Arsenal FINALLY get MOTD recognition as title favourites - from whom?

Gunners can win the Premier League title according to one of the men on the BBC sofa, so who now ranks Arsenal up there with Chelsea and Manchester City?

For the past month, despite being in the best position at the top of the Premier League, the pundits on BBCs flagship football show Match of the Day have knocked Arsenal's title chances for a variety of reasons.

Former Liverpool trophy magnet Alan Hansen, a three-time European Cup winner, completely dismissed Arsenal's chances over a month ago: 'They're not the best without the ball, they can't win the title, I just can't see it.'

A week later, Newcastle United goal-scoring legend Alan Shearer maintained his initial verdict: 'I'll stick with no. Until they play City, United [Arsenal went on to lose 1-0 at Old Trafford] or Chelsea then I'll still say no.'

After the slip-up in the North-West, UEFA Cup winner Danny Murphy used the United loss as vindication for the collective pundits shoulder shrugs over the Gunners' position: 'They lost at Man United, they haven't played City or Chelsea yet so that's the real test and why there's a lack of conviction that they're going to win the title.'

Arsenal, though, continue to show consistency, have banked 11 victories already and are still four points clear over second-placed Chelsea.

They also have some of the most on-form footballers in the division as Aaron Ramsey, if he maintains the quality of his current performances, will become the most effective box-to-box midfielder in the country, Mesut Ozil is the top assist-provider and Wojciech Szczesny is, statistically-speaking, the best shot-stopper in England.

Finally, after three successive domestic triumphs after the United defeat, a Match of the Day commentator has claimed they may well be the goods, as guest Robbie Fowler said: 'Can they win it? I think they can!'

image: © Ronnie Macdonal

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