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Monday, April 25, 2011

Arsenal league challenge finally put out of it's misery at Bolton

It's not as if Arsenal have been storming towards the title - with a succession of draws hampering the Gunners fading league title challenge - but today's 1-2 defeat at Bolton's Reebok Park finally puts the nail in the coffin.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has come out and said - "put the blame on me" - and that's fair because I do blame Mr Wenger.

Arsenal are too young, too fragile, and lacking in depth to handle the rigours of playing a 65-70 game season in England and Europe. This is not new - it's been a charge levelled at Arsenal for 5-6 years now.

As a manager, Wenger needs to get the playing staff so that the club squad as a whole can manage the inevitable injuries, suspensions, and absenses that are caused by playing competitive football at the highest level.

Arsenal need to be bigger, harder, more experienced and more physical to win in England AND in Europe at the same time. The "potential" and "future" of players is important - but so is having the team ACTUALLY winning silverware.

The blueprint for success is simple. Look at the two clubs winning in England. Chelsea and Manchester United. Examine the ages, size and experience of the staff and compare with Arsenal. Spot the difference?

Yes Mr Wenger, I do blame YOUR approach of youth and pace above all else. It might succeed in weaker leagues, or in less physical leagues. It HAS nearly succeeded a couple of times in the last five years. NEARLY. But not quite.

This recruitment foible is not longer acceptable. The player recruitment policies have to change at Arsenal if they are going to WIN the LEAGUE TITLE.

In the past it has seemed that that Mr Wenger was unable, or unwilling to handle the personalities and demands of managing all the egos clashing on a large and experienced squad.

Mr Wenger would rather try and manage with a smaller, younger, keener squad. But that preference has resulted in some players wearing Red and White before they were ready - and being played in positions that they were unsuitable for.

Where are the Tony Adam's, Pat Rice's, Kenny Sansom's or Lee Dixon's?, The Theirry Henry's or Ian Wright's? The midfield nous of the Dennis Dergkamp's and the Patrick Vieira's?

Arsenal lack the fully experienced professionals that are world class and that can hold a football - and the lead - as the last 10 minutes are being played.

That is what is missing from this Arsenal side in my opinion.

It's time to recruit some players in their prime - and blend them with the obvious potential already at the Emirates to create a team that can compete EVERY season.

In my opinion - anyway ...

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