Friday, January 06, 2006

Arsenal, hard slog ahead

The beginning of the New Year and Arsenal remain in turmoil. The 0-0 draw with Manchester United was a small victory (sad that is small victory). A couple of issues. I watched the Arsenal-Chelsea match a few weeks ago. A game that showed the divide between the new rich kid on the block and the old guard Arsenal. That game showed that Arsenal's midfield remains either young and in flux. Without Vieira and Edu the team has little leadership. Gilberto remains the senior statesman for central midfield, and his best days are behind him. Chelsea rolled out Lampard, Makelele, Essien, etc completely controlling the midfield. Robbens running up and down the flank tore apart the Arsenal defense. Granted the game might have been different had Van Persie's goal been rightfully called a goal and not off sides. But overall it was clear that Flamini, Fabergas etc are far from becoming a dominating force in the middle of the pitch.

The Arsenal-Man U game, gave me a little more hope. With Reyes and Pires on the pitch they seemed to have more possesion and control, granted Wenger started 5 midfielders. The one problem is the lack of solution up front outside of Henry, and that might be a fleeting option next topic. The problem during the Man U game was a complete lack of "killer instinct" Arsenal tried to pass the ball into the goal rather than taking their chances when Man U was giving them space from outside the 18.

Now on to Mr Titi Henry. With the rumors of his departure to Barca swirling with greater intesity, I fear that it is inevitable that the Arsenal leading goal scorer will soon ply his trade in the warmth of spain. This will mark another name leaving arsenal after Vieira (will cole be another one to leave?) Speaking with fellow Arsenal fan, Mr Stern, yesterday we discussed the need for Wenger to get some $$$ to spend once they move into their new stadium with the added revenues. I hope that is the case and that it is not too late to save some of the recent Arsenal glory to be pushed to the history books. It is not unreasonable to foresee Arsenal becoming the third team in London behind Chelsea and the mighty have fallen.

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