It’s been 15 years since Arsenal last won the Premier League title. 15 long years.
Almost as many as the gap between their title wins in 1971 and 1989.
That’s far from where the Gunners want to be at this juncture, and whether the blame lies with Arsene Wenger or the board is a moot point.
Since Unai Emery has taken over, nothing really has changed. It’s not a knock at the Spaniard as such, because he can’t possibly be judged on a handful of games, but it would’ve been expected that he’d make an impact.
Perhaps not even in results terms initially, but in the way that the team is set up.
It’s not wrong to hark back to the days of Adams, Bould, Dixon and Winterburn. The game has moved on of course, but one thing hasn’t changed and that is teams who win the title are built on the bedrock of a solid defence.
One only has to look at the way they threw away a two-goal lead at Cardiff, and how lucky they were that Alexandre Lacazette was able to rescue the three points for them.
Similarly, West Ham were all over the Gunners in their fixture but were unable to convert their dominance into goals. Manuel Pellegrini has his own problems, but at least with the east Londoners, not an awful lot is expected of them in truth.
Arsenal have always been a gold standard outfit.
Able to attract the best players, and playing a brand of football that was both attractive and practical. There were players to put their foot in, and these would complement the more technical exponents. They were diligent in their work.
Now Arsenal just look lost, and the reality is that they’re becoming the same old Arsenal. It’s what’s expected.
The knee-jerk ‘fan tv’ assessments directly after a game aren’t helpful but, by and large, some supporters have a point.
If there were a core of players that would ‘put sweat on the shirt’ for want of a better phrase, those that pay their hard-earned every week would give these overpaid superstars their full backing.
But when you have players like Mesut Ozil just strolling around seemingly not worried with what’s happening around him, then there will be problems.
In the Europa League and now unable to attract the best players to the Emirates, unless Emery sorts it out quickly it’ll be another 15 years before Arsenal come close to the Premier League summit.
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