What is Wrong with Arsenal?
London, England – That was it, 2004, Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Ljungberg, Viera, Campbell, the list goes on. All of them retaining some level of statue and namesake when mentioned in Gunners folklore. And folklore it is, it has been 9 years. With no realistic cup win in sight, the drought will likely be 8 years since the FA Cup (last win) and 9 years since the Premiership. For the North Londoners, that is ancient history. In sporting history, there is usually a player or a game, or a series of games that turn the fortunes of a team around. I believe we have seen it.
Watching some incredible ties in European football with the likes of Germany, France, Spain, and England on the field for yesterday’s friendlies, I saw Arsenal represented better than any other English side. Spain (Monreal, Carzola) in its 3-1 win over Uruguay. Germany (Podolski, Mertesacker) beat France (Giroud, Koscielny, Diaby). England with Walcott and Wilshere (not sure how they beat Brasil, whether an indication of how bad Brasil is, or not). This is an impressive list, not to mention Arshavin for Russia, Rosicky captain for Czech, and Vermaelen for Belgique . There is hope Gunners supporters, there is hope.
So what is wrong, you ask? Why do we only play 45 minutes of football during the required 90 minute cycle? You can’t buy consistency, and consistency is a result of chemistry. As much as one would want to put the team in a lab at Oxford and brew out a formula, it will take a bit more time. Having said that, the catalysts of a Arsenal surge rest in Podolski and Arteta. The German striker was signed last year to replicate the 18 goals in 29 games in Koln. He now has 8 in 23 games, which brings him on pace for 10 goals in 29 games. The math speaks for itself. Beyond that, with the understanding we have good striker options (noticed the word good), Walcott is having a career year, he has come to fruition; but midfield is the heart of football. Vision and creativity is lacking in North London. Carzola is more of a AM, so Arteta, and yes the young disciple Wilshere, are going to have to step up to carry the weight.
Hope is near, with an abundance of maturing internationals on our squad, time is coming (this year) for this Wenger experiment to factory fireworks on the pitch.