Mid-season review: Arsenal are still contenders
Arsenal have made a promising start domestically and, despite struggling away from home in December – and recently against Bournemouth – should be in the mix for the title at the end of the season.
If they harbour any genuine hopes of winning the league, consistency will be key. Coming off the back of a nineteen game unbeaten streak in the first- half of the season, Arsenal have struggled for form, albeit they have shown some fight to still be in the hunt for the title. Arsenal will need a few results elsewhere to go their way, however, with players coming back from injury, a good-run could still put them in contention.
As for Europe, it will be a tall order for the North London side to progress to the quarter-finals. Previous years have proven that victory over German giants Bayern Munich will be a tough task. However, with a home fixture in the second-leg, it is not the impossible task it is often reported to be, and victory over one of the tournament’s favourites could spark a memorable run in the competition.
Player of the Year (so far): Alexis Sanchez
With 12 goals and seven assists in the league already, it would be impossible to look past Alexis Sanchez as the stand-out player so far this season. The Chilean has adapted seamlessly to playing as a no.9 and has some much-needed quality up front. Despite being deployed on the wing in recent fixtures, Arsenal’s title challenge remains very much on his shoulders, and he will look to replicate his impressive form in 2017.
Performance of the season: Arsenal 3-0 Chelsea
Our performance of the season has to be the 3-0 victory over Chelsea at the Emirates. It was one of the best defensive performance in recent years, particularly from Koscielny and Mustafi, who kept Diego Costa quiet all game. Going forward, the Gunners put on a passing masterclass, with the likes of Sanchez and Ozil forging the way in this convincing victory.
Worst game of the season: Everton 2-1 Arsenal
The worst game of the season so far was the 2-1 loss away at Everton. I was fortunate enough to attend the game, and Arsenal simply weren’t at the races from the off. After scoring, the players let their foot off the gas, and allowed Everton to grow into the game. It looked as though they may have salvaged a point at the end, but several near-misses in the closing stages epitomised the performance.
Predicted finish: Not ruling anything out
As much as I believe we can win the league, I can’t look beyond Chelsea at the moment. Progress in Europe, furthermore – albeit unlikely – could equally prove an unwelcome distraction. Even if those around us drop points, it will take an impressive run to win silverware at the end of the season. Nevertheless, this feels like our best squad for a number of years, so anything is possible!