Will Arsenal ever dominate English football?

April 30, 2013 12:00 pm

If you’re an Arsenal fan (or anyone that isn’t from Manchester) you may be getting tired of seeing the sibling rivalry that regularly subjugates first and second place in the Premier League. With Manchester City and United both in the top three this year (and last year, and the year before that) it’s beginning to get fans of every other team asking the question “Will we ever see the top of the table?” And no fans are screaming this as loudly as Arsenal’s vast following.

It’s hard to believe that a team who concluded the 2003/4 season in top spot, 11 points clear of the runners up, without losing a single game are, this year, struggling to stay in the top five.t

So what’s gone wrong? Have Arsenal gone soft, or have the Manchester duo just found their oasis at the top? Arsenal Fulham

A number of poor performances this year saw the Gunners lose out to teams like Bradford, Blackburn Rovers and Norwich, and with almost all fans expecting significant victories, fingers began to be pointed at Mr Wenger. But can a manager alone be blamed for his team’s failures? To an extent he can, but he isn’t the one out on the pitch. The cries of “Wenger out” filled our social networks after any loss, acrimoniously by the fans who forget it was Arsene Wenger who led ‘the invincibles’ in 2003/4. It’s easy to see that Arsene Wenger isn’t the biggest spendthrift of the footballing world. With Arsenal’s biggest recent signing being the Spanish midfield maestro Santi Cazorla who came to the club for a modest £16m, it makes fans wonder that, if Fabregas, Nasri and van Persie can be sold for a total of £79m over two years, why bigger talent hasn’t come to north London. These were the type of fans who were bitterly disappointed in the January transfer window when only £8m was splashed out on Monreal.

But then how can you please the fans of a team who won the league without losing a single game under the captaincy of Patrick Viera and the almighty goal scoring ability of Thierry Henry? Many fans believe it’d be near impossible to find a striker to match Henry’s 228 goal count, no matter how many millions Wenger invests. Does that mean that the Emirates is lacking in talent? Of course not, regardless of where your support lies you have to admire Wilshere’s determination, Cazorla’s eye for passing and natural knack for goals and of course Mertesacker’s ability to stop strikers in their tracks. Not to mention the young players who are causing great anticipation for the future among fans. With players like Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Jenkinson being given more first squad involvement, their improvement can be seen every game, dominating their positions and preventing or scoring goals.

At the end of May Arsenal fans young and old will be using the phrase “next season”, a phrase that has been uttered every year by any and every fan in England. So how likely are Arsenal’s chances at clinching their 14th league title? Some may look at the current skill, experience and potential and say it’s very likely, others may say the current players are inferior to the squad Arsenal used to have, and the rest may say you can only win the league nowadays with a multi-million budget. For some Arsenal’s best days are over, their history being the only thing they have, while others remain optimistic for the future.

So are Arsenal’s young prodigies the future remedy to their lack of league victory? Or can first place only be bought by having an excessive budget? These questions could be debated right through to next season but for now, the main aim for Arsenal is to finish above Tottenham in this season.

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