Arsenal show resilience but it’s too Little too Late

 

Embarrassed in the FA Cup, out of the Champions League and a title charge in tatters; the all too familiar end to a season that offered so much.

But we’ve at least shown a bit of bottle and desire with a spirited display at the Nou Camp and a solid 2-0 win away to Everton, right!? Too little, too late I’m afraid. As it stands, to have a realistic chance of claiming that elusive 14th league title, we’re likely to need a perfect conclusion to the season, and even that may not be enough.

Arsene Wenger commented following the Everton game that the team showed that they are up for the fight and that they passed a ‘mental test’. Wow, that sounds like a familiar line. We pass that same ‘mental test’ every season at the same point; when hope has all but been lost. It brings a frustration like no other. Every year when we reach this point, we just about recover and all seems adequate. We are pumped with transfer rumours fuelled by the Arsenal PR machine and we get to a point where we believe that things aren’t as bad as we initially thought. Next season will be our year!

Our year never seems to come. The two FA Cups are not to be sneezed at, let’s make that perfectly clear. But they should have been stepping stones to greater success. The lack of activity in the Summer transfer window has been exhausted by bloggers, but the greater issue should be our transfer policy in general. This wasn’t the first window where we failed, it wasn’t even the fifth, so something is clearly fundamentally wrong.

This team is mentally frail, and there comes a point where you have to question the manager. There is a collective failing within this team that suggests the issue has to be from a central figure, and that regrettably is Arsene Wenger. Has he been let down by his players? Absolutely. But it is the sheer fact that he has been let down so many times by essentially the same group of players that means the finger must be pointed at him. He has formed a core of players who to date are clearly not up for the fight, and by not signing players who are mentally capable of challenging at the top, he has neglected the single problem that will continue to hold us back.

Rival supporters often comment that Arsenal fans are greedy, and should be grateful for what the club has offered us over the years. But it is our desire to see Arsenal progress that makes us supporters. Commercially, the club should be ready to dominate the domestic game and should be looking to take the fight to the European stage. We are so close to getting there as well, that’s what makes it so painful. I want Arsenal to be a success, and I desperately want Arsene to make that happen, but there are only so many times the same mistakes can be made.

It is the hope that kills us. I read a piece by the highly reputable John Cross yesterday about how Arsene Wenger will be having a clear out this Summer as he feels ‘let down’ by some of the current first team. What proceeded was what felt like a list of every player we have ever been linked with to create a super team that, let’s be honest’ is never going to happen. It felt like a piece straight from the club to prompt those season ticket renewals, but maybe this year will be different – but don’t hold your breath!

I hate this time of year, because our league challenge always comes to an end. I was spoilt growing up, there is absolutely no doubting that. But this club is capable of so much more than they are offering. Despite all the obvious problems, I am at least taking solace in the impact that Alex Iwobi has had. I bring him up simply because I want to end this piece on a slightly positive note. He has taken to the first team like he belongs there, and unless he loses his head and focus, he should continue to make inroads at the club.

And on that note, have a fantastic Easter and enjoy this tedious International break! Despite the failings of our own club, I still hate the fact I’m forced to watch these awful games in a desperate attempt to satisfy my football addiction!

 

 

 

One Response to “Arsenal show resilience but it’s too Little too Late

  • Well-crafted and spot-on argument. Wenger should announce that he plans to stand down at end of next season and Arsenal should announce his successor in Jan 2017. If they can’r persuade Bergkamp they should go for Koeman. Before he goes Wenger should clear out half the squad. Chesny, Mertesacker, Flamini, Arteta and Giroud should go. I’d even add Ramsey, Koscielny and Walcott to that list. Chambers and Gibbs will be in last chance saloon.

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