Arsenal fan fear sets in as title fantasy becomes tantalising reality

·2-min read
 (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
(Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Arsenal are flying high at the top of the Premier League and eight points clear with just 10 games to go.

A first title since 2004 is within reach for the Gunners and their fans are daring to dream about achieving what seemed a fantasy last summer.

It could turn out to be a historic season for the club.

Standard Sport assesses the state of Arsenal ahead of the final 10 games of the campaign.

Prospects for the rest of season in one word


Verdict so far compared to pre-season expectations

Arsenal have massively exceeded expectations so far during an incredible season. At the start of the campaign, qualifying for the Champions League was the aim. That has now shifted following their fine form and they are eyeing the title.

Players have exceeded expectations individually, too. William Saliba has looked at home during his first season in England. Oleksandr Zinchenko has transformed the way Arsenal play, despite being a left-back.

How is the manager doing

Brilliantly. Mikel Arteta has helped Arsenal punch well above their weight this season and he deserves plenty of credit.

Tactically, the team has evolved from last season, thanks largely to the signing of Zinchenko. There have been tweaks higher up the pitch too, with Granit Xhaka’s more advanced role paying dividends early on in the season.

Arteta has managed to cope without star striker Gabriel Jesus for three months by utilising the talents of Eddie Nketiah and then Leandro Trossard.

Champions elect? Mikel Arteta has worked wonders to turn Arsenal into title contenders (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Champions elect? Mikel Arteta has worked wonders to turn Arsenal into title contenders (Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Reason to be cheerful

Jesus is back fit after three months out with a knee injury. His experience during the run-in could be vital.

Reason to be fearful

Arsenal still have to go to Anfield, the Etihad Stadium and St James’ Park this season.

Fans’ mood

Optimistic, but fearful. In the first half of the season, Arsenal fans were simply enjoying the ride as they revelled in their unsuspected success. Now, though, the prospect of winning the title has become very real.

The Gunners’ destiny is in their own hands and that is exciting, but also daunting. Arsenal may not get this good an opportunity for a few years.

Overall grade