It’s early days, and two 0-0 draws does not represent an all-out crisis, but Arsenal’s blank start to the season may herald the beginning of the end for Arsene Wenger.
The natives are restless, as they say, at the Emirates Stadium and the latest exodus of players may prove to be the last straw for a club that has not won anything since 2005. There is a book about Arsenal that has the sub-title, “The making of a modern super club”. Super clubs win things and it would seem that the Gunners have forgotten how to do that.
The fact that Arsenal have lost talismanic striker Robin Van Persie, to Manchester United of all clubs, and then failed to score in their first two games, does not bode well. They’ve also seen Alex Song move to Barcelona this summer, continuing the trend that has seen Nasri, Fabregas, Clichy and others leave the club in the past few seasons. It would seem that Arsenal has become a defacto “nursery club” for the real super clubs.
Is it Wenger’s fault? No. He is part of a regime that runs the club sensibly, and for that he should be applauded. Where he can be criticized is for some of the signings he has made. Arsenal lack character, genuine personality and they lack a cutting edge. When Chelsea started adopting the tap-tap football against Reading, their fans began to shout out, “stop playing like Arsenal”, suggesting that the constant foraging, patient build-up and pass at all costs approach is not seen as the most successful way to play. This is the Wenger way but it has been enhanced and finished off over the years by having outstanding forwards like Thierry Henry and Robin Van Persie to bang in the goals. Arsenal lack that today.
What they do have are some promising youngsters who may yet bring silverware back to the Emirates – Wilshere, Oxlade-Chamberlain and Ramsey. The question is, will Wenger be there to see these youngsters fulfill their potential?