Friday, January 14, 2011

Will the gunner’s finally conquer..??

As the Barclays premier league kicked off in August, Arsenal started another quest to end their 5 year trophy drought. Since arriving at the emirates in 2006 the gunners have done almost everything right apart from adding some new silverware to their trophy cabinet.

The season began on a good note with Theo Walcott showing that he was ready to put the World cup catastrophe behind him and show the world what the English lad is made off. With their talismanic captain Cesc Fabregas opting to stay at the North London club for another season the gooners felt that this could be their season.

Fast forward 3 months and almost one-third of the season is over with the gunners in a comfortable position at the top of the table. In other competitions most notably the Carling cup where the gunners have reached the semi-finals they are doing well at the moment.

But these three months by no means have been easy for the club. As it has seen some of its most important players get injured yet again. Their defense which is the shakiest at present due to the absence of Thomas Vermaelen has looked bare at times. However certain good things have also come to light, like the potential that the likes of Samir Nasri and Jack Wilshire hold.

Even in the absence (due to injuries, I think ARSENAL is plagued with injuries) of Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie the team seems to have done really good. Marouane Chamakh though not a great clinical finisher has sometimes been the Mr. ‘Dependable’ for Arsenal especially with the aerial threat he has. Bacary Sagna is finally showing that he is capable of becoming a world-class player, the right-back has not only been solid in manning the right flank but also has the ability in assisting the forwards with inch-perfect crosses.

The main point that I am trying to drive here is that if the gunners play with a little more conviction, a little more faith in themselves they can be the most feared lot on this planet. Only if they can become a little more ruthless in their games and learn to close out early and not throw away games like the one against the Spurs where they lost despite a 2-0 lead, they can actually win competitions instead off forever staying in the second or third spot.

 I have felt the frustration of seeing the likes of Manchester United and most recently Chelsea edge past us and win whereas we seem to be doing every thing right but are still unable to find that killer punch which separates us from finally becoming champions. It is time that Arsenal stops resting on its past laurels and starts adding silverware to its glorious heritage.

On a personal note to Mr. Arsene Wenger, it wouldn’t be too bad if for once he spends some big money in bringing some proven steel to the emirates. Would it be too bad if he sidelines his youth policy for one season so that the men in red and white can at least lift one trophy and erase the mental block that has started developing that although they play the most entertaining brand of football, only to fall short in those decisive moments.

So in the end only one question remains, Will the Gunners Finally conquer?  Only time will tell.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Their past came back to haunt them again…

The gunners played the red devils on Monday night hoping to silence their detractors for ever. The Odds were heavily stacked against them; every where match-pundits had already proclaimed a victory for united even before kick-off. In the last 26 years Arsenal had failed to score more than one goal at Old Trafford in a single game. Their last victory to United came in 2006, history and statistics were certainly not on their side.

Even though a victory for united seemed inevitable.  Arsenal faithful across the globe sat with bated breaths, keeping their fingers crossed hoping that this time for once the players can crunch out a victory albeit a narrow one but a win at the theatre of dreams.

But after watching the game most of the supporters were left with a sense of déjà-vu. We were outplayed for a major part of the game, the tight possession and slick passing for which the gunners are famous was completely missing.

Arsene Wenger’s biggest trump card Samir Nasri remained anonymous for most part; the little Russian Arshavin seemed out of touch and struggled to keep possession. Maroune Chamakh’s aerial threat suddenly became invisible. 

Arsenal’s is considered to have the strongest bench strength in the league and in the second-half Van Persie and Fabregas were brought on along with Theo Walcott in a last ditch effort . However they were helpless and could do nothing and in the dying minutes of the game, as the clock inched towards full-time whenever the gunner’s got hold of the ball a dim ray of hope arose in the minds of the fans that an equalizer might just be on its way, a victory was out of question a draw still seemed a possibility.

It was ironical that where the big guns failed to deliver the most convincing performance came from Wojciech Szczesny a rookie goalkeeper who was making his premier league debut against United.

Manchester United was rock solid in defense; they restricted the gunner’s free flowing football whose woes were already compounded by a slippery pitch. The most appalling fact was that Arsene Wenger’s side had no aces up their sleeves to match the tactical brilliance shown by their counterparts.

And in the end when the final whistle was blown the axe fell. All the hype before the match, the verbal lashing of tongues seemed futile. United had once again proved that there is still a long way before the men in red and white can beat them in their own backyard.