Gunners must re-build fragile confidence before title tilt

by admin

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

Three down, one to go. Arsene Wenger and his Arsenal side have seen their season fall apart in a disastrous fortnight, which culminated on Saturday when Manchester United, their title rivals, struck a huge psychological blow by dumping them out of the FA Cup.

A little over two weeks ago Wenger was eyeing up a phenomenal quadruple. Now, following defensive mix-ups in a Wembley final defeat, classy Catalans and a questionable sending off undoing their Champions League ambitions in Barcelona and a morale-sapping loss to United at Old Trafford, Arsenal only have the Premier League title left to go for.

A defence which lacks a true leader, a pack of goalkeepers who fail to inspire confidence, a spate of injuries which have exposed a weak squad, a team with no experience of winning big titles which folds when the pressure mounts – the reasons for Arsenal’s dramatic collapse this season will be debated and argued long and hard by the Gunners faithful and, no doubt, by some concerned figures in the boardroom at the Emirates.

Meanwhile, Wenger will probably say his players are young, were robbed by the ref and deserve respect because ‘they play the right way’.

Well, it is time for captain Cesc Fabregas and the rest of the Arsenal team to stop hiding behind excuses created by their manager and stand up and be counted.

Arsenal are three points behind United in the league with a game in hand. Their next three fixtures comprise of West Brom, Blackburn and Blackpool. They couldn’t ask for an easier run of fixtures to re-build their fragile confidence.

The Carling Cup final defeat to Birmingham was a glorious chance to end their wait for silverware wasted. Barcelona, for all Wenger’s whining about officials, were simply too good. And the hangover from that game made avoiding defeat to Manchester United, at Old Trafford, in the FA Cup a difficult task.

But Arsenal’s season isn’t over yet. That one remaining trophy they can still claim, the Premier League, is still up for grabs.

But the next three games will be crucial and nothing but nine points will do.

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  • guest

    It would be a miracle for AW to win any silverware in his present format,which lacks real defensive structure, discipline,focus or importance. Time and again opponents of high or low skillset could exploit and pick holes at will to deliver the lethal punch,although it was obvious AW would not move to address any of the shortcomings till situations get pretty desperate,a mind boggling decision for years. Because AW could wheel out positive and soothing remarks even when his side got a roasting,most players seemed to buy in this with falsehood with glee,no need to step up or worry as there would not be any new competition as of a bad result. Format like this,like a sitting duck, when any opposing strategy is deployed falls apart everytime under presssure. Yet miracle only is the last hope.

  • Mystical Mike

    i’ve been in forums all day long, apart from 10% of loyal fans the current feeling is we won’t be lifting the league title for yet another year.

    Wenger had the chance to buy in january but chose not to, that, in my eyes was a horrific mistake.

    If I was Arsenal, I’d employ 2 defensive midfielders from now til the start of the season. 8 boring 1-0 wins would give us the title. But it won’t happen

    Shame as we are so close yet so far!

  • stan

    Deja vu part 3

  • Charles Perrin

    You would expect their next three PL games to yield maximum points, but in an unpredictable season thus far, you wouldn’t hedge your bets necessarily on Arsenal to do so.

    United have been far from flying, and while attentions have been turned to May 1 and a potential title decider, once again a season full of rich promise has disintegrated into dust before Arsenal’s very eyes.

    Of course Arsene isn’t a bad manager, but his stubborn has proven to be his downfall. Failure to deliver a trophy next season, and I think Arsene should call it quits!

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