first_imgCan the Gunners win the Premier League title? The traditional season curtain-raiser seems to have become more of a guide than in years gone by.Arsenal head into the new Premier League season full of confidence and boasting another trophy, as they picked apart Manchester City in the Community Shield on Sunday.Rival fans have been quick to curb the optimism of Gunners fans by pointing out the perceived lack of importance of the clash – ‘Oi! David Moyes won it last year!’ – but are they wrong to do so?In the entire history of the Shield, stretching back to 1908, of the 64 winners only 15 have gone on to lift the league title that season – just 23.44 per cent of all Shield winners.However, that percentage has improved in modern times, largely due to the increased frequency of high-calibre – that is, title-challenging – teams competing in the annual curtain-raiser.For example, since the advent of the Premier League, the top flight title has been won by seven of the 22 teams that kicked off their season with a Shield win – an increased rate of 31.81 per cent, since 1992.Over the last 22 years though, the landscape of English football has changed dramatically, and when looking at a more relevant time period to the present day – in this instance, from the start of the Roman Abramovich era at Chelsea (2003) and the establishment of five genuine challengers – that percentage increases further.Of the last 11 teams to win the Shield, five have gone on to win the Premier League that season, including a period of four successive years when Manchester United and Chelsea took turns in being crowned champions of England – resulting in a 45.46 per cent success rate.So while it’s far from a guarantee of title success, in recent times the title winners have tasted Shield success more often than in the more distant past. Arsenal fans perhaps therefore have slightly more reason to be optimistic of a title-tilt than those who were quick to dismiss their Wembley win against City.Their 3-0 victory can be interpreted in a million different ways, but there can be little doubt that this is an Arsenal side who at least look stronger than last season and if they can get off to another good start, as they did 12 months ago, could we be talking about potential champions?Arsenal fans, can you win the Premier League this season? Comment below… 1 Arsenal won the Community Shield last_img

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