Tuesday, March 12, 2013

End of the road for Arsene? Arsenal last gasp effort away to Bayern Munich

A few weeks ago Bayern Munich had their own version of the London blitz when they put up 3 goals at the Emirates. Going on to a 3-1 Champions League win. Not pretty to say the least. Arsenal are the last team from the Premier League standing in the Champions League and are most likely 90 minutes away from suffering the same fate as the other clubs from England - going home. The Gunners have to score at least 3 goals to hope and turn the tide against the Bavarian giants. Not likely. Especially considering Wenger will not have the likes of Wilshere to put on the pitch. But the bigger picture - may we be seeing the last of Wenger in Europe managing Arsenal?

Rumors are abound that he is going to get an extension from the Gunners or that he is heading to PSG...the reality is Arsenal might need a change. Check that, something HAS TO CHANGE. The reality is, the Gunners have slipped from the top tier of the Premiership. Long gone are the days where Arsenal and Manchester United were the two elephants in the room. Long gone are the days of riveting matches between the two sides - Vieira, Keane, Henry, Van Nistelrooy, Giggs, Scholes, Keown, and so on. Arsenal have become a club who's main aspiration is to get into the Champions League...but all that really means is to finish 4th. FOURTH. That is not even a bronze medal.

The crashed out of both domestic cups already this season. Currently they are closer to 8th place than they are to 4th place. With the likes of Liverpool right on their heals they could easily fall to Europa League levels. So what has gone wrong? The list is long and I have ranted about it enough in past posts. In a nut shell:
  • Refusing to splash on big name players - talked about but never pulled trigger on the likes of Hazard and Lloris to name two.
  • Allowing his own players to leave - Nasri, Cesc and RVP come to mind. Even allowing a player like Flamini to walk had some repercussions.
  • Over reliance on youth and finding that diamond in the rough - was early success of "discovering" Anelka, Henry and Vieira a curse? He did manage to find Cesc, but allowed him to leave.
  • No steel on team - who has replaced the likes of Keown or Vieira as the enforcers on the team?
Something has to change. Soon. Otherwise I am sure Arsenal will continue to fight for 4th place, continue to convince the fans that playing Champions League every season should be viewed as a success and stare at the FA Cup from 2005 as the last piece of silverware in the trophy case. 

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