Let’s say, just for fun, that Arsenal had started the 2014-15 Premier League season (two wins in eight games, in reality) the same way they are currently ending it (10 games unbeaten, including nine wins).
If that had been the case, would Arsene Wenger’s side be challenging for the Premier League title right now, rather than watching Chelsea win it last weekend while holding a 16-point lead on the Gunners? Or, would Arsenal have then simply reversed their season and finished the campaign as poorly as they began the year, in reality?
If Wenger were asked such a question, as was the case following his side’s 3-1 victory over Hull City on Monday, he might tell of his frustration with the way the season, specifically of the post-World Cup injuries and hangover from which his squad suffered.
Interviewer: Given the vein of form you’re now in, is there a little frustration you weren’t able to replicate that at the beginning of the season?
Wenger: Yes, of course, but all of these players were not available at the start of the season. Many came back with problems after the World Cup, and we found a better balance as well, between going forward and defending in the same part of the season [as when they came back].”
We have to see now how we finish. We want to focus now on finishing well in the season, and then see what we can do [next year], but the basis is there [to further evolve].”
The next logical question for Arsenal is this: what do they do during the summer? As Wenger alludes to, the squad is deep in certain areas, but is it deep enough in every position to mount a serious title challenge, or are Chelsea a dynasty in the making? If not, what positions need addressing and who should they be targeting to fill those needs?