Arsenal’s two most recent outings, one in the Premier League and one in the Champions League, served up another reminder of how fragile this club can be. 2-0 up in both games yet surrendering two points to scrape a draw. It’s what we’ve come to expect of Arsenal: no direction, no initiative to seize the day and very little in the way of inspiring performances, both on and off the pitch.

The problem with Arsenal, and as I’ve mentioned previously, is that there’s an overwhelming reliance and belief that tomorrow will be ok, that things will work themselves out and patience is the key to success. Not only is that a foolish vision to have with any sport or even business, it’s reckless and a little embarrassing. To suggest a club as big as Arsenal can’t take matters into their own hands and have some say in the outcome of more than just results on a football pitch is bordering on disgraceful.

The club is entrenched in the mentality that losing or losing out is ok. It’s not just about results on the pitch (although that is extremely high up the list of priorities) but the club never seem to have a back up plan, something different in mind when the club fail in their pursuit of Juan Mata or can’t find any passage through to the Manchester United goal. The view always seems to be about problems being resolved on their own, and if that’s not the case then it’s always someone else’s fault: referees, two games in a week, the weather, the wealth of other clubs.

It’s a worrying state with the club because it’s not as simple as just rectifying one issue and then waiting for the rest to fall nicely in line with a truly successful model. Yet at the same time, every problem at Arsenal is interlinked and connected in such a way that one light bulb going out in the circuit forces every other bulb to go out, too.

Arsenal’s problems are as clear as day to even the most uneducated of sports fans, however it’s infuriatingly difficult to see how or, more importantly, why it has come to be.

The stadium move was spoken about as a new dawn for the club and for it’s success on the pitch, but it has acted as nothing but a hindrance over these past six years. We’re told that the manager has no funds to really strengthen the squad, and that is someway believable. But the follow-up serves something from the other end of the scale that the manager really doesn’t want to indulge in the madness of the transfer market, obliging those who have set the bar so high and letting everyone know that it’s ok. Even at this stage, fans know a lot more about that club and the workings of it, but the root cause of the problem remains clouded.

Arsenal have never been about strengthening, reinforcing, putting up a real fight; rather it’s just a case of replace and make do. Yet the additional tag onto the end of that thought is that the club’s name and history will see it through. That’s the view in the transfer market, citing that Arsene Wenger as manager and a history full of trophies is enough to entice the best players to the club regardless of pay or what may be on offer elsewhere.

There doesn’t seem to be any alarm bells ringing at boardroom level at this stage, either. The club appear to be down and out of the title race, are well out of form in comparison to teams like Everton and West Brom, and yet there’s still the view that the manager, who does have his own shortcomings, will guide the team to fourth regardless. What happens to the club when that doesn’t come to be? What if Arsenal and Tottenham’s roles were reversed last season and the club finished fourth and ended up in the Europa League due to Chelsea’s success? There’s never any thought for situations such as that.

The decisions from the manager are baffling, such as strictly putting the idea into his players’ minds that an off-form Mikel Arteta should be taking the game deciding penalty ahead of a striker who’s just bagged two goals and is enjoying his best game in an Arsenal shirt. What about the choice to select Johan Djourou as the club captain, even for what was supposed to be a low key League Cup game? Where’s the desire to frighten the opposition, to give the rest of the squad some belief and take matters into your own hands?

In comparison, Manchester United know exactly what they want and know how to get it. They don’t care that the signing of Robin van Persie might “kill” Danny Welbeck or Javier Hernandez, because frankly why would any big club with great ambitions take on such a stupid outlook on sports? They didn’t just put together summer tours of the far east, America and Africa a year or two ago and began patting themselves on the back for an enterprising and ambitious, albeit extremely late in the day job. They also wouldn’t knowingly entertain another team with the view that their own brand of football will win the day come 90-minutes. There’s a winning mentality at clubs like Manchester United that can see them to victory from a two goal deficit rather than a fortunate point after being comfortably ahead.

Arsenal are resting on their laurels and past successes with the view that those successes will continue to bloom in spite of what others do. There’s a laziness to the club that runs through the boardroom and their lack of action to the manager and those coming through the academy.

Arsene Wenger might have his hands tied, but we’ll never really know. What fans do see are the mistakes that remain each season and even after previous scapegoats and poor performers have moved on. The problems the club have on the pitch now were obvious and ever present during the days of van Persie and Cesc Fabregas, too.

