The answer seems to be different for different sets of Gooners. While some of them are busy shouting “Wenger Out” and some special ones are busy shouting “Flamini Out”, the answer to the above mentioned question is one which is really worth thinking about. With 9 more matches to go, Arsenal presently lie 3rd in the table, 8 points off from the leaders Leicester City. In my opinion they cannot go ahead and win the league from here. There are a few factors based on which I predict that they no longer have a strong chance to go ahead and grab the title this year. Let us look at them.
Arsenal are yet to play West Brom, Watford, Crystal Palace, Norwich and Aston Villa at home. Away from the Emirates they still have Everton, West Ham, Sunderland and Manchester City. Given their potential it is safe to assume that Arsenal can win all of the remaining matches. Yes Everton, West Ham and Manchester City are big challenges. Everton have lost seven times at home this season. Losses included a 0-3 loss to Manchester United, a 0-2 loss to Manchester City, 2-3 loss to Leicester City and a few more. Getting three points at the Goodison Park seems a good possibility. But Roberto Martinez always has a few tricks up his sleeve. Tricks which came out well in a 3-1 win over Chelsea and in a 6-2 win over Sunderland. So you may never know if he pulls one off against Arsenal.
Manchester City has lost 4 times at home this season and that too to teams like West Ham, Liverpool, Leicester and Tottenham. With Manchester City also trying their best to win the title, it’s going to be very hard to get any points at Etihad. West Ham have lost only twice at home this season and one of them was a 1-2 loss to Leicester and the other a 3-4 loss to Bournemouth. Bilic will make sure that Arsenal doesn’t get any points at Upton Park. Given the situation Arsenal are in, even a single point lost might cause Arsenal the title and even though it’s possible I personally don’t feel that Arsenal can get all the points from here. And that’s going to cost them.
Show of Character but a bit too late
In the last match there was a show of character at last from Arsenal, but probably too little and too late to save their title chances, but at least it might be enough to prevent the Premier League trophy going to Tottenham. But the blow they have suffered especially in the last three matches is something that might have already cost them the league. The determination they showed in the last match is exactly what they were missing in the Manchester United match, not to mention in the Swansea match. Even one point each from those games would have made a world of difference to Arsenal’s title hopes and might have even led them to win the North London derby.
But Arsenal definitely didn’t come all guns blazing when they needed it the most in those two games. Same might be the case in the upcoming away matches against the likes of West Ham and Manchester City. God only knows if they have planned a surprise for the fans for the home games too, just like they did in the Swansea game. A Gooner can only hope that the late character they showed in the derby even after a red card is the one that they carry into the remainder of the season.
Even though most of the team is back from injury, many important players are still missing. The following is the injury update for the players.
Peter Cech – two-three weeks,
Jack Wilshere – three-four weeks,
Laurent Koscielny – one-two weeks,
Santi Cazorla – indefinite period,
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain – six to eight weeks
Thomas Rosicky – two-three months.
Arsenal are still in the Champions League and FA cup. The fixtures are not getting any less hectic and it’s almost the end of the season. Fatigue is stepping in and Gooners can only hope that there are no fresh injuries. With just 9 matches away, it’s important to have all your players in your squad. Also given the track of last few seasons it was always injuries post January that cost them the league, especially in the last two seasons.