Is it becoming more difficult to be an Arsenal fan of late? For all of the Premiership years, they’ve had their membership card stamped in gold as a ‘top club’ but that glow is looking a little tarnished now. Everyone still respects Wenger, but do other managers fear him now? Do they think he’s going to take their trophies away?
It’s been seven long years without winning a trophy of mention. Anyone want to put their hand up and predict them taking silverware this season? I can’t see a sea of raised hands out there. What about next season? No? I didn’t think so. On top of this, of course, there’s the seemingly annual exodus of top players, no longer prepared to wait for the eternally promised ‘jam tomorrow’ days to arrive. It’s getting as regular an occasion as rain on a Bank Holiday. Then there’s the fact that Arsenal fans pay the prices for tickets in the country.Do you begin to see what I mean?
I know it’s not all bad .Every cloud has a silver lining and all that. Jack Wilshere is back from injury and now looking the growing star that many predicted. Walcott has signed a new contract and Oxlade-Chamberlain is showing great promise. Even Giroud is scoring goals now! The nagging question remains however that if these players are really that good, and with other talents such as Arteta, Vermaelen and Podolski in the squad, why can’t they bring home a trophy or two? These gunners simply aren’t firing.
I’ve heard many people describe Arsenal as fragile - they can’t hack it in the big games - they haven’t got the bottle. There may be elements of truth in this. To my mind, what the Arsenal team are lacking is a winning mentality and more importantly, ‘a winner.’ No, I don’t mean the goal that kills off the game. I mean the guy who’s been there, done it, lifted up his shirt and shown the fans that he’s not only got the T shirt, but he’s wearing it! Manchester United have players like this in abundance. Chelsea have them too. Manchester City earned their spurs win an FA Cup victory, and then quickly went on to add the title. Winning begets winning, and losing…..well, I’m sure you know the rest.
Should Arsenal go out in the summer and buy two experienced players who know how to get the job done, I think the effect could be dramatic. Hey, I’m no expert, any more than any other fan with a solution to every footballing conundrum, but Arsene, mate, have a word with yourself. You’ve been ‘bringing the kids through’ ‘developing your players’ ‘doing it the Arsene way’ for a while. You’ve been called the professor a few times, so it may be useful to ponder on Einstein’s definition of insanity – “doing the same things and expecting different results."