February 20, 2013 by thedavidryan
An impending Champions League exit continues Arsenal’s woes
Another trophyless season looks to be on the horizon for Arsenal as they slipped to a crushing first leg defeat to the prolific Bayern Munich last night.
Crucial away goals from Toni Kroos, Thomas Muller and Mario Mandzukic added to the pressure on the already under-fire Arsene Wenger, as the Gunners were left on the verge of Champions League elimination.
As the home side slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against the devastating German outfit, many Arsenal fans had seen enough, and headed for the exit, unsure of when they might see Champions League football at the Emirates again.
So what is going wrong at the once great Arsenal? A few years ago they were the kings of English football, going unbeaten for an entire league season as they added trophy after trophy to their bulging cabinet.
After last night’s defeat and the increasing speculation on Arsene Wenger position as manager, lets look at what is the problem with Arsenal.
The first understandable fingers will point to Arsene Wenger. The Frenchman is the second longest serving Premier League manager with an unbelievable seventeen years in charge of the North London side. Unfortunately now though, many fans believe after years of failed title bids and no trophy in sight, Wenger’s time in the hot seat is most definitely up.
Arsene Wenger has undeniably led Arsenal to unparalleled success during his tenure, but in the past eight years ex Arsenal players have won an incredible 64 trophies at their new clubs while Arsenal has won nothing. Even Wengers sleeping bag coat might not be able to save him anymore.
As Bayern Munich showed last night, they are on a superior level to the current Arsenal squad. Players like Nasri, Cole, Toure, Fabregas and Van Persie have all left during Wenger’s reign and have been replaced with extremely average alternatives such as Ramsey, Gervinho, Coquelin and Arshavin.
Don’t get me wrong, on their day the aforementioned players can be very effective. However, for a club the size of Arsenal and the players they used to have, replacing Cesc Fabregas with Aaron Ramsey is like having a Tesco horse burger instead of a succulent steak.
Arsenal ticket prices are notoriously ludicrous in price. For example, the most expensive ticket to the Arsenal game last night was £96. Whereas in comparison, a Bayern Munich season ticket can be bought for £94. With outrageous examples like this, it is no surprise that many Gunners are furious that their hard earned money is seemingly never reinvested on top class talent.
The board has come under immense criticism in recent times for backing Wenger despite going eight seasons without a trophy. After being knocked out of the FA Cup to Blackburn in humiliating fashion and seemingly on their last legs in this year’s Champions League, it can only be so long before the board’s patience finally runs out.
Arsenal has great fans, they’d have to be if they are willing to be financially extorted on a weekly basis to go and watch their team underperform time after time. However, with each passing trophyless season, and their increasing ‘back in the good old days’ chatter, the Arsenal faithful are beginning to sound a lot like their Premier League opponents, Liverpool.
There is no problem with nostalgia and harking back to more successful times. However, Liverpool fans have been tarnished with the reputation that all they do is refer back to their glory days and former triumphs. With no trophy coming any time soon for Arsenal, it looks like the increasingly disgruntled Arsenal fans might jump on the Liverpool led nostalgia bandwagon.
It is undeniable that Arsenal has many problems at the minute, the most important question though is which of the above problems is the most dangerous? – the manager, the board, the players or the fans? Let me know in the comments section.