Ball Harambee By Bagga Wilks
There will be no silverware for Arsenal again for 2012. Wenger’s team will spend the rest of the season chasing copperware and maintaining some level of respectability. This marks seven years that Arsenal has been coming out of the cold.
As the resurrection of Thierry Henry has reminded us, Arsenal’s best days are behind them. The present Arsenal team looks good against bad teams and bad against good teams. In the Europa Champions League, Arsenal was out of their league playing against A.C. Milan. Arsenal defense could not cope with the Milan’s movement off the ball. Robinho was at his best and when he is in form, runs off the ball as good as any player in the game. Arsenal returned from the San Siro with a four goal deficit and even though the return leg is at home at the Emirates with such a deficit, Arsenal has essentially made their exit from the Champions League.
Returning home against Sunderland in an FA Cup game, Arsenal succumbed to the improving Sunderland team. They lost 2-0. Sessegnon was the man of the match. Arsenal’s makeshift defense had a difficult time coping with his craftiness. Sessegnon is playing in his second season in the English Premier League and he is the embodiment as to how a playmaking forward can improve the standings of a non-elite team.
Wenger did nothing in the January transfer window. Some moves were made at the eleventh hour last summer but most of the acquisitions were non transformative with the exception of Gervinho.
Arsenal is now perched at fourth place in the race for the Premier League title but it is likely they will be knocked off that perch and finish among the mid-level pack.
Arsenal needs to acquire a new modus operandi. Building from below is fine but the world of soccer has changed. To remain at the top of the leagues, a club has to chase the class players if it is going to acquire silverware. With Wenger’s stubbornness, Arsenal invariably will be an “also ran” club in the competitive world of the EPL and beyond.