Arsenal, Maturity is Now or Never for Wenger and Co

Muazzin MehrbanCorrespondent IJune 23, 2009

Under the meticulous tutelage of Arsene Wenger, the Gunners have twice completed the double and embarked on a remarkable run that saw them go unbeaten for 49 games in the league.

Though since Manchester United ended that monopoly back in 2004, Arsenal have never really recovered, failing to reach anywhere near the dizzy heights of what was an almost flawless domestic campaign.

Some would blame the rise of Chelsea, others even Ronaldo, but in truth, Arsenal’s distance from the summit of English football is more their own doing. Nobody would expect them to have won back-to-back titles every season, but most would have expected them to be there or there abouts.

It is no coincidence, that for all Arsenal’s new age talent, they have so far failed to replace the basic brilliance of certain players in all three outfield departments. The clinical lightening Thierry Henry, the engine general Patrick Vieira, and their powerhouse centre-back Sol Campbell.

No doubt, the youth invested to fill their boots have shown bags of promise, and supremely cost effective considering their age, and Wenger’s reluctance to "splash the cash".

But one touch play, silky runs, and telling passes alone, do not win you titles.

Bottom corner finishes, last ditch tackles, and near post blocks are required.

Until Arsenal manage to push the top three harder and closer, Highbury will remain their theatre of football, leaving its big little brother, the Emirates, forever jealous.

In Fabregas, Arshavin, and Van Persie among others, the Gunners have the ammunition, but will they fire?

With talent like the above, Wenger at least has his weapon loaded.