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Arsenal: What’s Wrong at the Emirates?

Whilst at the start of the season it was Arsenal who were being written off, by September, even our chances of qualifying for next year’s Champions League looked to have disappeared out the door along with our departing manager. But while it was Arsenal being lauded in the media, their style and flair fawned over by journalists everywhere with something other than pens in hands, at least we seemed to be living up to everyone’s expectations – or lack of anyway. But, whilst we all accept we haven’t played the prettiest football this season, in fact at times it’s been downright ugly, heading towards the last two games of the season, it’s us who are neck and next with Utd in the league and meeting them in the Champions League final.

 

So what’s gone wrong with Arsenal?

 

Well, for starters, if we’re going to make comparisons with Chelsea and Utd, then Arsenal miss a certain something – the ability to speak English maybe? Now before the gooners jump out of their prams here, whilst I realise the language itself might not be such an issue, the grit and determination that goes with an English contingent is. They can try and defend it as much as they like, but both Utd and Chelsea have a core of English players and when it comes to battling over the course of a season, this could make the difference. Of course we all need a touch of foreign flair but that’s not enough on its to go the distance – English players provide not just the passion to win but the bottle as well.

 

On the subject of bottle, that’s where the captain should come into it. He’s the one who needs to lead by example, issuing a rallying cry in the battle to force that extra bit of fight out of the lads. His job isn’t to abandon his team mates because having a tantrum seems more important at the time. Let’s mention no names here, but while your team mate is screaming in agony down the local hospital with his leg hanging off (well, you’d have thought so given the public hanging of the assailant), your job is not to sit blubbing in the semi circle because you’ve had a bad day. And they thought they got the better deal?!

 

I mean, given that Gallas is like the granddad at kindergarten, this sort of behaviour doesn’t help impressionable young boys. It’s no coincidence that when things don’t go their way, there’s much pouting and stamping of feet and very little else. And that’s not helped by a manager who refuses to see his little darlings misbehave in anyway and does everything but go round the officials houses to speak to their mothers. Is it any wonder these little cherubs haven’t got the ability to react positively to setbacks? Do they even feel they need to when they’ve got someone constantly making excuses for them?

 

But does the manager bring in the big boys to look after his little angels? Course not, that’d mean getting his stash from under the mattress. Why compete with the top clubs in the transfer market when you can scour the continent for undiscovered children to nurture and raise as your own? Of course it’s all very gratifying to see these schoolboys flourish and grow into fine young men with pretty feet, but the success doesn’t necessarily translate into much more than a pat on the head. Has he never heard the phrase “speculate to accumulate”? It’s no coincidence that the two clubs fighting it out for the honours again this season are the Premier League’s top spenders.

 

Arsenal simply lack the strength to compete – they don’t have the required backbone, maturity or experience and whilst they’ve undoubtedly got talent in their squad, they haven’t got anything else. Yes, their football is pretty to watch, but where’s the end product? And whatever happened to the days of “one-nil to the Arsenal”? Maybe it’s just that, that doesn’t translate very well into whatever language it is they speak at the Emirates these days?

 

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