The last time Arsenal won the league was back in 2004 when they went undefeated. The only team to ever do so. It was a fantastic achievement and I remember thinking back then that it would be the start of a long period of domination. They haven’t won it since.
Can Arsenal really win the Premier League again?
As a now jaded Arsenal fan, after a decade of disappointment, I’m finding it difficult to believe. I don’t want to get my hopes up again after seeing them falter so many times. But we’re over half way into the season and sitting top of the league. Is this finally our time again? Maybe.
In my mind Arsenal have developed a reputation of only being able to win the ‘big’ games when the pressure is off. When its perceived that we can no longer compete for the title that year., we hit a vein of good form and suddenly the ‘what if’s’ and ‘just maybes’ start to crop up. A typical comment I hear is “if we can just win this next game here, we’ve got a really chance this year”. We then lose that match and it’s back to square one. Frustratingly it’s often during the ‘easy’ games that we falter the most during this period of pressure. As if the players and staff start buying their own hype.
Petr Cech fell into the trap recently after the victory over Manchester City saying that we could win the league. Promptly we were battered 4-0 by Southampton.
However two consecutive FA cup victories could indicate a changing mentality within the football club. One that can win under pressure again. The longer Arsenal stay at or near the top of the table though the more intensely the hype train will build. Will they be able to withstand it? Only time will tell.
There are two major factors that will affect Arsenal for the rest of the season and those are January signings and injuries. Arsenal never seem to have a fully fit squad and worse the medical staff never give you the impression that they are fully capable when a player is out with an injury. How many times has Arsène Wenger said in a press conference that a player would be out for two weeks only for them still to be on the bench two months later? It’s not particularly inspiring.
I’m sure I’ve spent the last five years, if not longer, saying that all Arsenal need to be truly competitive again is another centre-forward, defensive midfielder and centre-half. Here we are again, in another transfer window and I’m saying it once more.
Arsenal are currently in a good position in the Premier League and we’re also through to the last 16 of the Champions League. We need to strengthen our squad for the second half of the season. That said, we all know that Arsène doesn’t like spending over the odds too frequently for players. Yet you often have to do just that during the January window, so I’m not expecting to see too much movement. Despite what some newspapers are suggesting.
Do I think Arsenal can win the league? Yes.
Will they? I hope so.
Do I expect them too? Not really, but I’d love to be proved wrong!