Saturday, April 23, 2011

Gunners Falls Short, Winning Mentality Questioned Again

Arsene Wenger, after the draw against Spurs, vehemently denied that his Arsenal boys do not have a winning mentality. Always fighting, he is developing a siege mentality within Arsenal which may prove detrimental to their already fading season. Remonstrating with referees, ungracious in defeat or draw and a stubbornness to accept that his Gunners team are anything but world beaters has been the theme of this season's title challenge.

In his calmness, Arsene Wenger points to the fact that Arsenal is unbeaten since the turn of the year, and that means they are on a 16-match unbeaten run. If that is the case, then Arsenal should be top of the Premier League by now and not slipped down to third in the standings. In a season without any dominating force, Arsenal have been the team with most consistency. And yet, they look like a team with questions frequently asked about their fragility.

Let's look at the Arsenal lineup.
Szczsceny (Polish international, FA Youth Cup 2009 winner)
Koscielny (Never won anything yet)
Jourou (Swiss international, never won anything yet)
Clichy (French international, Premier League 2004 winner, FA Cup 2005 winner)
Sagna (French international, French Cup 2005 winner)
Song (Cameroon international, African U-17 2003 winner)
Diaby (French international, Euro-19 2005 Winner)
Van Persie (Dutch international, UEFA Cup 2002 winner, FA Cup 2005 winner)
Fabregas (Spanish international, FA Cup 2005 winner, World Cup 2010 winner, Euro 2008 winner)
Nasri (French international, Euro U-17 2004 winner)
Walcott (English international, never won anything yet)

One cannot deny that these are all internationals and so should possess big game mentality. Between them, Cesc Fabregas, Clichy and Van Persie are part of the Premiership, FA Cup, European and the World Cup winning teams. Arsene must insist on the likes of Fabregas, Clichy and Van Persie to start steadying the team when on the pitch.

In a season where Manchester United, Chelsea and Liverpool could not dominate, Arsenal with an unbeaten 2011 record still seemed to fall short of glory. One has to question the team's core leadership. The Gunners simply cannot keep giving away winning positions if they are to end their six year trophy-less wait.

Oh by the way, the first goal by Walcott again reminded me of ex-Gunner Thierry Henry at his pomp. I know it's been said over and over again, but the Theo Walcott metamorphosis into the Arsenal's new Henry looks increasingly complete.

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