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THE CROW: Remember last time Gunners DIDN'T qualify for the Champions League?

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Published: 9 May, 2014

ARSENAL by Richard Osley

PEOPLE often say stupid things about all the things that have happened in the time that has passed since the last time Arsenal won a trophy, forgetting in an instance that Chelsea went 49 years without a league title and Spurs, embarrass­ingly, have not won a biggie since 1991. There’s hardly a need to mention Manchester City's historic success droughts, while Liverpool, in the most ridiculous circumstances, look to have extended their wait for a championship to the quarter-century mark.

But oh, those bores rattle on, fretting that James Blunt's You're Beautiful was top of the charts the last time Arsenal clinched a cup, and Wedding Crashers was on at the cinema. And Tony Blair was still Prime Minister. And whatevs. It doesn't really seem that long ago. I can still see Patrick Vieira winning the cup for Arsenal.

What people should really think about is the SEVENTEEN years that Arsenal have now qualified for the Champions League, an unrivalled achievement which has made them consistently among Europe's genuine elite. Confirmed this week, Arsene Wenger has reason to be proud.

That’s 17 years, my friend, 17 years. I was still at school 17 years ago. Look at the photo, I've grown from into a manly Bruce Willis look-alike and all that time Arsenal have been enjoying Champions League football.

And flipping your game on you: John Major was Prime Minister the last time we didn't qualify,  Britain had just won Eurovision and the first Harry Potter book was just hitting the shops. Now, that all was a very, very long time ago.

• Send your views to Sports, 40 Camden Road, NW1 9DR or email sports@westendextra.com
 

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