by Lewis Ambrose
Arsenal’s barren seasons saw a few tilts towards the title, but Arsène Wenger’s men could never bring it home.
There are three campaigns that stand out, with Arsenal collapsing each time. 2010/11 and 2013/14 both flattered to deceive as Arsenal looked strong enough to compete for considerable periods before falling short and finishing 4th in the league.
Small squads, injury issues and a questionable mentality meant Arsenal never made the cut. The same is true of the 2007/08 season and Arsène Wenger has now confessed that maybe he didn’t achieve enough during the period without a trophy.
“A manager has to take the best potential out of the team he has,” said Wenger. Each year the manager insisted that Arsenal were capable of winning the league but maybe, deep down, he didn’t truly feel that way.
“At the end of the day I know where the team can be at the end of the season.
“When you lose your best players and see opponents strengthen their squad – and they are already stronger than you – it is impossible.”
But has Wenger done enough for Arsenal over recent years?
“Have I got the maximum? I know if I could have won the league.
“For example, the year we lost it at Birmingham [in 2008 when Eduardo broke his leg], we could have. Last year, no, because after six games we were 11 points behind Chelsea.”
Last season Arsenal really did leave themselves with too much to do, but could have won the league the year Eduardo got injured. Wenger’s team was top of the league and looking good, but struggled to cope after the injury of the Croatian striker.
Whether or not Wenger blames himself is unclear, but he knows that Arsenal could have won the league in the last 10 years. Had we have done so – while building a stadium – it would have been hailed as an incredible managerial performance against the money and size of Manchester United and Chelsea.
It didn’t happen, and Wenger still has plenty of doubters that are unlikely to be won over by the manager until Arsenal are the champions of England once more.