There are a lot of similarities between the Arsenal team of 2006 and this team. In 2006, Arsenal had to contend with so many injuries including that of our top goal scorer. Our whole defence was decimated by injuries forcing Mathieu Flamini to play as a make shift left back and Freddie Ljungberg as a striker. We managed to get to the Champions League knockout stages.
This season, our main striker Olivier Giroud has had a long spell on the sidelines. His brace against Newcastle at the Emirates shows just how much he has been missed. With players like Mesut Ozil, Theo Walcott, Aaron Ramsey and Tomas Rosicky all coming back from injury, we can be a match for any team.
In 2006, no one gave Arsenal a chance in the Champions League knockout stages especially as they faced the likes of Real Madrid and a strong Juventus side. The outcome was a place in the final. This season, Arsenal has made it again to the knockout stages and will have to face teams like the mighty Bayern Munich if they are to make it to the final again. Once again, Arsenal will be the underdog but with the experience our players have garnered in the Champions League over the years, I feel they are now ready to win any opponent.
Another similarity between this team and that of 2006 is their struggle with inconsistency in the Premier League. While I do not see this current team struggling to reach the top four, they just did not have the consistency this time around to challenge for the Premier League meaning their only chance of winning a cup is the FA cup as well as the Champions League.
There really is something special with this current Arsenal team and it is only a matter of time before it shows. Who knows, Chelsea and Manchester City might just capitulate and if Arsenal just find some consistency, they may nip the Premier League this time around. Wishful thinking but it has happened before…just look at the 1997/98 season for inspiration.