For every high there is a low. This phrase seems to have been tailor-made for Arsenal. Just that the Gunners’ low is taking way too long to end.
Arsene Wenger’s side reached the pinnacle of success when they won the Premier League title way back in 2003-04. They were rightly termed the ‘Invincibles’, going undefeated in the league, the second such instance in the EPL and the only one to do so across 38 matches. But what followed was years of frustration, and the eternal wait to add another major crown.
It’s been over a decade since Arsenal last won the league. The only other trophy they added post that was an FA Cup title in 2005, when they defeated Manchester United 5-4 via penalties. Nothing more than a consolation prize for a club that boasts of 13 league titles and holds the record for the longest uninterrupted period in the top flight of English football.
The departure of their key strikers Robin van Persie to fellow rivals Manchester United and Cesc Fabregas to Barcelaona last year dented their hopes further. In spite of all these shortcomings, Wenger managed to steer the Gunners to a top four finish in the EPL and make the Champions League cut for the 16th year in a row.
Though it’s been reported that the club has enough and more money at its disposal for the transfer window, they are yet to sign a big name this season. Bid, fail, bid, fail, bid, fail has been their transfer story so far. Gonzalo Higuain, Robert Lewandowski, Luis Suarez – all bids in vain!
The only player they have managed to rope in is French Under-20 striker Yaya Sanogo, and that too on a free transfer from Auxerre. Their next target is Bayern Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo and hopefully, at least this deal will come through.
The onus is now on Jack Wilshere, Olivier Giroud, Lukas Podolski and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to help the Gunners survive and battle their way to stay in the top four.
Unless they pull off some unbelievable last-minute transfer deals before the start of the league this weekend, their eight-year drought for a trophy is likely to translate into nine. Over to Wenger!