Are we a one man van?

WTTGT Writer: Nicholas Charles

Before I can even answer this question it is only fair that we go back and compare the 2004 Arsenal “Invincibles” to the current squad we have. The 2004 team had players such as Henry, Bergkamp, Pires, Ljungberg, Viera and the mighty Campbell in defence. How many of these players would get into our starting eleven today? I would argue that they all would. Over time these players left our team and in all fairness were not replaced by the same class of player. In fact the 2004 team had 2 world class strikers yet the 2011 squad only has one. The Invicibles had a solid spine, self belief, were full of confidence and had goals as well as winners throughout. In comparison our current team looks fragile, weak, lacking in confidence and constantly looking for someone else to lead. As fans we never worried when the 2004 team were losing because we always had enough class throughout the team to win any game under any scenario. Now with this team we dread even conceding a single goal and if we go 2 goals down the game is as good as lost.

It is almost amazing how Arsene and the Board at Arsenal have lacked the insight to regularly invest in quality in our squad to replace our world class players who left. In fact we should count ourselves very lucky that we currently have a fit Robin van Persie who is firing on all cylinders. He has now established himself as a true world class footballer who could get into any team at the moment. His touch, movement and finishing abilities are simply incredible. Last season he scored 22 goals and provided 7 assists. This season he has already scored 7 goals in only 11 appearances. He is without question an integral part of our team and I strongly believe that Arsene has to offer him a great 3 year extension to his contract and then build the team around him.

However, just because he is very important to Arsenal does not necessarily mean that we are a one man team. We should not forget that we currently have 2 key players missing through injury, Jack Wilshere and Thomas Vermaelen. Once we get these players back its inevitable that our team will regain its balance. The only problem is that Jack will not return to the team until April 2012 at the earliest. The other problem that we currently have is the simple fact that we only have 1 decent striker in the squad. Chamakh looks totally out of sorts, Bendtner is on loan to Sunderland and our new signing Park Chu-Young has only been a non playing substitute in the Premiership. It’s our current short comings as a squad that currently make us over reliant on Robin. I am currently hoping that we can finally put a good run of wins together so that the rock bottom self belief we have can be restored.

Although we lack world class players, we do have a good team that need our support more than ever. In fact it is times like these where the real Arsenal fans come out to support the team. Lets just hope we can remain competitive until January and Arsene invests heavily on 3 world class players – a centre back, a central midfielder and a striker.



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