How are the mighty fallen? Why have the great settle for the less? What is wrong with Arsenal FC of England? Are they cursed or bewitched or hunted?
These questions have been going through my mind since the defeat of Arsenal to FC Schalke 04 of Germany in the UEFA Champions League, matchday 3. Prior to this game, Arsenal had lost 1-0 to 19th placed Norwich, who were yet to win a Premier League game this season, and a positive response was needed. Losing 2-0 at home in a group game of the Champions League is never a good omen.
Arsenal had a 45 home match record of not losing to non-English oppositions in the Champions League since their 3-0 loss to Inter Milan in 2003 back in the Highbury days. They also had a queer record of not losing on Wednesdays at the emirates. All these records are now to the winds.
Arsenal has gone 180 minutes of football without scoring a goal. The sale of Robin Van Pierse had weakened the Arsenal potency. The Dutch now playing for rivals Manchester United would have converted the chances that Gervinho, Podolski and Giroud keep missing.
Arsenal had sold RVP with faith in Gervinho, Cazorla, Podolski and Giroud to poach the goals. But they have been flashes in the pan. Giroud can’t fit in RVP shoes; he is slow and needs to remember that this is not Ligue 1. Podolski and Cazorla have fizzled out. Gervinho is like an aimless hunter, confused but just running ahead; he dilly-dallies a lot and misses the final balls.
How on earth can these average players bring back the days of Henry, Pires, Berkgamp and co.? How? Only Arsene Wenger can tell.
Scoring might have been bad but the troublesome one is that Arsenal had gotten only 2 shots on target in their last 2 games. For a team that is known for creating chances, this is very bad. Have they become Stoke city or a Championship side? The two shots on target have been towards the ending of the games, after they are already down. The shots have not come from the strikers nor the attacking midfielders; but from a central midfielder MikelArtetaand a seventeen year old Serge Gnabry.
Arsenal has conceded 11 goals in their last 12 games despite the so-called Bould effect to the team. Steve Bould, Arsenal new assistant, had been praised for his defensive jobs after the first 3 matches but the last 9 matches has seen Arsenal concede useless goals caused by school boy errors. Conceding goals has been Arsenal generic problem; when would it end?Vermaleen keeps slipping, Metersacker is slow and Koscienly is unrefined.
Some might argue that injury has truncated the Arsenal resurgence. The arrival of AbouDiaby, Jack Wilshere, Kerian Gibbs, WoijechSczcensy, and Theo Walcott may help but for how long will these help?
Arsene Wenger and the board have to look beyond Champions league qualification and get a trophy for the club. Spend on quality not mediocre players. Enough of rubbish, this is Arsenal. They should wake up to their football calling as they face QPR this weekend.
Enjoy your weekend.
Written By Amos Chibuzor