There’s no accountability, no competition and no punishment for costly mistakes. But most concerning and disappointing is that there doesn’t seem to be any pride in the club from the very top. Embarrassments are common place with Arsenal, from those on the pitch to a chairman who is unfit for public speaking. Financial Fair Play might change Arsenal’s fortunes to some degree, but even that won’t solely make up for a lack of leadership and fight from inside the club.

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall

Login

Comment without logging in

You will need to fill this out each time to comment so why not quickly login with Facebook!

*

What do you think?

Sign in with Facebook and be
entered for a chance to
Win a pair of Puma evoPOWER football boots

Terms and Conditions

Why login with Facebook?

  • Sign up in 2 seconds
  • Use your FB profile image
  • No need to remember a password
  • See which of your friends would like this

Note: We don't post to your wall


  • Jamali
    2 years ago

    Excellent article. Kudos for telling it as it is.

    Reply
  • olujersey
    2 years ago

    Arsenal and Arsene Wenger already made up their mind. if we will or not it does not matter as long as we are making money

    Reply
  • Giles
    2 years ago

    what a great article.highest paid manager in prem, highest paid ceo,no investment. highest ticket prices, selling best players every year, 4th place is good enough, don’t bother to dream of winning things, fair play will save us. what a joke. sack Wenger and the board. we deserve to be treated better than this.

    Reply
    • edward owen
      2 years ago

      Spot on mate.

      Reply
  • Abbi
    2 years ago

    Spot on!! So hard to be an Arsenal fan these days. No pride No fight

    Reply
  • Tom
    2 years ago

    Arsenal will never win another title under Wenger! His past successes came to past when some of the most talented players graced Arsenal squad, most of them signed by Wenger. The football landscape has changed since Wenger’s glory days. Arsenal can no longer attract top talent and Wenger is not a tactician who can compensate inferior talent with a superior schemes and motivational speeches . Fabregas said it best when he joined Barca and realized the level of preparation it required to make the team. At Arsenal , he was told by Wenger to go outthere and do his thing, and by watching Arsenal play, one may get the impression more Arsenal players take the pitch with this mantra. We see managers pull players aside during games when things go badly . Guardiola used to do this for Barca virtually in every game, and not a lot ever went wrong for Barca during his tenure. Other top managers do it as well, but not Wenger. He’s more inclined to be in the fourth referee’s ear for big part of a game, rather than his own players. No one has ever heard him say ‘we got our tactics wrong today’, no matter how badly he got his tactics wrong that day . Sir Alex said it in the past , so did Mancini and Ancelotti. Wenger has blamed the pitch, referees, international friendly, bad luck, other clubs( for stealing his players). I think it is high time Wenger put some of that blame on himself.

    Reply
  • andy
    2 years ago

    Great article. I’ve come to realize that the club keeps spinning new excuses. Moving to a new stadium, no money, we have a young team, they lack experience, mentality, desire, etc, etc. And now we’re hearing FFP. But as you pointed out, FFP does not buy desire, team tactics, defending. So many things wrong with AFC and the saddest part is that the fans are being fleeced during the whole process.

    Reply
  • Antonio Jackson Cruise
    2 years ago

    Arsenal really and truly need to buy this guy pronto before one of the other big clubs do and then hold our heads in shame as he terrines our very poor defensive back line. If one really looks at our first 11, it is not gelling one bit. We are all over the place. As it stands, Arsenal is currently not playing like a big club team. As it stands, Arsenal should not be rated among the ‘big clubs’. We can’t even string five passes together unless it’s done in slow motion.. As it stands, Arsenal, with the kind of ordinary players they have in the squad like Chamach the Moroccan, Ramsey, Podolski, the extremely slow Metsaka at the center of defense, Santos at left back and the avarage Arteta in the middle, we haven’t a chance in hell of ever reaching the top 4 status ever again, especially this season. None of the players are even as good as the aging and cocked Rosecky and can any one of those mentioned come close to being half as good as the players that Wenger has sold ie RVP, Alex Song, Nasri, Ashley Cole, Toure, Gallas, Fabrigass? One does not have to be a rocket scientist to know that both the Arsenal board and the Manager Wenger have lost the plot. All we need is a very good no nonsense quick mobile central defender who has the great ability to read the play in order to anticipate moves and one very active proven goal score who will terrorize any defense allowing for defenses constantly having to be on their guard. It is said that the best defense is to attack WENGER, ON BEHALF OF ARSENAL SUPPORTERS AROUND THE WORLD, EITHER RESIGN OR WAKE UP, THE HOUSE IS ON FIRE.

    Reply