Gunning for Glory
It’s been a while since Arsenal has had the chance to hoist a trophy and brand itself as the ultimate victor. The last time that the Gunners were able to savor gold was nearly a decade ago, when they won it all during the 2005 FA Cup. In the year before that, they closed a record-breaking Premier League season (0 defeats in all of their 38 outings!) in remarkable fashion by securing the title against a loaded Chelsea squad. Needless to say, those achievements are astounding. However, they’re all in the past now—and Arsenal hasn’t been able to make its way back to the apex of the proverbial mountain since then.
Yes, the Gunners have never lost their top-tier status, but ending up as runners-up isn’t satisfactory in any way. After all, winning is deeply ingrained in Arsenal’s culture, thus being second, third, or fourth best just isn’t going to cut it. All the setbacks in these last few years have fueled the Gunners’ hunger, though. And now, they’re poised to revel in championship glory once again as they currently sit at the top of the Premier League standings.
Things weren’t looking exactly looking up when the latest season began. Arsenal opened its 2013-2014 Premier League campaign with a loss against Aston Villa. That didn’t dishearten the Gunners, though; because since then, they’ve posted five straight victories (in fact, they’ve won ten consecutive matches when including other leagues). This excellent kickoff to their season can be attributed to various factors: the persistent genius of Arsene Wenger, the expanding game of Aaron Ramsey, the hot play of Olivier Giroud, and the acquisition of Mesut Ozil.
The pickup of Mesut Ozil before the deadline is reported to have made him most expensive German player of all time (his five-year deal was pegged to be around £42.5 million, although this wasn’t confirmed). He was worth every penny, though, as the move has already paid handsomely for the Gunners. The “German Zidane” debuted in Arsenal’s Premier League game against Sunderland and went to work right away by making several important plays, including a key assist during the 11th minute of the match. In Ozil’s first Champions League game for the club, the former Real Madrid player once again showed flashes of brilliance as he notched two assists in the 3-1 win. His very first goal for Arsenal came earlier this month during a 2-0 triumph against Napoli.
In the past eight years, the Gunners have never been in a better position to reclaim the elusive Premier League championship than where they are now. It’s definitely a make-or-break year for them. Can Arsenal redeem itself from the last few years of coming up a tad bit short? Only time will tell.