Aitor Karanka’s Middlesbrough side managed to halt Arsene Wenger’s stupendous winning run with a gritty performance at the Emirates last weekend. However, with 20 points on board after 9 games, the Gunners are currently at the top of the table, level on points with Manchester City and Liverpool, two teams that are genuine title contenders. With 29 games still to play, the Arsenal manager spoke about his team’s title chances and believed that he has all the tools required to go all the way this season. Speaking to the media in the Annual General Meeting of the club, Wenger said, “The champion will have 82-86 points. Every game is a fight in this league.” But do Arsenal have what it takes to end with 86 points in the league this season?
The London outfit finished with 72 points in the previous season, finishing behind Leicester City in the second place, 10 points away from the Champions. It was a season of a similar story for the Gunners who made a decent start to the season only to be caught out by injuries to key players in the second half of the campaign. Though they put in a decent run at the end of the season, it was too little too late as they were left behind come the end of the season. With the amount of competition in the league this season, Arsenal will need a stronger and healthier squad this season and it is quite fair to say that they are genuine title contenders this campaign.
Though not stellar signings, Wenger managed to add a solid defender to his side in Shkodran Mustafi while also managing to provide a bit of dynamism to his attack in Lucas Perez. The former has settled into the squad already, making the team stronger at the back but the latter is yet to provide the kind of performance the manager expected of him. But the biggest addition was the early signing of midfielder Granit Xhaka, who solved the midfield problems that the club has been carrying for a couple of years now. These additions, in one way or the other, has added a fuel to the sizzling form of Mesut Ozil, who got his first hat trick earlier this season, Alexis Sanchez, who is now thriving in a striker’s position and Theo Walcott, who looks reborn, make the Gunners a strong outfit this season.
The 20 years of experience at a club like Arsenal can literally be paid off this season and there is no doubt that his experience will make a difference when it comes to crunch time in the Premier League filled with managers making their debut this season. He will want his front three to keep up their good work and will hope that the rest of the squad can step up when needed to help his side run away with the title. They are currently just 66 points away from the title, at least according to Wenger, and that is 22 victories from 29 games left in the season. Half of their games are at home, and this should give Wenger around 30 points leaving just another 36 points to be won from 15 games. Though not easy, it is something that this Arsenal squad can do and Wenger will believe the same.
Do you think Arsenal have what it takes to end up with 86 points and the Premier League title this season?