Arsenal's Conundrum

The past 365 days of footballing action for Arsenal FC can be termed as one of the finest for the club in recent times. The Gunners clinched the 2014/15 F.A cup trophy to make it a second consecutive win of the world’s oldest club competition, are presently top of the BPL table and still competing in two other major tournaments halfway into the 2015/16 season. It’s little wonder that they are being touted as favorites to clinch the trophy this season considering the fact that they seem to be the only team among the popularly acclaimed BPL’s top-four that has shown some level of consistency in the total number of games played so far this season.

This success for the team has severally been credited to the gradual growth in mental strength, psychology and general team belief by the manager who also believes that the exceptional and consistent performances displayed by some of his recent recruits (specifically Cech, Ozil and Sanchez) has seen to this development.

Nonetheless, several football pundits have admitted that the Gunners stand a once-in-a-longtime opportunity to snatch the highly coveted title. This they say would only be achievable if they can get the much needed wins against the BPL’s top tier teams. But having a different opinion I am forced to pose a question: Are the so-called big wins really going to be the required pedestal for Arsenal winning the league title this season?

An in-depth look into Arsenal’s performances in all competitions this season clearly provides an answer to that question. Our opening league game against a presupposed less-stronger West Ham side was quite the shocker as the team experienced an unprecedented 2-nil defeat at home. It was one hell of a horrific performance from the Gunners and unfortunately it didn’t just end there. Few weeks later we lost to a Dinamo Zagreb side that was also initially perceived as the worst team in our champions league group and eventually ended so.

Similar performances trailed the Gunners’ subsequent run of games as they also lost to Olympiakos, Sheffield Wednesday, Chelsea, Bayern, Westbrom and Southampton. From the results of these games, there is an obvious indication that majority of the losses recorded so far this season by Arsenal have been against the relatively smaller and the far-smaller sides (Sheffield Wednesday).

The major cause for this has been complacency on the part of the team and I say this because besides the game against Bayern at Munich, the team has shown great potency and resilience against the comparatively bigger teams. So I wouldn’t be totally out of place to say that the smaller teams should equally be a major concern for the gunners since the so-called big teams do not seem very big at the moment. However, this is in no way trying to belittle the big games, rather to emphasize the relative importance of the smaller ones.

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