Arsene Wenger is an old-school manager yet the Frenchman has adapted to the modern game with relative ease during his time in charge of Arsenal.
The Gunners are currently joint-top of the Premier League table and are genuine title contenders, despite a slow start to the campaign. While Wenger has had his critics, he is easily the best manager in England’s top flight and will be the key difference in the title race this season.
After the “Invincibles” won the league in 2004, Arsenal have struggled to make a major impact in England. In fact, 10 years passed before the Gunners won their next trophy and Wenger led his side to back-to-back FA Cup triumphs.
Last season, they showed plenty of improvement and their efforts at the tail end of the campaign suggested that they could challenge for the title this season. After 11 league games, the Gunners are playing some exceptional football and could win the title if they maintain this level of form.
In the summer, Wenger received plenty of criticism for his decision not to sign another world-class striker. The Frenchman kept faith in both Theo Walcott and Olivier Giroud, and that decision is starting to bear fruit.
Both players are in form and, although Walcott picked up a knock in Arsenal’s Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday, Wenger has a ‘nice’ selection headache. For the time being, Giroud will lead the line and could make the starting slot his own if he continues to perform well in Walcott’s absence.
The Gunners won’t give up without a fight and they could actually profit from an early exit in the Champions League. This would allow them additional time to prepare for upcoming matches and they will benefit from a less congested set of fixtures.
After Arsenal’s opening day defeat to West Ham United, many had dismissed them this year and ruled them out of the title race. Whether people were being genuine or not, they didn’t exactly inspire confidence.
However, they are the real deal. Wenger is an immense manager and his tactical nous and knowledge of the Premier League will stand them in good stead at the business end of the campaign.