Arsenal failing the fans but financial glory still up for grabs
Thursday, 23rd Feb 2012 17:13
Since the League Cup win in 1987 Arsenal have always been in the mix for trophies. Semi-finals and Finals have been regular fixtures for even the more average sides in our recent history with classic title chases enjoyed by our more complete line-ups.
Sadly, we have witnessed a new low this season with humiliating defeats in our two remaining trophy hopes coming before the end of February leaving that most inglorious of ‘trophies’, 4th place, as our last remaining target. Arsene Wenger does himself no favours when, after 7 years without silverware, he declares that 4th place is like a trophy. In the boardroom it may be but in the stands there is a frustration that the fan’s priorities do not seem to align with the club’s hierarchy’s. Many thought that the club were tempting fate by etching our honours board onto the stadium hoardings at the Grove and our performances this season have done nothing to disperse those fears.
The post George Graham doldrums in the mid 90s were hard to take but we still reached a Cup Winners’ Cup final and a League Cup semi-final before Arsene Wenger arrived to drive the club forward once again. That side contained comparable mediocrity to the team that will take to the field on Sunday but also featured a rock solid, consistent spine which always gave us a chance.
Now, our only consistent player is often isolated and if it weren’t for his remarkable efficiency in front of goal, he would have also fallen victim to his teammates deficiencies. Our ability to provide for van Persie is scarily inconsistent, our defence’s shambolic tendencies have been well documented and our central midfield is too frequently caught out of position defensively and also appears unable to commit effectively to attacks.
Still, despite all of our failings we are still 4th in the league and proved before Christmas that we are capable of putting together an effective run in the league. We lack the consistency and leadership required to challenge for trophies but the players can prove on Sunday that they at least have the qualities required to match the boardroom’s financial ambitions by securing another Champions League qualification. Sadly trophies are no longer what an Arsenal manager is judged by.
Photo: Action Images
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