It has been some time since Arsenal have won the Premier League, despite the club’s rich history of success.
The 2003-04 season is one that Gunners fans will never forget – even if it seems distant at this point.
Today, we’ll be reminiscing on good times. Let’s take a look back at the last time Arsenal were the top team in England, under the guidance of Arsene Wenger.
From there, we’ll take a look forward. The Premier League title seemed so close last season, only for it to slip through Mikel Arteta’s fingers – however, it was an impressive campaign and it could signal the idea that another Premier League trophy may not be too far
How did Arsenal win the Premier League in 2003-04?
The strength of Arsenal’s squad in 2003-04 simply cannot be understated. They blended defensive solidity with attacking prowess seamlessly – it was the perfect implementation of Wenger’s tactics.
At the back, the Gunners boasted the likes of Sol Campbell and a prime Kolo Touré at centre-half. Both managed to stay fit for the whole season – they also had club icon Martin Keown as a backup option.
Nevertheless, the star of Arsenal’s backline this season was none other than Ashley Cole. He may be a controversial figure at the Emirates these days, but back then his defensive ability and underrated attacking acumen made him a real star.
In midfield, the combination of Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva was a brilliant mix of inspiration and perspiration. Both were rugged, industrious midfielders – but they were also technically adept, with excellent decision-making and passing.
They were flanked by wingers such as Robert Pires, Freddie Ljungberg and fan-favourite Ray Parlour. The hard work of Vieira and Silva allowed creative freedom for Arsenal’s attacking players – and allowed them to supply arguably the two greatest forwards in Gunners history.
Dennis Bergkamp is one of the greatest deep-lying forwards of all time. His ability to create chances in tight spaces was outstanding, but he was no slouch in front of goal, either.
Despite this, the star of the show was undoubtedly Thierry Henry. The magical Frenchman was at his brilliant best this season, scoring 30 goals in 37 appearances – many of which were key, game-winning strikes. Not only was he endlessly talented, he also possessed that intangible ‘clutch’ factor that every great striker needs.
Can the Gunners win the Premier League title next season?
It’s certainly possible. New signings like Declan Rice and Kai Havertz could propel Arsenal to mounting another serious title challenge next season.
The signing of Rice, especially, is an exciting addition. Some, more sceptical fans, may raise their eyebrows at Rice’s hefty price tag – but what he will bring to the team makes him more than worth it.
Thomas Partey was brilliant in front of the defence last season – he brought a level grit and determination to Arsenal’s midfield that has not been seen in years.
However, Rice possesses all the defensive acumen of Partey, backed up with superior technical ability and a fantastic range of vision. He will allow the Gunners to turn over possession much more effectively and reliably – something that can be very useful in the modern game.
The Gunners’ previous campaign was largely derailed after William Saliba was ruled out with an injury. The addition of Jurrien Timber will give Arsenal strength in depth at centre-back – but is he on the same level as the towering Frenchman?
Ultimately, Arsenal will need a touch of good fortune if they wish to mount a serious title challenge next season – but it’s far from out of the question.