What has happened to the once invincible Arsenal team?

Date: 14th April 2014 at 8:45 pm
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afc celebratingHow far the mighty have fallen.

That would be the reaction of fans when seeing just how Arsenal celebrated their FA Cup win over lowly Wigan.

Yes, they came from a goal down. Yes, they are through to a final for once. Yes, they have a chance of winning silverware.

Not that being in a final means a trophy when you are Arsenal, no matter how far down the table their opponents are. Birmingham anyone?

First it was selfies on the field after beating their local rivals. Then it was cheering like they had won the league after dispatching Wigan.

Not exactly the Arsenal of old – the Arsenal that sides feared to play because they would put goal after goal past you and looked impenetrable at the back. No, ‘The Invincibles’ are a far cry from the current crop of players who wear the famous shirt.

Is it the fault of Arsene Wenger?

Some people have certainly tried to suggest so, and the ever popular ‘Wenger Out’ hashtag is a permanent fixture on the trends list when the Gunners play.

Maybe the Frenchman has been at the club too long. Not only does he have a shall we say, aversion to spending money, but he certainly has ideals that may not be fitting with the direction of the modern game according to some. But is that really the case?

The greatest team of the last decade, Barcelona played their own brand of football, and won absolutely everything with it. Clearly pretty football can win you titles. The way Arsenal play does not.

They pass, pass and pass the ball, but have so often been accused of lacking an end product. Not only that, but they are so fragile at the back.

That of course is nothing compared to the mentality of their players, who crumble like a small child when the sweet shop is closed should something not go their way. Gallas crying in the middle of the pitch springs to mind after the draw to Birmingham and another chance at a title ebbed away.

Had Wenger gotten a trophy made for each top for finish, the cabinet at the Emirates would be full to bursting. That is what the Gunners are playing for once again this season, after looking like they were finally about to win – or at least challenge for the title.

Of course, anyone who did not occupy the red half of north London voiced serious doubts that the Gunners would make it through February, when they traditionally fall to pieces – lo and behold, that is exactly what happened. Their post Christmas decline ensued in spectacular fashion.

There is still a chance at the FA Cup – more than a chance should we go by the teams on paper – and Arsenal may actually manage to end their drought.

Should this come at the expense of a top four finish and a place in the Champions League however, that would be an unmitigated disaster – something Arsenal players are rather vocal about. Then again, after a win at the weekend, they did not need to apologise, so there was very little else to say really.

The stats from this season pretty much speak volumes – as do the results from the six pointers. Arsenal do not win them. In fact, they tend to get battered and comprehensively outplayed.

Is winning the FA Cup and their own personal trophy of fourth place enough to consider this season a success? Going on recent seasons, it would be an unprecedented one. But then that’s exactly the problem.

Do you think Arsenal have what it takes to actually win a trophy? Let us know your thoughts below or tweet us @LaFootyettes.

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