The Best a man can get...

It’s been a while since I last posted an article here. Ever since my beloved club’s ill-fated exit from FA cup and subsequently the Champion League, I took a step back to look around the sports arena to seek some solace after our disappointing season has finally ended. I take a closer look at basketball, the next most popular sports behind football in an island city who can only be proud of their achievement in the tiny white ball of table tennis in the recent Olympic games; This year’s NBA finals is showcasing the beauty of attacking game with Kobe Bryant of L.A Lakers playing the offensive game to the core in a bid to over-run the Orlando Magic.
I am totally in awe with Kobe’s attacking philosophy and his spirited performance, at a point where he glides past 2 opposition players, make a fake move and finally drive all the way to the basketball. Splendid! Excellent ball control and body movement. And cheering him by the sideline in Game 2 of the NBA finals is none other than our club legend, Henry, whom is the epitome of attacking football. Like Henry and Kobe who are already the iconic figures in their field of sports, Tiger Woods paid his compliments by appearing in Game 3.
Ok, I’ve mentioned living legends in Kobe, Henry and Tiger who ply their trades in basketball, football and golf respectively. So what’s next? Of course, how can I not mention the fresh conqueror of the French Open 2009; Roger Federer has finally claimed his 14th grandslam in style and pocketed the title of the “Best Tennis Player” ever to the grace the game.
All the 4 men possessed something in common; they have defied all odds to achieve their legendary status in their specialized field – the winning mentality and the determination not to let anything stand in their way to achieve success. It’s a pity, of course, that the Gilette Company failed to get Kobe in their act. They all have epitomized everything that a professional sportsman can ever achieve in their career. I shared the joy of Henry when he finally gets his hands on the well-coveted Champions League medal to complete his glorious career haul. Same goes to Federer, Kobe and Tiger who has achieved almost everything in their career. Well, that is truly what a man can gets isn’t?
Well, this comes to the key point I want to make in this post. I spend quite some time pondering what to expect from this young but experienced Arsenal squad captained by Fabregas, who is the main conductor orchestrating our offensive front. “Young but experienced squad”, how often you hear that phrase in professional sports? Tennis or golf, maybe? but never in a team sports. But now this phrase has been used exclusively to explain our failings in this trophy less season. Our current squad may be young at age, but they do possessed bags of experiences in the league, as well as Champion league. Despite Arsene’s continual insistence that this crop of youngsters are good enough to rule the league, but he fails to instill the mental strength that are evident is the previous 2002 and 2004 winning squad that consists of Adams, Keown, Vieira, Pires, Gilberto, Bergkamp, Henry and the lists goes on.
“When the going gets tough, the tough gets going”. Long gone are the days where our team might gone 1-0 down, but eventual score 2 goals to win the game. And when the opposition scores 2, we will outscore them. Where is the ultimate attacking flair and offensive mentality to outscore our oppositions, despite conceding at the defensive end? That mentality is truly missing this season. How many times we saw Arsenal conceded an early goal and eventually surrender at the 90th min when opposing team parked their team bus in front of their goal or tried to stifle our midfield. The Arsenal team of the past will never let this happens; they will outpace, outpass and outclass them to score goals.
And sadly, this mentality is evident in man, not youth. Not the least, our young Arsenal squad.
Frankly speaking, I feel Fabregas is not up to the task of inspiring this offensive mentality. He and the rest of the squad need a leader to inspire the offensive mentality.  Someone, who has been there and done it before, someone who retaliates by bursting forward at all cost. Oh dear, how badly we are missing Henry. I’ve been thinking if we are indeed missing someone with these leadership qualities and whether this can be solved by just purely importing someone who is rough, no-nonsense, authoritative defensive midfielder or central defender.
From my perspective, leadership cannot be imported but only cultivated. 2 men come to my mind and with their performances last season, they have done enough to convince me that Arsenal don’t lack leaders with the offensive and never say die mentality. Arshavin and Eduardo. Surprising? Especially one has just joined the club and the other has missed large part of the season through injury.
Arshavin has achieved virtually everything at Zenit St Peterburg and he is definitely no stranger to stardom in his native Russia. On the field, he only knows one direction to move, FORWARD. His drives and tenacity is something we’ve been sorely missing since Rosicky got injured. He can drive and ride on our offensive front, leading the one-touch counter attacking football that has left along with Pires and Henry. How many times this season we’ve witnessed counter attacking moves stopped with Walcott or Nasri on one end of the field with no support?
Eduardo, on the other hand, has displayed super human determination and grit to recover from his career threatening injury. His class and ability are there for all to see when he scores in the FA cup match. At the age of 28 and 26 respectively, both of them are our natural leaders. Hopefully, our excellent offensive line-up can be built around both of them to bring back our glorious days of attacking football.
Irregardless who Wenger brings in, our very own galacticos front line-up is strong enough to match up against any team in the world. And I truly meant ANY team. With a line-up that includes, Fabregas, Walcott, Nasri, Arshavin, Van Persie and Edurado, we really don’t need any big name signings.
So Arsene, let’s get working on the field and bring back our proud traditions of one touch attacking football next season!
P.S: Pardon me for the long post, comments are welcome!
 

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