By the time May comes around, it will be 11 years since Arsène Wenger last lifted the Premier League title at Highbury.
There has been plenty of criticism since but, should Arsenal win the league this season and end the decade long wait to be crowned champions of England, the majority of that criticism will be silenced.
At Thursday’s AGM, Wenger broke his time at Arsenal down into three periods after a common theme had already emerged at the press conference earlier that day.
“At the moment we are in the fight and that’s what you want,” the Arsenal manager said. “I believe we have the potential to do it and that’s what we want to show now in the coming games.”
Having already played Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester United, Arsenal find themselves in a strong position heading into the winter. We are above Manchester United, eight points clear of Chelsea and just two points adrift of Manchester City. We welcome City to the Emirates Stadium on 21st December but have eight very winnable games before then.
Every game in the Premier League is tough but, following the emphatic win against Manchester United, this is a great chance to lay down a marker and Wenger knows it. He also knows managing to do so could send us back to the very top of English football.
“I’ve been here for 19 years and we had some turning points in the history. When I arrived we had the financial potential to fight for the titles.
“After, when we moved into the new stadium, there was a period where we did not have the opportunity to fight for the title but we had to work very hard to stay at the top,” the boss added.
“In the last two, maybe two-and-a-half years, we are back in the fight because we have the financial potential again to get the best players. When you look well at the last two years, we’ve brought in Özil, Alexis, Petr Cech. That shows that we are back and are capable to fight to get the best players.”
With players like that, we have all the tools to take everyone on. Those 10 – going on 11 – years have not been easy for anyone.
They’ve been hard to watch at times, hard to stomach, and scraping by has been incredibly hard to do but we are through that. Failing to win the league in the last decade doesn’t need excuses, but there are reasons for it.
Arsenal are still ‘only’ the fourth richest club in the Premier League, but the shackles are off and top players have been signed. It’s down to those players to send out a message and turn the screw on Manchester City over the next couple of months.