Prior to their FA Cup triumph back in May, Arsenal fans had been forced to endure a long, painful and sometimes unbearable nine years of trophy-less football.
But that all seems to have been brushed under the carpet now that they’ve dusted off the silverware cabinet to make way for the FA Cup and the Community Shield.
Arsene Wenger’s determination to persevere with a journey that looked like it could continue forever has to be commended. It’s an impressive feat to have not given in when the road was at its bumpiest – just as impressive as TrustFord’s new Signing on Fee offer, which gives you £500 off the purchase off any new Ford car.
The Frenchman has been criticised for his lack of spending during that time period, with his more businesslike approach to the job seemingly clouding his managerial judgment in the transfer window.
But the last two summers have seen him rediscover some of his old self. He’s spent money, albeit more than he’s ever done before, on some top class talent that will no doubt go some way to restoring Arsenal as Premier League champions.
How long it takes is anyone’s guess, but Arsene Wenger is beginning to take the steps that could see the time come sooner rather than later.
So, with that in mind, here are FIVE reasons Wenger should still be trusted by the Emirates faithful to deliver a title…
Gone are the days when fans criticised Wenger for not spending the money to ensure the Gunners kept up with their rivals.
But now the Frenchman is doing just that, with Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez both arriving in mega-money deals over the past two summers. Such deals can only mean Arsenal a stronger side than before.
Wenger appears to have woken up to the fact that spending money is the only way to ensure you’re in with a chance of silverware, and he’ll eventually be rewarded with a Premier League crown.
The £18m capture of Calum Chambers from Southampton initially appeared to have been for back-up reasons. But the 19-year-old has slotted in nicely at centre-back so far this season and has been extremely impressive in his first few games for the club.
With Mertersacker having an extended break after the World Cup and Thomas Vermaelen being sold to Barcelona, Chambers looks like he’s been brought with the future in mind, as well the present.
As things stand, he could be the first step towards a new era at Arsenal under Wenger.
During the 18 years Wenger has been in the Gunners hot-seat, he’s won three Premier League titles, five FA Cups and five Community Shields. That’s a fairly impressive haul, despite him recently struggling to emulate to successes of his earlier years at Highbury.
It’s clearly frustrating when your team goes a long time without winning anything and watches as your rivals go on and fill their trophy cabinets up. But the transitional period the Gunners went through with the stadium move will have made a difference to the on-field fortunes of the club.
But now that Wenger is showing more promise now than he has for the best part of a decade, you wonder why he or the club should put an end to it and risk another baron spell with a wrong managerial appointment.
The wait is over and Arsenal have two new trophies in the cabinet. That has to the basis upon which Wenger and Arsenal fans build for the future. ‘You’re only as good as your last game’ is the old saying, and Arsenal are currently only as good as their last trophy. That was the Community Shield (if you can call it a trophy), which they thrashed Premier League champions Man City 3-0 to win.
If that’s a sign of things to come then Wenger has to be trusted to keep delivering from now on.
After going close last year, Wenger has spent the summer strengthening his squad. The arrivals of Mathieu Debuchy, Alexis Sanchez and Calum Chambers are an obvious improvement on last season, and they’ve still got the likes of Per Mertersacker, Lukas Podolski and Mesut Ozil to return from their extended break.
All they arguably need now is a defensive midfielder and a striker to help Olivier Giroud and they’ll be all set for a proper title challenge.