Where do Arsenal go from now?

Arsenal’s 0-0 draw against Blackburn was a fine example of well… Arsenal in general. The Gunners may play undeniably the best football in the premiership, but when it comes to end product they just seem to be lacking. You can have 60% of the possession in the game, 11 attempts on target and countless more off target, but if you can’t stick the ball in the net then you are going to end up disappointed. And that’s what Arsenal were yesterday disappointed that they couldn’t keep up the chase on United and now 7 points trailing with only 1 game in hand.

Much was said at the start of the season, that this was Arsenal’s coming of age season. The boys were to become men and really challenge for silverware, and it was only a month and a half ago that they were fighting on 4 fronts for silverware. Players like Samir Nasri who had failed to light the Emirates up in earlier seasons had at last fulfilled their promise. Young English star Jack Wilshere has cemented himself in the Arsenal 1st XI and young keeper Wojciech Szczęsny has perhaps solved their goalkeeping problems.

So what has happened this season that they now could end up silverwareless for a sixth season in a row. The simple fact of the matter is that they can’t find the scrappy goals; they need the Dimitar Berbatov or the Nicolas Anelka who is in the right place at the right time to score those goals for the 1-0’s not the domination of the 5-0’s. Robin Van Persie’s quality is undeniable; his return of 11 goals in 16 games since injury has been nothing short of remarkable and shows how important he is. But in games like the one against Blackburn, he was needed to come up with that ruthless streak that avails him.

Van Persie isn’t the only player Arsenal have who can score goals though. No there is Andrey Arshavin, who came closest against Blackburn and who after having a dip in form may be back to finding his best streak. There is the newly fit Theo Walcott who is enjoying his best season in an Arsenal shirt so far, there is Samir Nasri who while Van Persie and Fabregas were out filled a gap quite nicely and put in the performances which is making him the best tip for the 2010/2011 player of the season. There is new signing Maraune Chamakh who was on fine form early in the season but who has sadly drifted away when it has come to the business end where results need to come thick and fast.  And of course there is Nicklas Bendtner, the striker who believes himself to be the greatest in the world, but who this season has shown only glimpses of any class whatsoever.

Who can forget though, the man they fought so hard to keep a hold of in the summer, captain fantastic Francesc Fabregas.  Cesc’s season though has been one marred by injuries and while last season he pitched in with 15 goals and 10 assists, so far this season he has only managed 3 goals and 10 assists.

So what does this all mean for Arsenal, what it all boils down to is mentality, and that is down to the manager. So do the Gunners need a change in mentality and manager? No, Arsene Wenger is still the best manager in the world in my opinion, his ability to spot emerging talent and mould it is second to none and Arsenal would be folly to remove him. All Arsenal need is to regain that ruthless streak they are missing, they don’t need a new centre forward, or a new manager, they just need the belief they can win those  slogs of games. Oh and a new centre back…

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