Ah, there’s nothing like copious amounts of confidence in your own team. Or, perhaps the term more appropriate in this instance is blind faith.
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On Wednesday Arsenal’s speedy winger Theo Walcott told the club’s website that he believes the Gunners have been “the best team in Europe” since the turn of the year.
Hmmm, what do we think about that?
Control yourself and collect your thoughts while you read an extract from what Walcott had to say.
“There is a lot of competition for places, so everyone seems to lift a gear and play extremely well,” Walcott said. “It makes it a bit more difficult for people to get into the team. I think, especially this season, not many people thought we would be challenging for the Premier League. In this calendar year, we have been the best team in Europe. It is the strongest the squad has been and everyone is staying fit as well. There aren’t many injuries in the squad, which is important. If we had an injury-free season, I think we could lift the title.”
So, yeah. He actually said that.
Look, the Gunners have certainly been sensational in the second half of the Premier League season and have lifted themselves into a position where they are still the only team who can mathematically catch leaders Chelsea and are in a strong position to finish in second place.
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One thing Theo might have forgotten as he labels Arsenal as the best team in Europe: they lost to Monaco in the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League. Do you think Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and others would agree that Arsenal is the team to beat in Europe right now?
Let’s look at the facts. Arsenal has won 12, lost two and drawn one of it’s 15 Premier League games since Jan. 1, so Theo has a point in that regard. Plus they have made the FA Cup final for the second-straight season. However, as long as the Gunners continue to falter in European competitions (they have failed to make it past the round of 16 for five-straight season) then I’m afraid they cannot be mentioned among Europe’s elite teams.