Arsenal FC: Why They Will NOT Win The Premier League This Season
Arsenal Football Club is, perhaps, the only club in the world where optimism refuses to fade away, not that it should.
Valencia won the La Liga in 2003-04. Arsenal won the Premier League in the same year. Seven years later, Valencia don’t even consider themselves contenders. And look at the hype surrounding Arsenal’s title ambitions.
It's not that they will never win the league again. It's not that they don’t deserve to win it either. It's not that they haven’t ever won it (13 Premier League titles, you see!!). It's just that they, somehow, always seem to fall short these days.
It's been seven years since they won the English Top Division and six years since they won any trophy at all, but the optimism refuses to go away. Every year happens to be an "Arsenal year," any year when they "finally grow up," but it all never materialises.
But their high football standards, knack of still challenging at the very top, and above all, the beautiful football that they play ensures that Arsenal have one of the most passionate supporters in world football.
The slide show tries to constructively analyse where and when Arsenal fall short, and what would elevate them as Champions, rather than being the also-rans.
While there is no doubt that Arsenal has one of the most feared attacks in Europe, the same can’t be said of their rather "porous" defence.
The current season defensive trio of Squilacci, Koscielny and Djourou, while very able defenders, are not in the same league like Vidics and Puyols of world soccer.
The injury to Vermaelen hasn’t helped either.
It goes without stating that Arsenal are the best passing team in the Premier League. They stream roll past lesser opponents with ease. A 4-0 score line in favour of arsenal is a common occurrence.
No doubt playing pretty football gets you great adulation these days, but results are what count in the end. And that’s what Arsenal needs to work on.
Arsenal have to accept that they will come across bigger teams who will either disrupt their passing or, in the case of Barcelona, defeat them in their own passing game.
Adaptability is the need of the hour. What Arsenal need to do is have a flexible plan of playing the game. You don’t want to pass the ball around for 90 minutes when one counter attack costs you the whole game. That is probably the sole reason why Arsenal have been beaten so comprehensively by Man United in recent times.
The solution lies no further than looking at Inter’s defeat of Barcelona in the Champs’ League last year. "Suffocating" may not be the prettiest football tactic, but who cares if you win at the end of the day.
This has been mentioned time and again. The goal-keeping department has been such a headache for Arsene Wenger’s men, that it has been often called a "nemesis."
You don’t win a premier league with Almunia, Fabianski, Mannone and Szczesny as your goal-keeping options. It's that simple.
Big Club Phobia
In the last two seasons (2008-present), Arsenal’s record in clashes with the other Premier League title challengers is dreadful. Against the three other teams in the "new big four," their win ratio drops to just 22%, compared with Wenger’s overall 51% as Arsenal manager.
ARSENAL’S RECORD IN THE NEW ‘BIG FOUR’ (since 2008)
P W D L F A WIN%
v Chelsea 7 2 0 5 7 15 28%
v Man Utd 6 1 1 4 5 10 17%
v Man City 5 1 1 3 4 10 20%
TOTAL 18 4 2 12 13 34 22%
As if this wasn’t enough, Arsenal lost at home to Spurs for the first time in 17 years on November 20, 2010.
This, by no means, is Champions’ statistics. It has to change.
Arsenal fans may boast of a 6-0 win against Blackpool and the 3-1 defeat of Chelsea. But home defeats against West Brom and Newcastle (both promoted teams) are just not acceptable.
It's almost frustrating how Arsenal can transform from championship winning form to relegation form in just a day.
Agreed Man United have dropped key points against Everton, Fulham and West Brom this season. But they have also ground out results without being at their best, like the ones against Aston Villa, Blackpool and Birmingham (at Old Trafford).
Arsenal have to learn this if they are to bring the premier league crown to Emirates.
How many times have the Arsenal players and Manager come out and said we have "come of age."
It's been said time and again that Wenger’s boys have turned into "men."
Let me say it, hitting a hat-trick against Wigan and Blackpool does not make Van Persie and Walcott the best players around. Neither does it necessarily mean you will win the Premier League.
The point is Arsenal players have to be more consistent. There is absolutely no question about the quality that they possess. But they need to display it more frequently. Not the sporadic way that they generally do, more so against the big teams.
Over- Reliance On Star Players
Arsenal are not the same team without inspirational captain Fabregas. This year they have been too dependent on Samir Nasri also. Just see the end result when Nasri and Fabregas "switched off" against Man United.
With key men like Fabregas and Van Persie more likely to be injured than playing, Arsenal have to find their best game even without their talisman in their ranks.
Subjective opinions may say there are more reasons to it like injuries, or even the great Arsene Wenger’s rigid approach itself.
But these are just my opinions and what I feel are the biggest reasons as to why Arsenal have failed to win a trophy for six years.
Can you think of any other way to make the Gunners a better team?