Arsenal look to break goal drought at West Brom

02 March 2009 02:11
Bottom of the table after shipping some 51 goals this season, the spotlight really will be on this young Arsenal team should they fail to score at the Hawthorns and so extend an unwanted club league record under Wenger. For a manager who can justifiably pride himself on the attacking flair of his teams, the recent problem of creativity has been just as unexpected as it is baffling. The most common criticism of Arsenal under Wenger is that they are soft-centred rather than goal-shy and it is for this reason that supporters can perhaps feel optimistic about the possibility of arresting the current malaise. Confidence of the fit attacking players is certainly in short supply, with only Robin van Persie, who has nine league goals this season, looking likely to score. Carlos Vela and Nicklas Bendtner have certainly done little to suggest they represent the solution, while Samir Nasri is yet to consistently deliver. For those reasons, Wenger can perhaps look with most hope in the direction of the treatment room for the answer to his goalscoring problems. Eduardo, a classic predatory forward, showed he had not lost that natural attacking instinct when he returned in the 4-0 FA Cup win against Cardiff and should be back from his hamstring injury within a fortnight. Emmanuel Adebayor, who is easily best equipped to play the role of a main central striker, is another huge loss, but should return within the next few weeks, while Theo Walcott, Tomas Rosicky and Cesc Fabregas are also hoping to return over the next month. As with Andrei Arshavin, match fitness will be an immediate issue for these players but, should Arsenal progress in the Champions League and FA Cup over the next 10 days, there is every reason to believe their best football of the season could come in the critical final stages. With the players they have to return, it is also difficult to imagine the current slump developing into a long-term trend.

Source: Telegraph