This season was Arsenal’s best chance to try and attempt to win the Champion’s League and for Wenger to finally reach the holy grail he has been searching for, for all these years but as we move further into the competition it is becoming clearer that it just might not be our year again.
Arsenal threw away the chance last week to possibly finish top of the group. Even though we know Dortmund are strong enough to clear that with their current form in the competition they still had a very good chance right up until the 90th minute of that game to at least try their best.
Finishing second will see us play off against one of the top teams to enter into the last 16 and that’s when it all seems to get messy for Arsenal. The quality of teams in the last 16 is always high and the quality of football between those teams surpasses anything normally seen during the group stages which will be harder for us to get a result.
Obviously there is still a long way to go until the final but in our current form we couldn’t even hang onto a three goal lead against Anderlecht so surviving against the big boys of Europe might be a harder feat to accomplish especially with our shaky defence which is a biggest weakness at the moment. Whether it is lack of preparation, down to injuries or the fact that Wenger didn’t replace Vermaelen it still begs the question of how you expect to win anything without a solid defence?
We are tactically very weak at the moment, there seems to be huge gaping holes where players are meant to be on the pitch especially when the focus is on the attack, the already weakened defence are struggling alongside Arteta and Flamini in the DM role to cope with the counter attacks that come after. There is no balance between the two and we are failing to achieve consistent enough possession when the passing isn’t within close range as Wenger instructs.
The return of defensive players such as Debuchy and Koscielny will ease the pressure when the Champion’s League resumes in February, there is also the benefit of the January transfer window and Wenger has confirmed he will ‘try’ to buy a defender to ease the issues but whether it will be enough to pull Arsenal through even then? It’s not looking very possible.
Should Wenger not strengthen up in January then it’s likely Arsenal will not make it past the first game of the last 16, especially if get a draw that includes Bayern, Barcelona or even Real Madrid. Only Wenger holds the key to this trophy and it all comes down to the decisions he makes in coming months.