At the beginning of the season, the bookies had touted Arsenal as one of the title favorites for the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League season. However, the 0-2 home loss to West Ham at the Emirates in the team’s first game of the season quickly dashed these hopes. The loss highlighted the Achilles Heel that has characterized Arsenal in the past decade i.e. poor defending and the players’ failure to turn up when there is a glimmer of hope.
However, the team has managed to turn the season around and showed glimpse of potential BPL champions. Arsenal has shown good performances against some top teams such as Bayern, Man United, and Man City despite losing to “lesser” teams like Dinamo Zagreb and West Bromwich Albion. The team’s persistent injury problems have also come to the fore with some of its major players in the treatment table for a long period of time. Some of these players include Santi Carzola, Francis Coquelin, Danny Welbeck, Jack Wilshere, Alexis Sanchez, and Tomas Rosicky.
One of the major positives for Arsenal this season is the players’ response to these injuries through improved performances. The impressive performances of Mesut Ozil, the club’s player of the season so far, Joel Campbell, Lauren Koscielny, Nacho Monreal, Petr Cech, and Hector Bellerin among others have complemented the long-term injuries of key players. On the other hand, Oxlade-Chamberlain’s performances have been worrying given that he failed to register an assist or score a Premier League goal in 2015.
Could this be Arsenal’s season? For many of the team’s fans, the answer is yes while for others it’s too early to predict. Notably, Arsenal have been here before. They are the only team in the past six seasons that has topped the table on New Year’s Day but failed to win the league. The Gunners were table toppers on January 1st, 2014 but finished fourth in the 2013/14 Premier League season, which was clinched by Manchester City. On the other hand, it’s not all gloom for the team since the last two times they won the title, they were second on the table on Christmas Day as it was this season. Will it be a case of good or bad omen for Arsenal?
For some people, if Arsenal win the league, it will be down to the dismal performances of its major title rivals. Chelsea, the defending champions, are far away and seemingly in a relegation battle. Man United are having a topsy turvy season. Man City have a poor away record. Leicester City may not have the consistency to the end. Liverpool are still rebuilding.
Arsenal needs a combination of both good performances and good luck. Will Arsenal win the league? The answer is; they need a mixture of good performances (consistency in generating positive results) and good luck (poor performance of title rivals as well as good omen).