Since a 2-1 defeat to Tottenham Hotspur in early March, Arsenal have been beaten just once in Premier League football, attaining a level of consistency and longevity in the calendar year that is fully befitting of a side challenging for top honours.
Rightly, they are currently atop the division by a weighty five points, however, still just ten games into the 2013-14 campaign, it is - according to Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen - 'too early' to label the Gunners 'contenders', let alone favourites, for this year's crown.
Since that March loss to Spurs, Arsenal have collected an astonishing 51 points from a possible 58 and, in the current semester, have beaten fellow top teams Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool, while producing a brand of football high on one-touch passing, midfield ingenuity and aesthetics.
Vertonghen's comments are sure to incite the rivalry shared between the two North London giants as the Belgium international, himself a high-end performer this season with a 90% tackle completion statistic, 40 clearances and 18 interceptions, expects bigger things from Manchester City, whom Arsenal have a six point advantage over.
'I expect a lot from City,' Vertonghen concluded when speaking to Telenet.
What do you think? Is it too early to consider Arsenal as a contender or are they more… favourites? Let us know in the comment section below…
image: © Ronnie Macdonald