It has been almost 12 years since Arsene Wenger led Arsenal to our last Premier League title, which was almost unthinkable back then when Thierry Henry and all managed to complete the season without a single defeat in the league. A lot has happened since then, of course, but just the length of time involved raises a big question mark over whether this current crop of Gunners can complete the job they have started so well.
It is a fair question as well, because winning is a mentality and a habit and so is losing and we know which of the two we are more used to in the last decade. It might even be difficult for the boss, who has enjoyed such success, to remember exactly how to cope with the pressure of a close run title fight.
But at least the Frenchman does have those memories of how a successful campaign was waged, as do other key figures in the Arsenal side like Petr Cech and Alexis Sanchez. And it sounds to me like the boss is trying to evoke that winning spirit of the Invincibles when he talks about the togetherness of the current team, as reported by Arsenal.com.
Wenger said, “We have been respectful of the spirit and the commitment that we want to put into every single game and overall it was a hard-fought point [at Stoke].
“We have produced along the same lines of what we did against Liverpool. The only negative on the day was that we couldn’t score with the few chances that we created, and we had a bit of a lack of creativity maybe compared to the Liverpool game.
“However, we have shown again that we are ready for a fight and I am pleased to see that.
“As a manager and as a fan, when you see the players battling for each other you want them to be rewarded. It creates a support behind the team that is essential to their success.
“When you play an important game like on Sunday, it will be vital. We know that this support comes from the special vibes that come from the team and showing that battling spirit and solidarity.
“When you lose games you’re always accused of lacking fighting spirit. We have lost some games in the past where we fought as well, but I think there’s a special solidarity in the team, a special desire to do well, and I’m sure that is a needed ingredient to be successful in this league.
“For us to have a chance to do well until the end of the season, we have to take care of that.”
I wonder if the Prof is starting to feel the same sort of vibe that he used to feel when Arsenal were sweeping all before us in his first decade at the club. And will Arsenal fans soon be feeling it too?