Around the Bases

Tariq Engineer

Something pretty remarkable is going on in England, which if it were happening on this side of the pond would be splashed all over the sporting pages. Arsenal is four games away from becoming the first team in English football history to go through an entire season without losing a game. Now admittedly, going an entire season without losing is different from winning every game during a season. That said, remaining unbeaten during a 38 game season, while at the same time juggling participating in three different cup competitions, would be an outstanding achievement. Arsenal’s four remaining games are all against teams in the lower half of the league table, and they are quite capable of winning all four.

At times this season Arsenal has played sublime, irresistible football. With Thierry Henry, arguably the best footballer in the world, leading the line, Patrick Vierra bossing midfield, and the more than adequate combination of Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure at the heart of the defense, Arsenal has proved itself a class apart in the Premiership. Add the skills of Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp, and the energy and industry of Fredrik Ljungburg and it’s not hard to see why the team has clinched the Premier League title with four games to spare.

Still if Arsenal were to go unbeaten this season, the team would have to be ranked up there with the best Premier League teams of all time. Liverpool held the previous record for unbeaten games at 30. Arsenal would break that record by an incredible eight games. Yes, under Arsene Wenger Arsenal has not won back-to-back Premier League titles like Liverpool made a habit of doing in the 1970s and 1980s, and Manchester United did in the 1990s. All the same, an unbeaten season has to rank as one of the best achievements in the history of domestic football in England.