Joe Strange - Wenger's morals threaten Arsenal future
Published: 04 Oct 2010 - 11:18:22
Despite Arsene Wenger's men having plenty of the ball and showing glimpses of their favoured liquid football, there didn't seem to be much doubt that Carlo Ancelotti's side would eventually end up on top.
If I was a betting man, a sizeable chunk of cash would've been deposited on the Blues, even if Lorent Koscielny's point-blank header had found the back of the net in the opening minute.
Chelsea seem to have an air of the untouchable about them, particularly at fortress Stamford Bridge. A mix of skill, strength and tactical awareness make them a very dangerous animal, made even more vicious by a winning mentality embedded in them over the last six years.
The Gunners on the other hand have a unique aura all of their own. Widely heralded as the most beautiful team in the country, Arsenal's 'invincible' tag has been well and truly replaced by an altogether more unflattering one.
Without everyone fit and firing on all cylinders, criticism of Wenger and his side is often rife. Not enough strength-in-depth, a failure to deal with the physicality of the modern game and an over reliance on youth remain among the problems facing 'Le Profeseur'.
The Frenchman has stood by his footballing ideals for well over a decade in North London, but after five years without a trophy, even the staunchest of Gooners must be starting to feel the frustration.
Arsenal's desire to play the game in the right way should be admired, but if they continue to produce beautiful, but ultimately unsuccessful football, is it not time for a change in approach at the Emirates?
Wenger need not sacrifice everything he holds dear - Arsenal are not far from becoming a side capable of not only challenging for top honours, but winning them. But in order to do so, there must be changes.
The boss must loosen his purse strings and spend some of the club's record profits to improve a squad which relies far too heavily on the likes of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie.
A new goalkeeper is an absolute must, while some steel in the middle of the pitch would help negate the physical presence of opponents such as Chelsea's midfield trio of Michael Essien, John Obi Mikel and Ramires.
Marouane Chamakh looks like becoming a great bosman signing, but he's no Didier Drogba or Dimitar Berbatov.
Arsenal's finances make for great reading, particularly when you glance over the economic situations at rivals Manchester United and Liverpool. But unfortunately for them, balance sheets don't win you trophies.
With a bit of money and a little tweak in tactics, Arsenal could rewind a decade to Wenger's glory days.
Ignore the problems and keep the money in the bank and the trophy drought could well turn into a full-blown famine.
- FOOTBALL.CO.UK BLOGGER:joe strange
- A product of Brighton University's prolific youth system, Joe Strange has boundless energy and the enviable ability to cover every blade of grass in his Monday blog. Joe has written for a variety of football websites and fanzines and is also a regular contributor to golf.co.uk. Despite being born and raised in Kent, 'Stranger' is a diehard Everton fan and counts his team's penalty shoot-out victory against Manchester United last season as his most memorable football moment. Follow Joe on Twitter @joe_strange.
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