Although Leicester topped the tree at Christmas, it is Arsenal who are now currently top of the Barclay’s Premier League. Although only 2 points clear of the Foxes, can one begin to accept that 2016 might just be their year?
Up until their FA Cup victory in the 2013-14 season, Arsenal had endured a torrid drought with no cups won since they beat Manchester United 5-4 on penalties in the 2004-5 FA Cup Final. Many had called for Wenger, currently Arsenal’s most successful ever manager, to be axed. Frustration grew, as over the years Wenger refused to change his passive and at times frustrating transfer policy without success.
However, their victory against Hull City in 2014 ended their 9 years of suffering and since then they have gone from strength to strength. They went on to win the Community Shield that same year, before retaining the FA Cup and breaking history by winning the trophy a record 12 times.
So far, the 2015-16 season has been something of an unpredictable journey. The dramatic fall from grace for Chelsea leaves them out of the title race, with even the possibility of European football next season looking doubtful. Manchester United have yet to capture the imagination of viewers with their frankly lacklustre and mediocre playing style, leaving them 5th in the table and 3 points off a Champions League spot. The season has also been a roller coaster ride for Manchester City. After beating the champions 3-0 early into the season, many predicted the team from the Etihad to run away with the league. However, with 5 loses this season, including a 2-1 defeat to Arsenal in December, the Sky Blues find themselves 3rd in the league and 3 points behind the Gunners.
Wenger has created an Arsenal squad which has remained consistently good throughout the demise of his rivals. Players such as Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez have created problems for even the most solid a defence. With these players on top of their game, it is no surprise Arsenal find themselves top of the table. With Chelsea and United out, and City already beaten, is it finally the year of the ‘Specialist in failure’ to restore Arsenal to their former glories?