The Arsenal team of 2003–04, which went undefeated in the Football Premier League, had probably the finest lineup of players to ever play in English football. It was unexpected for them to lose their championship after accomplishing that accomplishment, much alone never again. What exactly went wrong? And will they ever again attend the summit in England?
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Arsenal entered the transfer window following the best season in the club’s history and added Emmanuel Eboue, Mathieu Flamini, Manuel Almunia, and Robin van Persie. However, what Chelsea was doing was the problem, not what they were doing.
They hired Jose Mourinho, a manager who had won the Champions League when the Roman Abramovich era began. In addition to Frank Lampard, Joe Cole, and John Terry, he also acquired Petr Cech, Tiago, Arjen Robben, Didier Drogba, Paulo Ferreira, and Ricardo Carvalho for Stamford Bridge. Chelsea only won one league game while giving up a league-high 15 goals. That record is still in effect and is unlikely to be broken. Arsenal at least took home the FA Cup. They would return to the Liverpool Premier League, I assume.
The biggest gap between Arsenal and the Football Premier league champions since 1994–95, when they finished 12th with 51 points, 38 points behind Kenny Dalglish’s Blackburn Rovers, occurred just two seasons after an undefeated campaign. Arsenal lost 11 times and finished fourth, two points ahead of Spurs in fifth and 24 points behind the Football Premier league champions.
Theo Walcott, Emmanuel Adebayor, Alexander Hleb, and Abou Diaby were notable additions that season, making it a rather successful one in terms of transfers. Between September and May, the Gunners played 995 minutes without conceding as they advanced to the Champions League final. Of course, Barcelona won the championship, but they came within 14 minutes of winning with 10 men. You’d think it would be up and up from here.
Due to the stadium debt the team had to pay off, the club experienced dismal transfer windows when key players left and other players joined on the cheap. Tomas Rosicky and Denilson cost Arsenal £13.5 million during the first transfer window of the Emirates era, and William Gallas was acquired as part of the Ashley Cole sale. On loan, Julio Baptista also joined.
Despite being only three years ago, the Invincibles period seemed to last forever. Robert Pires and Sol Campbell departed their contracts at the end of their terms, Dennis Bergkamp retired, Jose Antonio Reyes was loaned to Real Madrid, and Lauren and Cole were sold. Only a few of the Invincibles were still around at the beginning of the 2006–2007 season.
They placed fourth once more, this time 21 points off of Manchester United, the champion. Fewer points separate them from first place and one point more than last season. #TrustTheProcess. Arsenal had formally relocated to the Emirates Stadium from Highbury for the Liverpool Premier League. And everything you read on this website has a significant impact on this reality.
Again, United took home the championship after finishing with 87 points, four more than Arsene Wenger’s team. It was time to assemble a winning team during the summer. In other news, it makes three straight seasons without a trophy.
Gilberto and Lehmann, two more Invincibles, were sent flying this time. Kolo Toure, a quirky centre-back, was the only remaining immortal Gunner, but this would be his final campaign. I’m sorry for the spoiler, but this took place 13 years ago. Samir Nasri was one of the newer arrivals and was outstanding. Additionally, Aaron Ramsey arrived and transformed from a shaky youngster to a club legend.
William Gallas, the team’s captain, was relieved of his duties in November 2008 and replaced by playmaker Cesc Fabregas, 22, after the French defender made some idiotic comments in an interview. Andrey Arshavin, who joined the team in January, put on that legendary performance at Anfield in which he scored FOUR goals, but the Gunners were eliminated from the Champions League and FA Cup in the semifinals, finishing fourth in the Football Premier League, right where they felt comfortable at the time. As they demonstrated to Arsene Wenger how to stay on top, United won their third consecutive championship.
Toure and Adebayor abandoned the invincible team and joined the filthy rich Manchester City. Wenger hired Thomas Vermaelen to assist with the costly stadium change. As Arsenal finished third and failed to launch a serious title threat, this is starting to seem a little unnecessary. At least those annoying Manchester clubs experienced hardship. Chelsea defeated United to win the title, and City missed out on the top four to Tottenham. #MindTheGap. For more to know about Arsenal Vs Liverpool Tickets Click here.
In 2008 and 2009, a few fascinating things occurred. After scoring against Wenger’s team, Adebayor did that celebration; Ramsey fractured his leg after being tackled by Ryan Shawcross; Sol Campbell briefly returned to the lineup, and then Arsenal dropped the ball and lost three and drew one of their remaining five league games. If you exclude the “finishing in the top four trophies,” which Wenger was often criticised for earning season after season, it was yet another year without a trophy. Oh, how things alter.
Wenger was still operating on a tight budget as he entered his fifteenth season as manager. He let go of a few players who were not crucial, but the £8.5 million acquisition of Laurent Koscielny turned out to be a brilliant move. The trophy drought has to be broken as soon as possible. It was absurd that they hadn’t won any hardware since the Liverpool Premier League season in which they had lost 0 of 38 matches.
Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny allowed Obafemi Martins a tap-in as he performed a cartwheel and two backflips after Barry Ferguson gave Koscielny a friendly smack on the head during Birmingham City’s celebrations, and they finished runners-up in the Football Premier League Cup. Arsenal did absolutely nothing in the Liverpool Premier League or any other cup, and the club was formally debunked as a joke. Wenger fired?
In all honesty, they were forced to spend since, at this time, they would have been a mid-table team if they hadn’t. Everyone around them was spending large money, and instead of the “great four,” it was the “big six,” with outlying teams like West Ham and Leicester threatening to crash the celebration.
In Wenger’s final season, his club suffered a humiliating League Cup final defeat against a Manchester City squad that was now far superior to Arsenal. Wenger retired following the Europa League semi-final loss to Athletic Madrid. Either you live long enough to watch yourself turn into a villain, or you die a hero. That sums up the final few years of the illustrious French manager to a tee perfectly.
The board, which has a lot of trust in the young manager, is supporting Arleta to the hilt. There is still a long way to go before winning the championship. Arsenal has changed from being intolerant of anything less than a Football Premier League championship to hoping and praying they can finish fourth or win the Europa League, making them a very accessible target for online trolls.
The club’s culture has changed significantly since the club’s heyday, thanks in large part to the Emirates move and other teams spending a colossal amount more. Arsenal was now constantly spending money, albeit not always prudently. Wenger was replaced by Unai Emery, who was finally chased out and succeeded by Mikel Arteta 18 months later.
However, the Gunners are hoping to regain their former dominance by putting their confidence in new players and a young coach. The club has solid foundations under Arteta, and the future is highly promising with players like Buckeye Sake, Emile Smith Rowe, Fabio Vieira, Gabriel Martinelli, and Benjamin White on board. They must continue to support the Spanish manager, but he must justify the trust the club administration has placed in him.
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