Where Now For Faulty Gunners?
And after struggling to finish fourth last season they lost Emmanuel Adebayor and Kolo Toure to Manchester City. The African pair didn’t have the heart to play at the Emirates anymore so cashing in was probably a wise choice but it left them looking to replenish rather than adding to what they had.
Despite being written off on several occasions throughout the current campaign and losing key players such as Robin van Persie to injury, they did extremely well to stay in the title race for as long as they did.
But their powder-puff frailty was exposed ruthlessly by Chelsea and Manchester United, while the way they surrendered in the final ten minutes at lowly Wigan shows how brittle they can be when the going gets tough.
The spine of the team, from the goalkeeper to the front, needs strengthening with quality players who can handle loss of form and DW Stadium like shocks to the system. If they can manage that they will be much closer to the Premier League summit.
However, with the real possibility of Cesc Fabregas leaving for hometown club Barcelona next year, any development would be seriously undermined.
It’s a cycle they can’t break away from and why they have gone five years without major silverware.
The foundation at the club is there. Young players are well educated and are allowed to flourish, while one thing continues to get better – Arsene Wenger’s Basil Fawlty impressions.
But the Frenchman has won four league titles and is a Champions League finalist. He will be hurting as much as anyone at the club for failing to win something meaningful since 2005.
Significant progress will have to be made and quick – otherwise the next key player, or players, who depart due to frustration at underachieving could leave the North London club haunted by an empty trophy cabinet for a long time yet.
Tags: Arsenal, Gunners, Robin van Persie, Premier League, Cesc Fabregas, Arsene Wenger