It is certainly a possibility!

With Manchester United under-achieving, Chelsea under the halfway line of the Premier League table and Manchester City under target for the season, it seems for once, that Arsene Wenger has seized the opportunity and that Arsenal could, if they are not very careful, win the Premier League title.

Usually, Arsenal are well off the pace by this stage of the season and have to rely on a very consistent second half to sneak into fourth or third place, thus qualifying for the Champion’s League every year. This time out, they are in danger of qualifying early by actually winning the league. They appear to be the only ones, along with Leicester City, despite one or two dodgy results. The rest seem to be trying their best NOT to win it.

Manchester United, having spent a fortune in the Summer, are not really anywhere near where they need to be. Out of the Champion’s League after the group stage and out of the qualifying positions for next year’s Champion’s League. This situation needs addressing sooner rather than later. Whether that be by buying during this transfer window or, as is rumoured, a change in playing style remains to be seen but something needs to happen at United and quickly.

If they can sort themselves out, they still have a chance to challenge for the title.

Manchester City will always be there or thereabouts but have been inconsistent again this season. Some of that can be put down to injuries to the likes of Silva, Aguero and Kompany, but they have to start winning regularly without these players.

It is quite ridiculous, for example, that a squad the size of City’s cannot keep clean sheets when one player is missing and it isn’t their goalkeeper! It is fine to get to the root of the calf problem which is afflicting Vincent Kompany, but they also need to learn how to defend without him.

Chelsea will improve as the season goes on. Now that Jose Mourinho has gone I expect Guus Hiddink, as the older and more experienced ringmaster, to bring some calm to the circus. The players now know where they stand, something I feel had gone missing during Mourinho’s last few months. It appeared that they either didn’t know what to do, or didn’t want to do it.

I can see Chelsea climbing the table into the top six but they have left it too late to win the title.

Of the other contenders Leicester City are probably going to be tested more than most due to their small squad. Jamie Vardy will now miss a couple of games and Leicester need to show that they aren’t completely reliant on him. Top six should not be out of their reach and, with Ranieri in charge, I would expect them to finish sixth or fifth.

Tottenham should also make the top six having been very consistent over the first half of the season. Their problem has been not winning enough games and it is that which will keep them out of the top four.

Liverpool are just too inconsistent and if they cannot solve their win-one, lose-one erratic form then they will struggle to make the top six.

My dark horse for the top four has to be West Ham United. Playing some great football, they have dealt brilliantly with their injuries and haven’t dropped many points at all. Slaven Bilic is definitely the right man in the right job there!

This all means that, by my reckoning, the top six places will be contested by eight teams. At least this should make for an exciting second half to the season.

It also leaves some clubs with nowhere to hide. There can be no more excuses from United, no more inconsistency from City and no more petulance from Chelsea. Leicester need to try and carry on regardless and Spurs need to win more. If none of this happens then Arsenal will win the title and West Ham will finish second!


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