The last 3 times Arsenal were top after 12 games & what happened next

15-05-2004 of Arsenal players celebrating victory in the Premier League Credit: Alamy
15-05-2004 of Arsenal players celebrating victory in the Premier League Credit: Alamy

Arsenal have had a terrific start to the 2022-23 campaign. They currently sit at the top of the table on 31 points after 12 games.

If Mikel Arteta’s side were to continue to average 2.58 points per game, they would finish the season with 98 points. The Gunners have only dropped points in two of their opening 12 matches, which is some achievement.

Having scored an average of 2.5 goals per game, it feels as if this Arsenal squad is on the cusp of something special. Arsenal’s squad currently ranks as the youngest in the Premier League with an average age of just 23.8 years.

Arteta has built a formidable force, but how does this side stack up against Arsenal teams of the past? We’ve looked back at the last three times Arsenal were top of the league after 12 games and how they ultimately did.

2003-04

This year will take some topping.

The Gunners were unbeaten across their opening 12 matches of the 2003-04 season, a record which they managed to extend until the end of the season.

Gameweek 12 was arguably one of the sweetest for Arsenal fans. Having fallen behind against Spurs after just five minutes at Highbury, Arsenal turned things around with goals from Robert Pires and Freddie Ljungberg to win 2-1.

Something special was brewing in north London as Arsenal sat top of the Premier League table on 30 points after 12 games had been played.

Arsene Wenger’s side finished the season having not lost a single game and were ultimately crowned as Premier League champions. During the Premier League era, the achievement of being invincible across an entire season had never been accomplished and perhaps it never will again.

Invincible.

 Credit: Alamy
Credit: Alamy

QUIZ: Can you name every player to appear for Arsenal in the Invincibles season?

2007-08

Having not won the Premier League since 2004, Arsenal were on a mission to reclaim their crown.

The Invincibles era had well and truly passed, but Wenger was on the right track to building something else during the 2007-08 campaign.

Wenger had edged away from the previous blueprint, which saw the likes of Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry thrive. Instead, Arsenal became a slightly more technical team so that the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Tomas Rosicky could flourish.

The Gunners sat at the top of the Premier League table after 12 matches, following a 3-1 away victory at Reading. Wenger’s side had collected 30 points from their opening 12 matches and had a notable 3-1 away victory at Spurs in the process.

But the competition was stiff back in 2007-08, and Arsenal ultimately lost out on the title, despite a really strong campaign. They only lost three matches throughout the season but ended up finishing third.

Manchester United pipped them to the title, despite losing two more matches than Arsenal did throughout the season. Chelsea also managed to sneak above them in the final table.

Wenger’s side sat top of the Premier League up until gameweek 29, but as a result of a five-game winless run, Arsenal lost their footing. The Eduardo injury, dropped points at Birmingham and that William Gallas tantrum in February 2008 was where the season just went off the rails.

2013-14

This year turned out to be quite the topsy-turvy season for the Gunners.

Having been outside of the title race for a few years, Arsenal seemed determined to throw their hat back into the ring. Wenger’s side lost on the opening gameweek against Aston Villa, but they then won eight of their next nine league matches.

Mesut Ozil was Arsenal’s marquee signing in the summer and it was hoped that he would push them on to challenge for the league again. The German playmaker finished his debut season with five goals and nine assists.

The 2013-14 season is remembered as a title tussle between Man City and Liverpool, but Arsenal spent the most weeks at the top of the table, remaining there until gameweek 25.

But things quickly unravelled for them in the second half of the season. Wenger’s side were subjected to a fair few humiliating scorelines this year. His side lost 6-3 to Man City, 5-1 to Liverpool and 6-0 to Chelsea.

In the end, Arsenal finished the season in fourth place and were seven points off champions Man City. Time will tell if history repeats itself once again this year.

READ MORE: 10 brilliant stats from Arsenal’s hugely impressive Forest demolition

The article The last 3 times Arsenal were top after 12 games & what happened next appeared first on Planetfootball.com.