The date is February 6th 2014. 352 days ago things were looking dire for Arsenal, their fans and manager Arséne Wenger. They walked out onto the pitch at the Emirates Stadium to face a thriving Bayern Munich side on their way to winning a historic treble that would set new standards in European football. They lost the match that night. Three days earlier, they had walked out onto the pitch at the Emirates Stadium and faced Blackburn Rovers in an FA Cup 5th Round Tie. They lost that day too. A full 5 places and 21 points off of Manchester United at the top of the Barclays Premier League, these two defeats-- despite a defiant and heroic effort in the return leg against Bayern-- confirmed what most had predicted all year long: that Arsenal would go an 8th successive season without a reason to dust off their trophy cabinet. It was a desperate time. Their star players had all jumped ship, performances on the pitch were the most stagnant in years and cries for long-time head-honcho Wenger to do the right thing and depart were stronger than ever before. He didn't depart. He stuck by his gunners under the most intense pressure and now, almost a year later, one can only wonder the smile that must cross his lips as he, once again, prepares to welcome Bayern Munich back under the floodlights of Arsenal's resurgent Emirates Stadium. Sat atop of English football once again, only 4 points off the tally Manchester United had amassed at this stage in their title-winning effort last season, Wenger is reportedly set to sign a new deal and the dissenting contingent of fans whom dropped the 'T' from the In Wenger we Trust banners that have long been spied around the red portion of North London have never been more proud to be wrong. For Arsenal have rebounded from misery to be a force amongst English football once again. Here are the 8 most crucial decisions Arséne has made to achieve this:
Betting on being a brilliant brother to Bodhi since 2008 (-1 Asian Handicap). Find me @LiamJJohnson on Twitter where you might find some wonderful pearls of wisdom in a stout cocktail of profanity, football discussion and general musings. Or you might not. Depends how red my eyes are.