Charlie Webster - Time for Arsenal to prove their title credentials
Published: 01 Oct 2010 - 10:16:52
The recent Chelsea onus floating in the Premier League has been common throughout. They are are incredibly strong and they've been in unstoppable form but they have had a slightly soft introduction to the start of the season and their real test comes in the next few weeks.
This was all before they lost to Newcastle and then Manchester City last weekend, and this is exactly what I was talking to Petr Cech about two days before that game for BBC Football Focus.
I was also giving him a bit of friendly stick about whether he would still keep so many clean sheets and be labelled as the No 1 goalkeeper in the Premier League if he wasn't at Chelsea and if he didn't sit behind a defence consisting of the best players in the world!
Fast forward to this weekend and Chelsea's game against rivals Arsenal on Sunday. The Gunners were also flying high until their unbeaten league record was ruined rather surprisingly last weekend by West Bromwich Albion.
It now begs the question - is this the form game of the season so far, or not?
Arsenal will not be able to outmuscle Chelsea like Manchester City did. Despite having Samir Nasri's lethal touch on the attack, at the other end their defensive problems could again be brought to attention.
Cech's opposing man will not be the injured Manuel Almunia but Lukasz Fabianski, who, despite impressing in the Champions League midweek, has earned the nickname 'Flappyhandski'! A slightly unfair tag perhaps, but every Arsenal fan I've spoken to has little confidence in the Polish stopper and I imagine Chelsea will have been looking at the Gunners' goalkeeping conundrum with a smile.
It's a question I broached with Cech during our interview; do you need a great goalkeeper to win games or even to win the league? The Czech keeper did make quite a few mistakes himself in the first half of last season, but Chelsea got away with it because they were knocking the goals in left, right and centre.
At the end of the day (and sorry to use a football cliché), I think it's all about whichever team gets all the factors right and has a little bit of luck on the injury front. At the moment, despite Arsenal having improved their strength in depth, they have unfortunately already been unlucky on the injury front. And looking at the stats, the Gunners have won only twice against Chelsea in their last 17 games!
Both Petr Cech and Sir Alex Ferguson have said that there are only two teams that are really fighting for the Premier League title this season; you guessed it, Manchester United and Chelsea.
Before I say this, I want you to know I'm a neutral in the Premier League, my lifelong support for my home team lies in the Championship, but I hope that Cech and Fergie are wrong. I would love to see another side take the title other than Chelsea and United. I believe Arsenal can be that side. Okay I'll apologise now...
So as I put my opinion on the Premier League title, I thought I'd best introduce you to who I support.
It all started in my home town at the age of FOUR, sitting in the stands of Bramall Lane eating fish and chip crisps and slurping a cup of boiling Bovril, taking in every swear word I could and trying to remember the lines of 'the greasy chip buttie' chant.
Since that moment I've never looked back, through many lows and a few ups, I've supported Sheffield United.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:Charlie Webster
- Charlie Webster is one of the brightest young female sports presenters around. Charlie currently reports for BBC’s Football Focus and is an established presenter for Sky Sports. Prior to this she presented live Premiership football for ESPN in Asia, and was the face of Real Madrid TV, interviewing the likes of Zidane, Beckham and Casillas. Charlie’s love for sport has taken her all across the world. She ran her first marathon in Singapore in 2006, and since then has competed in five more, raising thousands of pounds for good causes including the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research and Women’s Aid UK. A fanatical Sheffield United fan, Charlie’s blog will present an insight into football that is rarely explored; from a woman’s perspective! She will be giving her expert opinion on the Premier League, covering all topics on and off the pitch. Follow Charlie on Twitter @CharlieCW.
You can visit Charlie's website at: www.charliewebster.com
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