That, my fellow football fans, is the number of years Arsenal have failed to win that elusive trophy, having so nearly fallen into their grasp on a number of occasions.
This season however, things are looking slightly different on the red side of North London.
Arsenal have made their way into the Carling Cup quarter-finals after hammering four past both Tottenham and Newcastle, and are also sitting in second place in this years Premier League season, albeit on goal difference. The Champions League has also been taken in the Gunners stride, with Arsenal netting 14 goals in their first 3 group stage games, a Champions League record.
This has happened before, no? Arsenal have looked brilliant in past seasons only to f**k things up when things got tough, why should this campaign be any different?
Many things have cost Arsenal trophies in past seasons. Lack of experience being one, gaping holes in certain positions being another, and simply not enough quality have led to disappointing Premier League seasons and premature Cup exits.
Arsenal are one year older and one year wiser, and the bulk of our players can finally say they are at, or are close to achieving, their prime years.
Theo Walcott has been turning defenders inside out, holding down a place in the side and has finally been able to utilize his strongest asset (pace, just incase you’ve been living under a rock (or if you’re just really dumb)). He has thrived on the service he has received from a more advanced position, and has added clinical finishing to his game having netted six goals in his last 3 starts.
Samir Nasri is finally starting to blossom, and has justified the large pricetag that took him from Marseille in the summer of 2008, continuing his fine pre-season form where he netted 5 times in 4 starts. Whether it be out wide, or in his preferred central position, Super Sam has been producing the goods with 7 in 7, and it is now considered blasphemous to name a starting eleven without the Frenchman’s name.
Ask any Arsenal fan during this summer’s transfer window, and they’ll tell you we needed a new goalkeeper – namely Mark Schwarzer. Ask any Arsenal fan now, and they’ll tell you that we have Lukasz Fabianski. The Poland international has been in fine form after stepping in for the ‘injured’ Manuel Almunia, and has placed a firm grip on the No.1 jersey.
The most improved player in our team however is Englishman Jack Wilshere, who has managed to cement a place in the starting line-up even at the tender age of 18. Young Jack has thrived in his new position given to him by Mr. Wenger, having performed at a world class level every time he’s set foot onto the pitch.
A rsène has picked up some gems in the transfer market too, Squillaci and Koscielny have vastly improved our defence with assured performances every game, and frontman Marouane Chamakh has netted 6 goals in 11, contributing so much to our overall play and thickening our attacking options.
Which leads nicely onto my next point, depth. Our squad is brimming with talent, so much so that we are favourites to win the Carling Cup despite continually naming a second-string side against the opposition. But you can read more about that here.
I believe that everything is finally falling into place, and a early season Carling Cup victory will signal more trophies on the horizon, as we are on the brink of achieving ‘great things’.
And if not there’s always the Emirates Cup.
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