Belfast Telegraph

David Healy: Sorry Arsene, but Chelsea will beat you to title

When Arsenal suffered league defeats back to back against Manchester United and Manchester City early in the season most would have felt a title challenge was beyond them.

Opinions will have changed now.

The Gunners have gone on a fabulous run and moved to the top of the Premier League table with that 4-2 win over Bolton at the Emirates.

It was a great victory for them, especially because they were 2-0 down at one stage.

Arsene Wenger has looked a happy man recently. No wonder with a player like Cesc Fabregas in the side.

Arsenal are the form team in the country and maybe after a few years of showing potential, they are finally starting to deliver.

They play fantastic football, score lots of goals and are a joy to watch.

The big problem for Arsenal though in terms of going on to win the title is Chelsea.

For me Carlo Ancelotti has the stronger squad and when the crunch comes I think they will hold their nerve. I witnessed first hand from the bench just how effective Chelsea can be last Saturday when they hammered Sunderland 7-2.

And this was without Didier Drogba, Michael Essien and a few other players.

When you play one of the top four, you have to hope that they aren’t at their best and you have to be on your game.

Unfortunately last weekend we had an off day while Chelsea were excellent.

It finished up 7-2 but to be honest it could have been double figures.

They missed a few chances as well as taking seven.

I knew when it was 3-0 and Frank Lampard hadn’t scored that they were likely to get a few more because he always seems to find the net against any team I’m with.

Nicolas Anelka is another one who always looks likely to score.

Alongside Drogba, I think Anelka is brilliant but against us, he was just as effective without him.

Ancelotti and his team would prefer to still be top, but they won’t be too

concerned at this stage about Arsenal going ahead of them.

They have a game in hand on Wenger’s men and Manchester United and a win in that will take them clear again.

With Arsenal’s form the good news for the Premier League is that we are going to have a three horse race for the title this year.

But ultimately the strength of the Chelsea squad should see the Premiership trophy end up at Stamford Bridge.

I must also mention Liverpool’s 2-0 win over Tottenham in midweek. That was a morale boosting result for Rafael Benitez and his players.

They’ll feel that they really must kick on from this.

So far this season the Kop has been frustrated by false dawns.

Rafa will be out to make sure this is not another one.

Finally it was my great pleasure this week to be back home to help launch Sport Relief in Northern Ireland with the lovely Zoe Salmon.

It’s a fantastic cause and I’m delighted to be involved.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph