Arsenal: Is There Hope After Camp Nou?
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After last night’s dance of the damned at the Camp Nou, it is tempting to play the victim or feel hard done by. Whilst the officiating read like a movie whose theme should be "inglorious incompetence," the Gunners certainly aided their own demise.
With two cup competitions down the tubes and only two competitions left, a seasoned neutral would be hard pressed to stick his (or her) neck out on the rapidly vanishing prospects of Arsenal Football Club winning any silverware this season.
With Wembley’s Carling Cup Final debacle still grievously fresh in the memory, yesterday left many haunted by the ghost of Mr. Wenger’s patently biased shortcomings as a manager.
His selection bordered on the desperate as a clearly unfit Fabregas had no business being on the pitch. Van Persie's ejection continued the club's season of punishing Red Cards.
Barcelona had no need for gifts and should not have been aided to their first goal. While Barca’s win had an ugly hue to it, they still played their dominating game, even with key defensive absences.
Arsene’s men were already up against it when the first leg ended with a slender win.
Twice within a space of nine days, key players have let the team down when it mattered most, and there is a growing suspicion that the Emirates residents are definitively disaster prone.
One worries about the knock-on effects this latest set-back would have on the rest of their campaign. Will they be sucked into the vortex of underachievement by this tortured defeat or will they rise up from the ashes?
Perhaps winning the Premier League would be a much needed balm to their depleting confidence.
Ominously, Saturday's scoreless draw against Sunderland among other indifferent home results leaves one with a dreaded feeling of having seen this cheerless movie before. Their upcoming FA Cup match would require a steely mindset as the tie against Man United is tricky at best.
One must resist the temptation to be enveloped with the pity party generated the last 24 hours. I still think that this current squad is every bit a curious riddle wrapped in an evolving mystery!
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