Football Friends Online – When 90 Mins Is Not EnoughArsenal’s Solution To Their Long Awaited Search For A Trophy? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough Arsenal’s Solution To Their Long Awaited Search For A Trophy? - Football Friends Online - When 90 Mins Is Not Enough

Arsenal’s Solution To Their Long Awaited Search For A Trophy?

Arsene Wenger must be looking on in admiration at the England captaincy debate.

At present he could only wish to make a decision like Fabio Capello’s – to reinstate John Terry back as captain in place of Rio Ferdinand – because Arsenal do not have any leaders in their team.

All the other top sides in the division boast players with brilliant leadership qualities; Manchester United for example have never been short on players with commandment and determination and that’s still the case with Nemanja Vidic, Rio Ferdinand and Darren Fletcher to name a few – Fletcher especially. Chelsea have Terry who drives the Blues on every match he plays in and Liverpool are blessed with local heroes Jamie Carragher and Steven Gerrard.

Reality Check

However Wenger now needs to take a step back and have a reality check. Over the last few weeks their aspirations for the season have been hit hard, reducing the maximum possible of trophies to two after they lost in the Carling Cup final 2-1 to relegation threatened Birmingham City followed by a 4-3 aggregate defeat at the hands of Barcelona. Two big games where they lacked those extra men with leadership qualities who could have possibly made the difference.

To make things worse for the Emirates outfit, successive draws in the Premier League have dented their title hopes with a goalless affair at home to Sunderland and after being 2-0 down to West Brom, a side one point above the relegation zone, managed to claw it back to gain a point, however with Man Utd getting a late winner against Bolton, they are now five points behind Sir Alex Ferguson’s side.

Wenger’s philosophy of investing in unproven foreign youngsters is not working, and in this day and age where fans are demanding success immediately there is certainly more pressure on him than ever to deliver the goods.

Gone are the days when Arsenal spend big year in/year out on players who lead by example. Now it’s all about financial profit and keeping the books balanced. The directors at the Emirates have publicly stated in the past that there is money available for Wenger should he choose to use it, yet Marouane Chamakh arrived on a free transfer from Bordeaux in the summer with a goalscoring record of 56 goals in 230 games in France’s top division – hardly inspiring considering Thierry Henry was signed for £11 million (a considerable amount of money then) from Juventus in 1999 and he was not only a brilliant striker but an outstanding leader, something Chamakh definitely is not.

The Perfect Mix

Wenger needs to invest in footballers that can play alongside the more elegant style of players such as Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin and Césc Fabregas; who is the current captain and although his manager described him as a leader I beg to differ. They need fighters with grit and determination, players that will keep their cool under pressure and maintain good discipline within the team.

In the early 2000’s there were no shortage of these. David Seaman, Tony Adams, Martin Keown, Lee Dixon, Ray Parlour, Patrick Vieira and Henry were all perfect examples and funnily enough trophies came in abundance then.

The only player in the current set up with any hope of showing these leadership qualities is youngster Jack Wilshere, and at 19 he may yet be the most important player for years to come.

Arsenal’s spine needs improving – a new goalkeeper with presence who can command the defence would be helpful as would a centre back in the style of Terry; experienced, committed and can drive his team forward. Finally In midfield there needs to be a balance between the stylish players and a leader – something Wilshere can eventually be.

But it’s up to Wenger to change Arsenal’s philosophy, and with fans growing impatient he needs to do it soon.

Andy Maynard

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