Frustration is boiling over at the Emirates- an underperforming squad has started 2012 in a well documented poor fashion.
Sadly the return of the King Thierry Henry has been tarnished by some mindless fans at Swansea on Sunday aggravating the Frenchman.
The Gunners have now lost two league games on the bounce and languish well behind their title rivals and crucially are four points behind Chelsea in forth.
Even Arsene Wenger himself, who usually vehemently defends his squad, expressed his frustration on Sunday at his side’s lapses in concentration.
The defeat to Swansea highlighted Arsenal’s frailty, lack of composure and underperforming squad.
Arsenal look scared at the back and lack a leader, Thomas Vermaelen is superb but frequently injured. In Wenger’s defence all his fullbacks are currently out injured and a seasoned international in Per Mertesacker has been shambolic.
Without an intimidating, solid backline in the mould of Tony Adams, Martin Keown and Sol Campbell etc, the Gunners can’t build the foundations for winning trophies.
The vulnerability of Arsenal’s defence has been a frustrating feature for the past four seasons and is bamboozling why Wenger hasn’t solved the problem with some astute signings.
Gary Cahill has obviously signed for Chelsea – a signing Wenger could and should have done back in the summer. £7 million is an absolute steal for Chelsea and could end up shutting the door on Arsenal’s European aspirations.
Defensive reinforcements are a necessity but also some composure in the final third will be crucial if Arsenal are going to recover lost ground on their rivals.
Henry has returned, Van Persie continues to dazzle but the rest have to step up to the plate. Wenger’s insistence on starting with Andrey Arshavin is bizarre, the Russian is failing to provide for his team in terms of goals and effort.
Furthermore Alex Oxade-Chamberlain isn’t getting game time. He’s more direct than Walcott and has an accurate distribution off the flanks. He is lively, full of energy and is keen to impress.
Whether he starts or not, the youngster needs to be involved far more whilst Wenger needs to freshen up the squad with signings and rotations.
There are reasons to be positive and with a fully fit first 11 we have the foundations for success this campaign.
Szczeny, Vermaelen, Ramsey, Wilshere and Van Persie would walk into most teams but it’s their colleagues who must repay Wenger’s incredible faith in his players. Wilshere’s return in February will be like a new signing with a crunch tie with AC Milan approaching fast.
The season is only half way through but the tide needs to turn quickly in a crucial period of fixtures, especially with a resurgent Man United at the Emirates on Sunday.