It’s been almost 13 years since the fabled ‘Invincibles’ side lifted the Premier League Trophy. Since that season, Arsenal has, other than for a couple of FA Cup’s and a Community Shield, failed to sustain a strong challenge for the league title.

Since moving to the Emirates Stadium in 2005, numerous high profile players have been sold to the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and even to league rivals Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United. Up until recently, the players added to the squad were usually young, upcoming talents and more importantly cost very little in the transfer market.

In spite of their meager spending, season after season, Arsenal managed to have a blistering start, playing a brand of exciting football in the process. However, in games against the top teams, Arsenal almost always came up short. Also, a pattern developed where Arsenal would start choking right around Christmas, losing all momentum that they had built up and often times effectively ending their title challenge. This pattern has lead Jose Mourinho to label Arsene Wenger a “specialist in failure”.

In recent seasons, even the Arsenal faithful have started turning on Wenger, with a group of fans driving protests during matches and putting up ‘Wenger out’ banners in and around the stadium. This season, after their defeat to Liverpool at home, doom and gloom set in again with most Arsenal fans as evident from the YouTube channel ArsenalFanTV. The delays with the Shkodran Mustafi transfer didn’t help and again fans turned on Arsene Wenger. However, since that defeat, Arsenal have picked themselves up and have gone on an unbeaten run, are currently on 6 game winning streak in the league, are top of their Champion’s League group and have progressed to the next round of the league cup. That run also included a dominant victory against their London nemesis of past seasons, Chelsea.

Though it appears that the team is firing on all cylinders, it remains to be seen however if what Arsene Wenger described as being the ”most mature squad in years” can continue their recent good run all the way to the end of the season and finally clinch the long awaited Premier League title.

 

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Prashanth Clement Paul

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