Theo Walcott made an authoritative statement today in the press when he claimed that Arsenal have been the best team in Europe during the 2015 calendar year. They are interesting comments and ones that could be broadly interpreted to really mean anything you want.
“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.”
The Independent put Walcott’s claim to the test and actually found that Arsenal have been the second best team in Europe in terms of points won in domestic competitions. They placed behind Barcelona, but ahead of Bayern Munich, Real Madrid, Chelsea, and Juventus.
It’s true, in terms of points gained during the year of 2015, Arsenal have been the best team in England. Their FA Cup campaign to date has been impressive as well.
Beating Liverpool at home, and Manchester City, Manchester United, and Monaco away were impressive results. Their performance against Chelsea last weekend wasn’t too horrible either and indicated that they should compete for the title next year. When you look at these results you could make a good argument that Arsenal have been the best team in England in 2015.
But Arsenal’s failure in the Champions League puts them some ways behind a team like Barcelona, who have taken 2015 the scruff of its neck.
To me, his comments are indicating more what Arsenal’s injury crisis did mentally to the team and in terms of points in the league of course. The fact that Walcott makes these comments while the team is almost fully healthy, as he stated, indicates the improved quality of players at the club that he is seeing.
My guess is that the quality that Walcott is experiencing around him as made him and the team more confident and that’s where these statements come from.
Whatever you think of the comments, they are definitely encouraging and show the confidence that is running through team. Arsenal is primed for an excellent end to the season and hopefully they carry it over the start of next season.