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25 Things That Have Happened in the Premier League Since Arsenal's Last Title

James McNicholasFeatured ColumnistOctober 7, 2013

25 Things That Have Happened in the Premier League Since Arsenal's Last Title

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    It is now more than nine years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title.

    Almost a decade has passed since Arsene Wenger lifted English football's most prized trophy aloft. "The Invincibles" have faded into memory.

    In the intervening years, the Premier League has seen plenty of dramatic moments and sweeping changes.

    Go to the next slide as we run through some of the extraordinary events that have taken place since Arsenal's last championship triumph.

Sir Alex Ferguson's Retirement

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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Arsene Wenger's long-term rivalry with Sir Alex Ferguson is over.

    After spending the best part of three decades at Old Trafford, the Scottish manager finally called it a day at the end of last season.

    Wenger will be pleased to have outlasted his old foe but saddened that he never beat him to another Premier League title.

Lasagne-Gate

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    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    In the absence of trophies, Arsenal fans have derived much of their joy from the struggles of Tottenham Hotspur.

    At the end of the 2005/06 season, Gunners fans were able to celebrate in style as Arsenal leap-frogged their rivals to qualify for the Champions League.

    A Thierry Henry hat-trick helped Arsenal beat Wigan, while Spurs were defeated by Yossi Benayoun's West Ham. According to the myth, Spurs' feeble performance was the consequence of some dodgy lasagne.

Chelsea Won Their First Premier League Title

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    Until Jose Mourinho arrived at Chelsea, Arsenal were the only London club to have lifted the Premier League.

    However, in 2005, Mourinho was able to bring Chelsea their first league title in 50 years. It was no fluke: they repeated the feat the following season.

    After adding another championship win in 2010, Chelsea now have as many Premier League titles as Arsenal.

Jack Wilshere Made His Premier League Debut

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    Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

    Arsenal fans had already caught glimpses of Jack Wilshere in the League Cup. However, in September 2008, he was handed his Premier League debut in a match against Blackburn at Ewood Park.

    He was just 16 years old. 

    Wilshere's debut was a landmark moment for English football: He was the first of a new generation of technically-gifted British players.

    Injuries have slowed his progress, but in years to come, Arsenal and England fans will look back on that day in 2008 as a hugely significant moment.

Arsenal Moved to the Emirates Stadium

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    Arsenal have not won a Premier League title since leaving Highbury for the last time in 2006.

    The Emirates Stadium is a spectacular arena but is yet to be graced by a major trophy win.

    That's partly explained by the enormous cost of the new ground. Arsenal had to cut their cloth accordingly but now seem to be back on a solid financial footing. Glory can not be far around the corner.

Dennis Bergkamp Retired

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    Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

    In the summer of 2006, Arsenal bid farewell to one of their greatest-ever players: Dennis Bergkamp.

    The Dutchman's final appearance was a testimonial against an Ajax XI. It was the first game at the new Emirates Stadium, which was a perfect encapsulation of Arsenal's transition between eras.

Robin Van Persie Defected to Manchester United

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    Paul Thomas/Getty Images

    Arsenal have lost a host of stars since 2004, but no departure was more painful than that of Robin van Persie.

    Having nursed Van Persie back to full fitness, Arsene Wenger will have been stung by the Dutchman's decision to join bitter rivals Manchester United.

    Van Persie promptly fired United to the 2012/13 Premier League title, while Arsenal foundered in fourth.

Cesc Fabregas Made His Premier League Debut

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Like Jack Wilshere, Cesc Fabregas was initially blooded in the League Cup. He had already scored his first Arsenal goal, in a cup tie against Wolves, when Arsenal won the 2004 title.

    However, it wasn't until the next season that Fabregas made his full league debut. At the start of the 2004-05 season, Fabregas made four consecutive Premier League starts.

    He even managed a goal against Blackburn, making him Arsenal's youngest-ever league goalscorer at the age of 17.

    Even as a teenager, it was clear Fabregas would go on to become a special player.

Craig Gordon Made the Best Premier League Save Ever

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    In December 2010, Craig Gordon made this extraordinary reaction save to deny Bolton Wanderers.

    The save was later voted as the greatest in Premier League history.

    Nowadays, Gordon finds himself without a club after a succession of injury problems. How quickly fortunes can change.

Manchester City Joined the Elite

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The acquisition of Manchester City by the Abu Dhabi United Group created a new Premier League superpower.

    Manchester City have already claimed their first Premier League title and, with the support of Sheikh Mansour, will doubtless add many more.

Arsenal Smashed Their Transfer Record

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    The title-winning team of 2004 was assembled on a relatively tight budget.

    However, almost a decade on, the purse strings have finally been loosened.

    Arsenal recently trebled their transfer record to bring in German playmaker Mesut Ozil for a whopping £42.5 million. Arsenal fans will be hoping Ozil can help restore the glory days to North London.

