The following piece was written in the aftermath of the 2003-2004 "Invicibles" season and placed in a time capsule with instructions to be opened 10 years later. Nobody remembered to dig it up at the appointed time, but better late than never.
This is the dawning of a new age for Arsenal Football Club. A year ago, Arsene Wenger boasted that this team could go an entire season without losing a single game. After throwing away the title the year before, pundits, rival fans, and even my own grandmother scoffed at the notion. But Wenger was true to his word, and through his infallible tactical genius impossible has been made possible. We've done it. We are Invincible.
But more than just achieving a historic season, Arsenal have finally turned a corner. No longer are we a faint-hearted team that faints at the merest hint of pressure or physicality. With two league titles in three seasons, we have become the unquestioned kings of England. We've planted our flag in the ground and proudly declared that we are Arsenal, and we are here to stay.
Arsene Wenger is building a dynasty, and our talented young squad is poised to stay together and build on this moment for years to come. In Thierry Henry, the world's best striker will be clad in Arsenal red until the day he finally hangs up his boots. Ashley Cole, Arsenal born and raised, loves this club as much as he'll love his wife one day. In his sole appearance this year, young David Bentley already looks a worthy heir to David Beckham. And I can say with confidence that our youngest ever player and goalscorer, Cesc Fabregas, will surely be the heart and soul of this club for at least another decade.
Wenger has shown the strength of character to do things the right way, and instead of falling into the trap of overspending on players when there is clearly no value in the transfer market, he has built us a magnificent footballing academy to grow our own future World Cup stars. Sparkling young talents like Sebastian Larsson, Anthony Stokes, Ryan Smith, and Ashley Probets are set to step in and take on key roles as the years progress. The amount of young players assembled by Arsenal beggars belief. At this point, one wonders if Gunners fans would even entertain welcoming an expensive signing into the team as anything other than a mercenary.
It is inconceivable to imagine a future where Arsenal is not regularly winning the Premier League. With Alex Ferguson clearly on the decline, the landscape is vacant of any potential rival to our crown. Today, Wenger strides the English game like a colossus, leaving this aging Scottish relic in his wake. Chelsea's new-money pretenders and their newly appointed, flavor-of-the-month Portuguese manager is a hilarious insult to the sanctity of the game that will be surely left in shambles when their billionaire owner tires of his plaything. Meanwhile our so-called "rivals" from just north of London spiral closer towards relegation and eternal irrelevance. If the Spuds ever finish within one point of Arsenal again, I'll burn my Fabregas jersey.
The Champions League victory that has thus far eluded our legendary club is sure to follow in only a matter of time. Clashes with the likes of AC Milan and Deportivo La Coruña in the latter stages of the Champions League will assuredly replace the North London Derby as the highlight of any Gunner's calendar. As Arsenal turns their sights towards European dominance, the only concern left will be if Arsenal's domestic supremacy will make the English title irrelevant. What will England even be like when Arsenal has no real rival? Sad is it sounds, leaving the Premier League a scorched ruin will be well worth it as the trophy room at our glorious new stadium overflows with silverware.
With our new stadium at Ashburton Grove breaking ground this year, you can already imagine the deafening roar of its atmosphere becoming feared throughout Europe. Although our new Highbury has yet to be christened with its official name, Chairman Peter Hill-Wood will surely choose something tasteful and respectful of our storied tradition in the English game.
Although it must be said, this road to glory is not without its dangers. How will we handle teams like Barcelona when they come to the Grove looking for payback for the Gunners' theft of their best players, like young Cesc? Our players will have to learn to play with eyes in the back of their head, but such is the price of greatness. Just ask players at Real Madrid. Or rather, ask them before they leave the Spanish capital to play for Arsenal.
When I open this time capsule in ten years time to read these words, my only fear is that I did not dream a bright enough future for The Arsenal.
The Short Fuse has been taken over today by Cartilage Free Captain, SB Nation's Tottenham Hotspur blog! For the humor-impaired, articles posted today are intended to be parody and do not reflect the views (or even the writing!) of The Short Fuse writing staff.