Arsenal: The Way Forward
My last post on this blog was about Arsenal and Arsene Wenger. Since then, they lost the CL match at home to Bayern Munich, struggled to beat Aston Villa and conceded two ‘silly goals’ in three minutes to red hot Tottenham at White Hat Lane to drop off the pace for Champions League qualification. It is not that loss that’s annoying but the manner of it. For 30 minutes or so, Arsenal stood strong against the powerful strike force of Bale, Adebayor and Lennon but without any clear-cut offensive play.
In over half an hour of play, Arsenal could not muster any solid shot at goal against an average Spurs defense. If this does not cut a pathetic picture, I wonder what would. Tottenham were organized in the middle of the pack and very, very quick in counter attack. With Bale and Lennon running riot both centrally and on the wings, Arsenal had no answer to the quick fire counter attacks that resulted in the two goals that downed them within a space of three minutes.
As at today, it’s looking less likely that Arsenal would qualify for the CL except Chelsea and Tottenham both implode at the same time. While some people are talking about the ‘easy’ oppositions lined up ahead of Arsenal and the fact that they would eventually have only the Premiership to concentrate on baring any ‘miracle’ in Munich, the truth of the matter is that no one can categorically back this team against these so called easy foes.
Like I have said many times in the past, Arsenal, under Wenger’s watch has gradually been turned into ‘also ran’ in major competitions. Is it any marvel therefore that the likes of Swansea would come to the Emirates and take away three points? How do you remain competitive when you get rid of your best players year –in, year-out?
Having the likes of Aaron Ramsey and Carl Jekinson playing in the first eleven of an ambitious club like Arsenal is quite revealing of Arsene Wenger’s personal ambition or better still, lack of it. Arsene quickly shunted Alex Song to Barcelona after a whiff of money while at the same time hoping that permanently crocked Abou Diaby would step in to fill the gap.
We are all witnesses to the fact that Diaby at best remains an average and inconsistent player who is also highly prone to niggling injuries. For me, he has been on holidays at the Emirates and the earlier Wenger lets him go the better. Similarly, Aaron Ramsey is not fit to start for Arsenal except in Wenger’s team. The time is ripe for serious changes at this club before things go completely out of control and Arsenal becomes another Liverpool.
The Summer should be a period of serious activities in the transfer market where two world class center halves, a clinical finisher, one left back, one right back and a top draw goalkeeper are all brought in to drag this team back up where it belongs. It is one thing to wish, it is another to act. Arsenal, as represented by Wenger and his supporters on the board must act in such a way to ensure that this team does not lose any more grounds.