This Afternoons most surprising result unarguably came at the Emirates, as Arsene Wengers side were outplayed by Michael Laudrup‘s Swansea City side, in a game which saw them defeated by two goals to nil.
It’s a result which sees Arsenal lie in 10th, 12 points behind leaders United, with the red devils a game in hand against Reading this evening.
But, even if United were to drop points, they would still be strides ahead of the gunners.
But, the days of Premier League success are a very distant memory for Arsenal’s supporters. The North London side have been tipped to struggle to qualify for the Champions League, never mind challenging for the title. Many supporters and pundits, including the likes of Garth Crooks and Robbie Savage are asking the question “is this the first crisis at the club for Arsene Wenger?”
Troubles off the pitch at the Emirates have been noticed by Arsenal fans in the last couple of years, and today they formed a protest against the clubs shareholders at the lack of invest at the club. The trouble is, this lack of investment has existed ever since the arrival of stakeholders Stan Kroenke and Ivan Gazidis. Arsenal’s goals, direction and initiatives are an illuminating mystery, where do they realistically aspire to be when they constantly release their most promising players?
Arsene Wenger is undoubtedly a symbol for advertising and believing in the youth system, as under his guidance he has helped to steer the likes of Jack Wilshere, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott to international level for England.
But although Wenger prefers to talk about building for the future, and the potential for greatness at the Emirates, it’s the past in which Arsenal fans would love to relive in years to come. Successes in 2004 in the Premier League and the FA Cup in 2005, and reaching the Champions League final despite losing in 2006 were the pinnacles of a successive era for the Gunners. Unfortunately it can only be labelled an ‘era’, and very little more.
Patience is running very thin, and some will argue it is close to running out, as might Wenger’s time if things don’t change. It’s not a sinking ship at the Emirates, but it’s one that seems to be very static at present. Wenger has not achieved in 7 years, and although it may not be his fault, something needs to change. He described Arsenal’s performance this afternoon as “not good”. Well that could be a metaphor for Arsenal’s lack of direction in the last 7 years. Do the big players see Arsenal as a big team anymore? Personally, I don’t think they do.
Arsenal fans want sustainability, but like any football fan, they want trophies more. Can Arsene really steer Arsenal to future successes, or is it time for the Frenchmen to step aside? Time is of the essence, and it’s running out. Domestically, the Manchester Revolution is in full force, and it’s fair to say at this moment, London is trailing behind.