of the transfer window when Arsene Wenger made the jaw dropping purchase of Mesut Ozil.
But last weekend we seen Arsenal’s worst performance to date with a shocking all around performance against Liverpool at Anfield. With very bad performances from players who have performed quite well this season, the Gunners where one the receiving end of a 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Reds. Is this the point in the season when the Gunners can be wrote off as no longer in this season’s title race, or will it prove a wake up call for some players?
Firstly I need to state that I do not believe Arsenal have a chance of winning this season’s Premier League. The reason why I make this seemingly rash call is not because of last weekend’s loss but because of other issues that lie elsewhere.
Over the past few months Arsenal have been plagued by injuries which have stopped them from performing at there highest level. With key players out for long periods of time (see Theo Walcott and mid-field maestro Aaron Ramsey) Arsenal’s performances have been unsurprisingly lacking over the past few weeks.
Sticking with the topic of injuries what happens if Arsenal’s only real goal scoring threat Olivier Giroud picks up a knock and is sidelined for a number of games, they could be in major trouble.
Is this where Wenger made what could be a fatal error for the club in not purchasing a back-up striker? Many fans where left frustrated when Wenger refused to bring in any form of attacking support for his lone French forward and when the boss made the deadline day signing of Kim Kallstrom it only added insult to injury.
The real test of the Gunners mentality though will come this month, as they are pushed to their limits with some vitally important matches including a Champions League clash with reigning European champions Bayern Munich, an important league fixture with Manchester United and a rematch in the FA Cup with the team that thrashed Arsenal this weekend; Liverpool.
If Wenger’s charges were ever to prove they can turn the season in their favour now would definitely be the time to do it.
For these are the times when real winners are made. If Arsenal are to beat the odds and win these games they will definitely prove to every football team and fan in the Premier League that they mean business. With the likes of Chelsea and Liverpool upping there game Arsenal must follow suit. They must not let injuries halt their title pursuit and players in the background must improve in important games to cover the injuries that the club have been dealt.