Can the Gunners bring this blistering form into next season and recreate ‘The Invincibles’? by CR
Arsenal have been in and around the top four of the Premier League for as long as most can remember. They may have won last season’s FA Cup (see below) but it has been more than 10 years since they won the league and fans are getting a tad restless. With the current campaign pretty much done and dusted, and pigs having more chance of flying before Chelsea throw away the title, what does next season hold for the Gunners?
At the time of writing, 32red are offering odds of 20/1 on Arsenal winning the title this season, with Chelsea having to lose four games in order for them to do so. Anyone with a hint of football knowledge will agree that this is not going to happen. However, if Arsenal had started the season playing like they are now, there would have been a fierce title race on the cards. Looking at this recent run of form, the quality of football they are displaying and the way their squad is developing, many are starting to believe that next season could be the time for them. This is the best Arsenal team for a long while and if a few key things pan out next season, they will have a great chance of winning the title.
First and foremost, this blistering form and unbeaten run should give the Gunners a massive boost in to the start of the next campaign. Such has been the form of Arsenal that they are widely available at 8/15 with the likes of stanjames, 888sport, 32red and others to beat Burnley on Saturday. Arsenal have been known to go on huge unbeaten runs in the past when they get some good momentum going. Who can forget the 2003/04 season when they did not lose a single game? They got nicknamed ‘The Invincibles’ and won the league comfortably. A key factor into them gaining such drive once more will be to end this season on a high. A second-place finish and retaining the FA Cup will do them very nicely indeed.
Image source: Ronnie Macdonald
New signing Alexis Sanchez has not only been one of Arsenal’s finest players this season, he has also been one of the best in the league. Chipping in with breath-taking skill, incredible goals and plenty of assists, if he can keep up this form in the next campaign there is no doubt that he will be pivotal in Arsenal’s title hopes. And looking at his progress over the last few seasons, he is looking like he will get better and better. If Mesut Ozil and Aaron Ramsey can avoid injury, these are two more players who add some serious finesse to the Arsenal attack. Ramsey is improving with age and Ozil is gradually becoming more accustomed to life in the Premier League. With Santi Cazorla contributing nicely, the Arsenal midfield looks fantastic. Arsene Wenger, though, has been terribly unlucky with injuries in the past so he needs to employ some worthy back-up options as well. If all his players had been fit this season, things would look a lot differently for them now without a doubt.
It is clear that for the last few years Arsenal have desperately needed to find a proper replacement for the once prolific striker that is Robin van Persie. Yes, Olivier Giroud has been scoring a lot of goals for the Gunners this season, but is he really a Premier League title-winning striker? Look at all the other title challengers and the world-class strikers in their teams. Sergio Aguero and Wayne Rooney both have the ability to turn a title race on its head. And Chelsea’s addition of Diego Costa this season has been a key factor in their success with the Spain international 5/1 with Unibet to finish as the 2014/15 Premier League’s top goalscorer.
Arsenal need to replicate that with a top acquisition in the summer. Last time Arsenal won the league, they had Thierry Henry, who was one of the best strikers in the world. He is the Gunner’s top goalscorer of all time with 228 goals. This should really ring alarm bells for Wenger. They need to quickly find a new club hero. Once again, rumours are circulating that the Gunners may be linked with a move for Argentinian hit-man Gonzalo Higuain. This could be just the kind of striker they need.
It already seems like next season the title race will be a lot harder fought than this one. Chelsea are looking fairly unstoppable, Manchester City will want revenge after letting it slip so far away from them this year, and Manchester United are looking like a new-and-improved team under Louis van Gaal. Liverpool are always threatening and other teams such as Tottenham and Southampton are getting better and hoping to push into the top four.
After years of unfulfilled dreams, if everything comes together and the gods are kind in terms of injuries, Arsenal have a very good chance.