Depleted Arsenal Limp Towards Finishing Line
By Guest Writer Edward Prince.
After being given a master class by arguably Europe’s best team with their Argentinean assassin, there was no friendly fire shared between the two sides after Arsenal failed to reach the semi finals of the Champions League.
Focus now lies on the title race in which Arsenal are now limping towards the finishing posts, with two thorough breeds leading the charge. With 5 games remaining and 3 points seeing them from top spot, it’s undeniable that although there are horrendous injury worries for Arsene Wenger, of the top 3 sides Arsenal have the cosier of games left to regain that all important title.
Is Mr Wenger paying the price for his lack of spending ambition? Maybe a visit from Trinny and Susanne would lead him to refresh his wardrobe and think of buying that glitzy frock for the Oscars. Depth I feel isn’t a problem for the squad but that all important key man is, that finisher that Rooney that Messi.
The injured Van Persie was his go to guy and there is no denying the array of goal scorers in the squad. But now with Cesc Fabregas injured many players will have to step up to that illusive plate. Rosicky’s performance in Spain was lack lustre and he was out-classed, bring a tooth pick to a stick fight, he was overwhelmed by the sheer speed and conviction of Barcelona. Being subbed would have hurt although he surely knows that he was not even close to the pedigree we’ve come to expect from him. The Czech international has flashes of brilliance but with class thin on the ground consistency must be the order of the day.
With Arshavin also injured, his role on the left is essential to give the team that flexibility to attack at will from both sides of the field adding that dimension used so well by Arsenal in their renowned flamboyant style of football.
On the right Theo Walcott, a promising leader of men, has come of age and seems only to be getting better with lightening pace, ability and awareness to run into space and create chance after chance for the players sweeping up the field to catch him. Chances that must be taken in this tight run up to the end of the season otherwise they may be staring into an empty trophy cabinet once again after such a promising start.
In Bendtner there is a small pocket a hope and match winning goals, which have seen Arsenal scrape 3 points out of a dwindling barrel. But with the number of chances he’s had it’s the least he could have come up with. Let’s hope he learnt something from Messi the magician about slight of touch and first time finishing. Mr Wenger may have some money in his pocket soon and as the only currency for a striker is goals, so he should be working harder than ever in training.
If Arsene Wenger can’t rely on his remaining first choice players then all hope is dashed to inspire the hungry youngsters to stake their claim. In Fabregas he not only lost a world class player but a leader as well, when it comes to experience Sol Campbell has more than most but depending on the strike force of the opposition his place in the side is not always justified.
I think it’s a case of actions speak louder than words at the Emirates. Inspiration can be drawn from players like Nasri and Walcott and often one man can change a game, but relying on the few is not enough at this top level. With Almunia in goal, although he did his best he wasn’t able to keep a clean sheet in Spain when it mattered. His not so sure hands coupled with a sometimes unsure defence can concede needless goals both at home and away leaving a second rate striker to grab one back from the clutches of defeat. If Almunia is lost then surely the title race is over. Injuries are a worry for all the top 3 sides on different levels, but this season will be won by a team not an individual.
By signing a striker in the January transfer window Wenger would have eased the strain on those that have fallen this late in the season, many not able to return to see off Arsenal’s title challenge. Mr Wenger believes that self belief is going to get the job done, important though it is. In reality he has found himself short staffed and so scraping together a balanced team for the remaining fixtures will be hard going on the muddy spring surfaces.
With an all important North London derby to contend with Mr Wenger will have to turn to his youngsters to grind out 3 points. His youth policy is clear, but can he drive his young troops enough to bounce back from the heavy weight pummelling they generously received in Spain. I believe they can, there seems to be a healthy team spirit at the Emirates and with that naturally comes self belief; surely these young guns can’t pull it off?
The Arsenal faithful have been waiting long enough; in their darkest hour they must now do the impossible. The battle is not yet lost and the terrain is by no means sturdy but youth may somehow carry them over the finish line so that they may claim their prize.
Can Arsenal win the title despite their injuries? Please leave your comments below…..
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