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Arsenal and Liverpool - mired in mediocrity for too long
Two fabulous clubs with rich history, passionate fan following around the globe and among the biggest names in Europe, Arsenal and Liverpool have been struggling for supremacy for far too long. They have had disappointing seasons again and consistency and form continues to elude them when it matters the most. It has been too many seasons since Arsenal won a trophy and it is sad that Steven Gerrard has never won the Premier League and probably never will.
While Arsenal has once again sneaked into the top 4 and is poised for a strong finish that atleast gives them some hope for next season, they have themselves to blame for meek exits at the hands of smaller (yet much more determined) clubs in the FA Cup and the Capital One Cup. It has been another season of excuses from Arsene Wenger, who I still believe is the only man to manage the club and revive them next season. The rumours of a huge war chest and Wenger’s inclination to actually spend it are quite assuring but can only be confirmed come summer. It would be wonderful to see proven football players at the Emirates next season instead of only the ones who are still learning the trade. Talks of David Villa, Victor Valdes joining the club are still speculative but they are the kind of players Arsenal truly needs.
Giroud and Gervinho have been good this season but not great and a galore of missed opportunities has again taken its toll on the club’s standing in the league this season. Arsenal might be sorely missing van Persie’s clinical finishing in front of the goal but we cannot rue his departure as we have seen that the club can still play quality football without him. Walcott needs to back his claims for a central role with goals and only goals Persie-esque. Maybe Wenger can steal Rooney from United and rejuvenate him. That would be the best compensation for loosing Robin to the Red Devils! Arsenal needs to rediscover its liking for trophies and the best way is to win one again and take it forward from there. For all the talk of a stronger season next time, there can only be a real improvement if they play on par with the giants and are ruthless against the minnows.
Liverpool’s fortunes have stumbled from bad to worse and it is frustrating to see how such a talented club who put 6 past Newcastle in their last match can suffer humiliating losses against Southampton and West Brom so meekly. Steven Gerrard, probably the most talented English midfielder (along with Frank Lampard), has been at the club all his life and continues to endure the club’s struggles without complaint. Now that Carragher is set to retire, the onus is on him to lead the club’s transition into the top 4 again. The loss of Fernando Torres, who played with such zeal and vigour while at Anfield, was a very big blow but Liverpool has enough quality to play consistent football. If only Suarez kept a level head like he should and Carroll was not a flop, Liverpool might have been stronger.
Atleast for Gerrad’s sake the club needs to get back to its glory days of old. He has pledged his time to the club and will live and die with them and it would be a shame to see him retire without lifting a title.
Brendon Rodgers has done a commendable job this season to bring back some competitiveness to the club but surely there is still a lot of work to be done before they can break into the top 4. Liverpool needs to hold on to their talent and ward off the big clubs like Barcelona and Real Madrid when they come calling to poach the club’s resources. It might take a couple of seasons for them to get back into the Champions League again but it would be a pleasure to see them do it sooner.
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