Daily Archives: August 8, 2015
A whole lot has happened since Arsenal last won the Premier League. 11 good years. Yeah, that long.
But since going unbeaten in 2004, they have made some meaningful challenges for the Premier League with the 2007/08 campaign standing out from the crowd. The desire was there, the quality of the team was undoubted, there was some real depth and they led the campaign for a considerable chunk of the season before Eduardo da Silva’s horrific injury led to sequence of events that saw things go awry. The Gunners also came close in the 2013/14 and the performances of Aaron Ramsey propelled the Gunners to greatness but when he and Theo Walcott (the team’s principal goalscorers besides Olivier Giroud) got injured, the burden on the French forward was too much and the flames of Arsenal’s title challenge were doused.
The team suffered major setbacks along the way with key players suffering major injuries or leaving the club for greener pastures and this obviously affected Wenger’s plans for the next campaign. However, that trend has changed – Arsenal is the one buying top talent from Europe while keeping the nucleus of the team. It’s only the fringe and out-of-favor players that are heading towards the exit door.
The Gunners had a brilliant preseason campaign by their standards and won three non-competitive trophies as well. The team spirit is really good and most of the squad is injury-free, besides Jack Wilshere that recently suffered a fracture in his fibula. Many fans (me included) will be hoping that the injuries pipe down this season because Wenger would need every player in his disposal for the grueling campaign ahead.
This season, my expectations for the club in the Premier League are very high and I’m hoping that the club mounts a strong challenge for the title this season. Last season, Arsenal struggled early in the campaign and were out of the race for the title as early as November I think. For a team that has won three Premier League titles, that was simply unacceptable.
The Gunners would have to focus on the price this time and work hard for each other. The cohesion in the team is stronger than ever and there’s stiff competition for places in the squad, and it has become stiffer in recent times. Hector Bellerin is fighting with Matt Debuchy, Kieran Gibbs is hoping to win his place from Nacho Monreal, Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny know that there’s a young and agile Gabriel Paulista that is waiting to get his chance. Further up the field, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott have their battles in attack and I’m not going even mention how things are in that Arsenal midfield.
As the Gunners proved in the Community Shield, they can defeat any club, yes, including Rent Boys, on their day but they need to find some measure of consistency to their game.
It’s a long campaign to look forward to and I’m glad that the football is back!
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