Arsenal seems to like the title more

JOHANNESBURG - I thought of touching on the standard of football at the ongoing Chan tournament that is currently taking place here in Mzansi on this platform but events taking place in the English Premiership and the way Arsenal continue to confound critics has forced me change tact.

Arsene Wenger’s Gunners top the log standings with 48 points from 21 games with Manchester City, Chelsea and Liverpool are close behind on 47, 46 and 42 points respectively from the same number of games.

This scenario was inconceivable on the first day of the season when Arsenal were booed off the pitch by their own supporters after losing 3-1 to Aston Villa.

But since then, the majestic Gunners have chalked one victory after the other, faltering here and there but looking really full value of their slender lead at the top.

They might not be doing it in a devastating manner like the way the likes of Manchester City demolish opponents but any win carries three valuable points.

A lot of critics have doubted Arsenal’s staying power but after 21 games, they seat pretty well at the summit of the standings while the rest follow.

Personally, I think if they go all the way and claim their first league title in more than a decade that will be something special especially with a squad comprising mostly of nonentities.

It must however, be emphasised that the stingy Wenger do the most palpable thing and buy a few additionals during this January transfer window.

The flamboyant London side is definitely thin on many fronts and this is evidenced whenever they have an injury to a key player; recently that of striker Theo Wilcott.

Wenger needs a top notch striker and maybe another centre-half just to beef up the defence.

But the Frenchman being stubborn he is, will unlikely heed the choruses from the Gunners’ supporters to go into the market.

His philosophy has always been that he will only buy a player who will make a difference to the current squad. And if there is no such material on the market, will do with what he has at the moment.

With 17 games still to be played until the end of the season, it might be premature for Arsenal fans to start popping the champagne. History has shown that at one time or the other, the club enters a shocking slump allowing the chasing pack to overtake them.

I honestly hope this does not happen this year. It will be good for the game, English soccer and football followers in general for a team which was considered a rank outsider to do the unthinkable.

We are sick and tired of seeing the Manchester clubs dominating the game. It is just not good for the sport because competition breeds competitiveness.

For now Arsenal looks on track and seems to want the title more than any other club. Whether they can maintain the momentum waits to be seen.

But from what has happened so far this season, it will take a naive football fan to discount the London side’s growing credentials.

Feedback: sports@dailynews.co.zw.

Comments (1)

gunners,gunners,gunners,just 17 games to go for my BP please

edmos shumba - 24 January 2014

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