This may come across as a negative insight into what should be a happy time for us Arsenal fans. We’re through to the FA Cup Final for the first time since 2005, but the manner in which we did so will not give too much confidence that we can actually win it, or even finish in fourth place above Everton.
Yes this Wigan team knocked out Manchester City, a team chasing Premier League glory, but with the chances we had, I honestly felt the game should have been wrapped up at half-time. The return of Aaron Ramsey has instantly added a bit more flair and attacking prowess to a team lacking belief and attacking spark in recent weeks, however, there is still a long way to go in my opinion.
Players like the injured trio of Wilshere, Walcott and Ozil in the first team squad would make us a rival for anyone in the world on our day, as we’ve proved through our stint at the top of the table for the majority of the season. But without those players we lack the class needed to mount a sustained challenge in all competitions, as has been the case this season. Personally I feel as though a lot of the players outside the first team aren’t at the level expected to play for club like Arsenal. I’m talking about players like: Monreal, Bendtner, and in recent years players like Gervinho, Santos and Squillaci. But why Wenger bought them in the first place is a mystery to us all.
Watching Arsenal tonight, I saw sparks of a potentially, really good team, with Ramsey and Oxlade-Chamberlain at the heart of everything good that Arsenal did. Although he made some silly mistakes tonight, Fabianski has been exceptional in all the games he’s played this season and it’s a shame that Szczęsny is better and younger than him. I don’t know why Sanogo is so highly rated amongst fans, but he did have a good game, and should have scored. I think he will become a great player for Arsenal, but the stead in which he is held by many fans is probably a bit premature in my opinion, but the potential is definitely there. And why Podolski is never played in a central role is beyond me. We all know he has an aptitude for finishing rivalling the best strikers in the world, given half a chance.
Arsene Wenger was the focus of my last post, and after the defeat to Everton, surely many fans must want to change their opinion expressed in the poll results? Wenger is a man without a plan, he’s simply lost his touch. Fans are choosing whether we want silverware or a fourth place finish, but surely for a club of our stature in world football, we should be demanding both, with anything less being a disappointment.
While there was a lot of promise in our first half performance, after nine years of disappointment, that is simply not good enough anymore. There were too many sloppy passes, silly mistakes, and passes backwards instead of forward. The result only covered up cracks, much like our consecutive Top 4 finish has for the last nine years. As fans, we should be confident that our team can go into ties like this and get a good result, not sat nervously as we go a goal behind 30 minutes before full time. We may end the drought this season, and I truly hope we do, but if we are to be Premier League Champions once again, I truly believe changes are needed, and in my opinion, the first change should be of a managerial nature