The Premier league table does not make for good reading as an Arsenal fan, and we are on course for our worst season ever under Arsene Wenger. The dashed hopes and expectation has caused emotional divisions as Gooners try to work out what has gone wrong.
The media say that it’s simple really, our squad is just not good enough. Man for man we can beat Yanited on the day, big deal! But the failure to recruit decent calibre players to our defence has hurt the team dramatically. Add to that our misfiring attacking midfielders the pundits queue up to express amazement that we are not even further behind.
The Wenger loyalists plead for patience and point to improving performances in Song and Denilson. Nasri has been a revelation, his goals being crucial to the victory against Yanited in particular. I recall some Gooners saying that Adebayor would score another 30 goals this season, I laughed…
The anti-Wenger brigade talk of armageddon and meltdown with the end of Arsenal Football Club as we know it. Now apart from being a little harsh, do we really believe that our great club has seen the best of Arsene Wenger, and that now we should cut our losses and move on?
Success begins at the back, and I have been forced to eat my words as Vijic and Ferdinand are clearly the best centre back pairing in Europe. 14 games without a single goal conceded is one great record, and it confirms why I believe in a solid defence. Built upon this foundation, players like Carrick and Scholls have combined to provide their strikers with the kind of balls that we can only dream of.
Yanited have had their fair share of injuries, and let us not forget, that at one point in the season we were comfortably ahead of them, albeit with games in hand. So we cannot bleat on about the absence of Eduardo, Rosicky etc etc. to be this far behind can either be perceived as abject failure of the strategy employed by Arsene Wenger, or as I see it, the signs of complacent players, who thought being in an Arsenal shirt was all that was needed for the results to come.
We have been fifteen points worse than Yanited in desire, in work rate and most of all in consistency. This is not the entirely the fault of Arsene Wenger. This is down to the players. They need to look into the mirror and ask themselves have they earned the right to their place in the team?
We beat Chelsea and Yanited, because we closed down the ball and showed pride in the tackle, attributes missing from games against the also rans below us. There is also the sentiment now that other teams see Arsenal as beatable, so why not try? As opposed to attacking Yanited. So in a sense, the more successful you are, the less likely teams much lower than yourself are going to try and turn you over.
So coming back to the question? Are we really 15 points worse than Yanited? If we add in the failure of teams to try hard to beat them, compared to the impression that they can get something from us, then we are already at a disadvantage. Our midfield is certainly 9 points worse without Fabregas, but fifteen points? No way.
The difference between success and failure can often hinge in a game on a missed chance or a defensive error, such as the games against Villa and Liverpool. Such differences are small, when Yanited have their opposition reduced to ten men or obtain dodgy penalties.
But enough of the crying over spilt milk. If we finish the season 15 points behind, then I for one shall be very disappointed. Yanited have done well, they are “untouchable” according to Arsene Wenger, but I expect to see this gap substantially reduced in the coming games. It has to be reduced if we are to salvage any pride from the remnants of this season. We are not that far behind the red tide of Manchester on paper, the problem lies in the belief of the players…
What do you think?
Fabregas the King