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Arsenal lost 1-0 at home to Blackburn Rovers on Saturday. In crashing out of the FA Cup's fifth round, the Gunners also lost their last realistic chance at silverware this season.
Unless Arsenal emulate Chelsea's unlikely run last season to a UEFA Champions League title, 2013 will mark the eighth consecutive year Arsene Wenger has failed to deliver silverware to North London.
Afterwards, it was easy to criticize Wenger's decision to hold out influential attackers Jack Wilshere, Santi Cazorla and Theo Walcott until the final 20 minutes. But in fairness, Wenger was right to keep in mind his team's Champions League match against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Simply put, it was a gamble that backfired, as gambles sometimes do. Problem is, with Wenger, that seems to be the norm these days rather than the exception.
And what's worse, it's not as if Arsenal received a poor draw or crashed out of the Cup against superior opposition. Instead, the Gunners dominated possession and created several clear chances yet failed to defeat an obviously inferior team from a lower division.
Unlike Wenger's best teams of years past, this edition often lacks the decisive edge in the final third. The first 11 can play formidable football, but beyond the starters, the quality falls sharply.
Meanwhile, inconsistency remains a scourge, and Gervinho remains incompetent as a finisher at the most important moments.
Such is the recipe for almost there and nearly men.