Arsenal haven’t won a trophy in seven years. Everybody knows that. But no one knows what it means more than Arsene Wenger.
In those seven years his Arsenal side has been in a Champion’s League final, and a Carling Cup final and finished in the top four every season. But, as Wenger knows only too well, there is no trophy for coming in the top four and I doubt his players’ runners up medals offered much consolation either.
But is it possible that Wenger, with his inability to match Manchester City, Chelsea, or even Manchester United in the transfer market, may be spreading his squad a little thin? Perhaps, it could be argued, if he were to focus on one trophy in particular, rather than all four – Premier League, Champion’s League, FA Cup, and League Cup – he might actually win one.
But then again, we all know what happens if you put all your eggs in one basket – they could end up winning nothing – but they’ve been doing that for seven years as it is. I have a sneaking suspicion the defeat that hurt Arsene Wenger the most was the Champion’s League final of 2006 to Barcelona.
His side came so close and, effectively, left with nothing. I also believe that the Champion’s League is the reason Wenger is still at Arsenal, rebuilding his squad season after season as player after player abandons the Emirates’ supposedly sinking ship.
Arsene Wenger has won 3 Premier League titles, and 4 FA Cups with his Gunners. But that elusive Champion’s League trophy edges further and further away every time they lose a superstar or a captain and have to replace them, often somewhat inadequately.
Arsenal, so far this season, in the Premier League at least, look as if they might, just maybe, be able to mount a credible contention for the title. They secured a decent point away against Manchester City’s champions last weekend, in a game they dominated overall.
But how will they fare over the course of 38 games if they suffer their predictable bout of injuries, and a defeat to another European superpower in the knock-outs of the Champion’s League, sees them lose the plot, rack up poor results and a drop in form, as it has done in previous seasons.
I, personally, would love to see Arsenal win the Champion’s League – it would be a fairy tale for the Frenchman but, whilst I might be a little susceptible to happy endings, I can’t see them matching up to Barca or Real Madrid, or Bayern Munich.
Perhaps their game at home to Chelsea next weekend will offer some insight into their chances. Chelsea are the European champions – if Arsenal can beat them, they can probably, just maybe, and just might, be able to beat anyone.