Arsenal had a shaky start to the 2010-11 Premiership season with the defeat at home to West Brom having the Arsenal fans worrying if it was going to be another one of those seasons. Many have already written off Arsenal as real title contenders with many seeing Chelsea, Man Utd and now Man City as the three teams that will be slugging it out come the end of the season. However none of the other three are without their weak spots, so can Arsenal take advantage of this and lift the league trophy?
Chelsea have looked in great form so far this season scoring a huge number of goals, however the squad is considerably weaker than last seasons so the question marks remain if they can last the full season with their current squad. A number of the Chelsea players, including Frank Lampard and Yossi Benayoun, are already on the treatment table and with some key players like Ricardo Carvalho having failed to be replaced in the summer injuries could be what derails Chelsea's title defence.
Arsenal of course could sympathise with Chelsea with injuries affecting them potentially more than any other club in recent years. However the Arsenal team now looks to have more depth. The signing of Koscielny and Squillaci has given the Gunners much needed cover in defence and with the advancements that young players like Jack Wilshere, who has been one of the star performers in Arsenal shirts this season, has made means there is now more depth in midfield . The signing of Chamakh has also given Arsenal an option they didn't have last year and gives them a more physical presence in the box.
Man Utd's problems are well documented at the moment, not only have they been unable to hold onto leads but their top striker has also declared he wants to leave the club. This type of news can only unsettle the players around him and with Man Utd already looking more vulnerable than we have seen them for many seasons this could be what ends Uniteds title challenge this season, especially if Wayne Rooney is indeed coming to the end of his days in Manchester United shirts.
This season Arsenal seem to have much more unity about them and they have managed to scrape out victories in games that you could have seen them dropping points in. Also with Fabregas having been injured for a large part of the start of the season other players like Wilshere have stepped up to stake their claim for a starting spot, and to show the Arsenal fans the future of the Arsenal midfield if Fabregas eventually gets his move to Barcelona.
Man City probably have the most talent packed squad with the main criticism of them at the moment seeming to be the inability to score goals. City sit second in the league at the moment so it is hard to criticise them too much but they have dropped points in games you thought they would have won, but then again so has Arsenal. City's main concern this season is going to be keeping all their very expensive players happy with many having to sit on the sidelines and watch.
The pressure on Arsenal has been removed to a certain extent at the moment, many already see them as out of the running for the title. However Arsenal may just have enough to surprise everyone and win the title if, and it is a big if, they can keep their players fit. Too often Arsenal have fallen short for this reason but with a larger and more talented squad this year the club could mount a serious challenge and take advantage of the weaknesses the other top teams have.
Written by Colin Hill, a sports blogger who writes about new soccer jerseys.