“If you leave the smallest corner of your head vacant for a moment, other people's opinions will rush in from all quarters.” – George Bernard Shaw
The sentiment above has never been more accurate especially when it comes to news, journalism and the never –ending debates that rage abound football stadiums and over post-match pints at the local pub.
You see the thing with opinions, is that everybody has one, and its these opinions that allow healthy discussion and an increased level of learning, no matter if you agree with them or not.
At the weekend I heard the following quote: “Arsenal cannot win the league this season, no way, they haven’t proved anything yet.”
Now if I told you that was a comment picked up in passing by a friend or a total stranger, then it is possible to brush off as just another viewpoint, you can take it or leave it and indeed it is just a throwaway comment.
The interesting thing however is that it was made by Premier League legend and all-time leading goalscorer Alan Shearer, so there is some weight to it.
So let’s look at it?
Can Arsenal Win the title? Yes. Will they?
I genuinely don’t know, but they’ll take some beating if recent performances are anything to go by.
For Arsenal fans around the world the Premier League table makes for happy reading, the opening day loss to Aston Villa is but a distant memory and 25 points from a possible 27 since that day, means that the Gunners sit above all others, but is Shearer right, have they flattered themselves?
The point that the former England man made was that he felt the Gunners were playing good football but they had not faced any of the big three, Manchester United, Manchester City or Chelsea.
This may be true, but as we stand, Arsene Wenger’s side have beaten Sunderland, Fulham, Swansea and Crystal Palace away from home as well as getting a point from their trip to West Brom, they have also landed all three points at the Emirates against Stoke, Norwich, local rivals Tottenham and an in-form Liverpool side last Saturday.
All told, I think that the majority of these results have gone the way most people would have envisaged, so where does this first ‘real’ challenge come from?
Well if Shearer is right then it will come on Sunday when they head to Old Trafford to face David Moyes and his United team, in what I think is their biggest game of the season, win it, and it will be a changing of the guard almost, with the North London side opening up an 11 point lead over last season’s champions, a loss however will mean that the Red Devils have shrugged off a poor start and will be within five points of the Gunners after a far more difficult set of fixtures.
They say in football that ten games is enough to build an impression of where the season is heading and in the case of Arsenal it looks pretty rosy to be honest, Mesut Ozil has been integral to the movement of the Gunners and with him they look like the side with last won trophies eight long years ago.
Aaron Ramsey has been in fine form, scoring and creating goal and with Olivier Giroud notching eight league goals so far things are looking up after several difficult seasons, another key area for the non-believers to look at is the argument that Arsenal lack depth, with Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to come back, that is one opinion that can be rubbished.
Arsenal fans, what do you think, can the Gunners win the Premier league this year or is it too early to talk of it?
image: © Ronnie Macdonald