Monday, July 23, 2007

That Scheming Arsene Wenger Has Got Me Worried (Slightly)

Wenger Crouching and Scheming

It's easy to say that, in the wake of Thierry Henry's departure to Barcelona and the arrival of unproven Croatian league starlet Eduardo da Silva, Arsenal will be the weakest of the big 4 and may even finish 5th behind big spending North London rivals Tottenham. It's a bit bolder to say that Arsenal will not only finish higher than Tottenham, but higher than Liverpool, too. Even bolder to predict a 3 horse race this year for the title between United, Chelsea, and Arsenal and distinct possibility that they could nip the league. Well, that's what I'm doing (-pumps out chest-).

Let's not forget that just last season the "experts" were tipping United to finish 3rd or even 4th and predicting Liverpool and then-defending champs Chelsea for the title. Then this happened.

Chelsea also won their first title in 50 years the season after Arsenal went unbeaten and seemed invincible until we did this. Sure they had millions upon millions pumped into the squad, but I'm just pointing out there seems to be a theme of teams defying the pre-season predictions in recent years.

Now for my actual reasons why I think Arsenal will pose a serious threat to take the title from Old Trafford:
1. Henry leaving means the greatest goalscorer to ever play in the Premiership leaving (yeah, I said it). But Henry leaving also means a whole lot of whining and distractions and prima donna behavior leaving, too. Arsenal had the best record last year against the top 4 teams, beating United twice including once at Old Trafford without Thierry Henry. It's important to note that young Cesc Fabregas set-up Adebayor for the winner with a lovely through-ball.

2. That brings me to my next reason, Cesc Fabregas. Much like how Ronaldo and Rooney rose to the occasion and carried United to victory after van Nistelrooy was sold, I think this is the year that the young Gunners break out from the shadow of Henry and start beating down on teams, led by Cesc. Specifically the lesser teams that they had the most trouble beating last season. Look for the likes of Nicklas Bendtner, Theo Walcott, Van Persie and Denilson to have great seasons, too. Also, goalkeeper Fabianski is a bit under the radar but he could be a given a chance and replace the error-prone Jens Lehmann.

That being said it's not like United or Chelsea have lost a step this off-season and both have only gotten stronger. Too close to call for a concrete prediction (cop-out, I know) but I will say it will be a very close 3 horse race for the title (sorry, Scousers, I'm just not buying the hype).

1 comment:

Ryan said...

Since there is no email, I figuered I would just post this here.

Hey, I'm Ryan, another football blogger like yourself who blogs over at letsgobuffalo.wordpress.com and writes weekly stuff for www.bfloblog.com .

Anyways, thats really not why I'm writing today. I love to blog about football, but was really thinking. There are so many football blogs in America that are done only by one person, sometimes two. I was putting together an idea the other day to hopefully get a few football writers together and open up a football site, something like http://meltyourfaceoff.wordpress.com/. A bunch of Deadspinners came together and started doing hockey stuff. I know some do it for american football (Kissing Suzy Kolber) but no one really does it for football. There is Who Ate All The Pies and The Offside, but still, I think if a bunch of knowledgeable football bloggers came together, it could be really something distinct here. Not to mention you wouldn't have to do all the posting yourself, which can be a bit hectic sometimes when actual life comes calling.

What I was envisioning were people writing about specific teams, but also about leagues as well. I have lived in Spain so I follow La Liga pretty religiously, and read a bunch of the Spanish papers daily. I'm a Liverpool fan, but it would be cool to get someone else who might be an Everton fan to chime in once in a while to let us know whats going on with Everton, ya know what I mean? 4 people would be better than one in my opinion...

Well, let me know if you were interested in something like this, I know it's pretty out of the blue, but I think it would be a quality idea. I'm trying to send out some emails to see interest and we'll go from there. If you aren't interested, no problem, just seeing whats out there!

Get back to me at rjknapp19@gmail.com

Cheers.