Arsene Wenger Has Signed Two New Contracts

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Despite going almost a decade without a championship win, Arsene Wenger has signed two contract extensions since 2004.

    In 2007, he signed a three-year deal worth a reported £12 million.

    In August 2010, Wenger extended that deal to take him to the summer of 2014. 

    Another new contract for Wenger appears to be imminent. Will this one bring with it the bonus of some silverware?

Wayne Rooney Scored the Best Premier League Goal of All Time

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    Arsenal fans may prefer Dennis Bergkamp's pirouette against Newcastle, but this stunning effort from Wayne Rooney in February 2011 was voted as the best in Premier League history.

    Rooney's best may be behind him now. This acrobatic effort was emblematic of a player at his absolute peak.

Chelsea Have Had 8 Different Managers

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    Hamish Blair/Getty Images

    Arsene Wenger has remained undisturbed at Arsenal since the 2004 title win.

    In the same period of time, Chelsea have had no less than eight different managers, including the likes of Avram Grant, Luiz Felipe Scolari, Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho twice, of course.

    Despite the turbulence, Chelsea have won many more trophies than Arsenal during that period. Is stability overrated?

Portsmouth and Reading Played the Highest-Scoring Premier League Game Ever

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    This 11-goal thriller from September 2008 remains the highest-scoring game in Premier League history.

    Arsenal have played out a couple of eight-goal thrillers but nothing to compete with the madness of this topsy-turvy match.

Liverpool 4-4 Arshavin

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    Andrey Arshavin left Arsenal this summer as a forgotten man. A player who was once the club's record signing was allowed to depart on a free transfer.

    The video clip above is a dramatic reminder of his faded abilities. When he scored four goals in a single game at Anfield, Arsenal fans dared to dream he might be the man to fire Arsenal to glory once again.

    Sadly, it was not to be.

Arsenal's Unbeaten Run Ended at 49

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    The 2004 title win as a special one: Arsenal managed to go through the entire season without losing a single league game.

    The run continued in to the next season before coming to an end in painful circumstances at Old Trafford.

    Beneath their kits, Arsenal players wore T-shirts emblazoned with the message "50 not out." Unfortunately for Arsenal fans, the run was destined to end at 49. The shirts were never seen.

Charlton Athletic Fell from Grace

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    Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images

    As Arsenal celebrated their 2004 title, Charlton Athletic congratulated themselves on an enormously impressive seventh-place finish.

    Charlton couldn't have known it then, but they were at the peak of their powers. Since then, they have fallen as far as the third tier of English football.

    Charlton are now back in the Championship but have a long way to go before they hit the heights they achieved under Alan Curbishley.

The Agonizing 8-2

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    The post-2004 period saw the worst defeat in Arsenal's Premier League history.

    In August 2011, Manchester United hammered a threadbare Arsenal squad 8-2 at Old Trafford. This calamitous defeat was probably the nadir of Arsene Wenger's entire Arsenal reign.

Ryan Giggs Broke Records for Fun

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    Alex Livesey/Getty Images

    Throughout the last nine years, Ryan Giggs has been incredibly consistent, defying his ageing limbs to continue to perform at an elite level.

    Giggs has now won a record 13 Premier League titles. No player has more Premier League appearances or assists. Incredibly, Giggs has also scored in every Premier League season to date.

Arsenal Stayed in the Top Four

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    Paul Gilham/Getty Images

    Although Arsenal have not won a Premier League title since 2004, they have not dropped out of the top four either.

    Despite the rise of teams such as Manchester City, Chelsea and Tottenham, Arsenal have shown great consistency to continue to qualify for the Champions League season-on-season.

Two Broken Legs

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    Phil Cole/Getty Images

    Arsenal players have suffered two horrific injuries in the last nine years.

    Both Eduardo da Silva and Aaron Ramsey were the victims of aggressive challenges that caused badly broken legs.

    Eduardo never truly recovered and was eventually sold to Shakhtar Donetsk. Fortunately, Aaron Ramsey seems to have conquered his problems and is now in the form of his life.

The Rise of Swansea City

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    Michael Steele/Getty Images

    The season after Arsenal's Premier League triumph, Swansea City achieved promotion from League Two.

    The Swans are now League Cup winners and competing in the Europa League.

    Their meteoric rise is a reminder of just how quickly progress can be achieved in football.

Arsenal Beat Spurs 5-2... Twice!

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    Clive Mason/Getty Images

    Arsenal fans will always be glad to be reminded of thumping Tottenham 5-2 twice within the calendar year of 2012.

    Despite Tottenham's dramatic progress under Harry Redknapp and Andre Villas Boas, Arsenal remain one step ahead of their rivals.

The Pires and Henry Penalty Farce

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    This misfire from the Gunners is arguably one of the Premier League's most amusing moments of the last nine years.

    Robert Pires and Thierry Henry got so much right during their time with Arsenal. This 2005 penalty kick, however, went spectacularly wrong.

     

    What are your best Premier League memories since 2004? Let us know below.

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