Friday, 11 February 2011

Why Arsenal’s complacency and lack of professionalism has seriously hindered their chances this season

Arsenal, find themselves in second place, 5 points behind the leaders Manchester United. This story could have been so much different had Arsenal shown a stronger mentality and a little professionalism.

Most Arsenal players, fans and staff will viewthis season as a metaphorical head banging campaign. They have dropped points in places and circumstances which are almost unforgivable.

Arsenal’s home form has seriously hindered their title credentials. The Gunners away form has been very decent. In fact, they have the best away record in the Premier League. So technically they have cracked the hardest part. But their home form has been the critical issue.

Arsenal’s first home defeat of the season came against West Brom. A rather shocking result, to be honest. Some will argue this result is typical of the Premier League’s climate of inconsistency, as teams are beating each other more often than before. But you have to remember, this is West Brom. The Premier League’s yo-yo team. They managed to score two goals in two minutes. They rattled Arsenal. The Arsenal players have seriously got to look at themselves. Especially at home they should show a far more resilient character. After going a goal down, they should assert themselves and show their mental strength by instantly getting onto the front foot. Not let in another goal. It just highlights their weak mentality as a team.

The most embarassing home defeat for Arsenal this season is clearly the game against Spurs. This game demonstrates the weak attitude of the Arsenal players. Arsenal were a far better team than Spurs in the first half. And deservedly got themselves two goals ahead. But come the second half, Arsenal showed their lack of professionalism and complacent attitude. And they let their two goal lead slip and lost the game to their arch rivals. The Arsenal players are simply to blame here. Their complacent attitude has resulted in a comfortable two goal lead at home to be taken away from them. The most humiliating aspect for the Arsenal faithful is that this result was at home and to their local rivals. It’s an unforgivable mentality shown by the Arsenal players.

It must be so frustrating for the Arsenal fans to know that they have lost more games at home (3) than they have on the road (2). This really could have been their year had the Arsenal

Arsenal have again shot themselves in the foot. But this time in Europe. They initially started off cruising the opening group stage matches. Smashing Braga for 6 at the Emirates and then beating Partizan Belgrade away from home. But come the remaining three games of the group stages, Arsenal showed their brittle nature. They lost to Shakhtar Donetsk away from home. This result could have been far more different, had Arsenal had the character to hold onto their lead. But yet again, the story of the season for them, they simply didn’t have in it them to hold the lead. But losing to Shakter isnt a shocking result. After all, they are a very good side with some quality players. However, the defeat against Braga, in Portugal was fatal. As it put Shakhter in pole position. Meaning if Arsenal were to finish the group in second they would have to play one of the top European teams in the last 16. Low and behold, they now face the might of Barcelona, with the second leg at the Nou Camp. The brilliant recent form of Barcelona will seriously worry Arsenal. As Barcelona are hammering everyone in their way. It will test the character of the team. But the mediocre mentality of the Arsenal players, will worry the fans. As Barcelona could potentially embarrass Arsenal, like they did last year.

Back to the Premier League, Arsenal have shown some consistency recently. But their weak mentality has infiltrated through, yet again. Arsenal travelled up north to play Newcastle. The Gunners started off the game perfectly, scoring three goals in the opening 10 minutes. That’s most defiantly Premier League title contenders form, simple as. Especially away from home. They finished the half being four up. Yet Arsenal, still let the three points run away from them. Arsenal again highlighted the complacency in the team. Abou Diaby got himself sent off for horrendous behaviour. Yes it wasn’t the best challenge from Joey Barton, but the reaction from Diaby was a definite red card. There was no need to react so abruptly. It’s just a lack of professionalism.

Arsenal completely lost their bearings after that. Thus allowing Newcastle to come back from four down. It’s humiliating for the Arsenal fans to see their players showing a lack of professionalism to see the job through. The Newcastle come back again highlights the complacent attitude of squad. As it’s the second time they have let a comfortable lead get away from them. The Arsenal players lack resilience when the going gets tough.

Arsenal have been caught being first class mugs time and time again this season. Yet one thing stands out to me. They seriously lack leadership on the pitch. Had the captain Cesc Fabregas shown some leadership skills maybe Arsenal could have kept it together, rather than crumbling. Cesc Fabgregas shouldn’t be captain. He is the captain merely because Arsenal want to prolong his stay at the club. But Fabregas isnt the only player. The other senior members should take some responsibility in making sure everyone on the pitch sticks together. The players simply lack the grit to be really successful.

Arsenal haven’t won a trophy since 2005. Yes, they may well beat Birmingham in the League cup final later this month. But Arsenal could have been in pole position of this season’s title race. They have seriously let themselves down. They clearly have the ability and strategy to be successful. But collectively as a team they lack the drive and professionalism to see games out.

It’s a shame, this really could have been their break through year.

1 comment:

  1. here are some crucial points:

    1. it's very easy in football to criticise and criticise. I told you already about thinking positively. it's fine to criticise, but only if you offer solutions and not "Had they shown less complacency and more professionalism." that's not a solution.

    2. I disagree with your Cesc point. he's by far one of the most experienced players who's almost played 300 club games, he's a true professional on and off the pitch, he's committed and like/respected by everyone. why not make him captain? and if he's been a bad leader, u need to say why and how. not just make a statement.

    3. how does a team show more professionalism?

    4. don't forget their a young squad. maybe some signings may help them...

    5. never, never say a player or team lacks drive. nobody plays to lose.

    6. barcelona didnt embarass arsenal, arsenal had many injuries and when you're outclassed, you're outclassed.


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