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The 7 Reasons Why Arsenal Won’t Win the Premiership

By | 13th November 2008

Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger’s young Arsenal side enjoyed a 2-1 victory over reigning champions Manchester United over the weekend. The French manager was quick to point out that his side gained a leg up in the title race with those three points, but fans around the league still aren’t considering the Gunners as valid contenders. Why not? Here are seven reasons:

  1. Lack of Discipline. This young Arsenal side doesn’t lack talent at all, but they do lack discipline. The football that they play is fantastic – but when they’re not playing football it’s just ugly. Players like Cesc Fabregas, Robin van Persie, and especially Emmanuel Eboue have been known to make a mockery of the game as they go down after zero contact and continue to roll on the ground. This all culminates in calls which Arsenal fans see as “disgraceful” but are entirely deserved. Suspensions down the line will haunt the Gunners.
  2. Inexperience. Along the same lines as discipline, the young side from London lack experience. This often results in their lack of discipline showing, but inexperience will cost them in other ways, too. A perfect example of this inexperience is their collapse against Tottenham at the Emirates, as Spurs scored twice in stoppage time to salvage a 4-4 draw. Not holding on to wins will cost Arsenal dearly, and a little more experience would avoid this.
  3. Results Against the “Small” Teams. All too often it’s forgotten that Arsenal have already lost 25% of their games (three losses in their twelve league games). What’s even more surprising is that these losses have all come against opposition that Arsenal should have beaten handily. Hull, Fulham, and Stoke are the three sides to have taken all three points off of the Gunners. Doesn’t sound like the breakfast of champions…
  4. Chelsea, Liverpool, and Manchester United. The rest of the “Big Four” have already proven this season that they are no slouches. Liverpool are sitting atop the table with only one loss this season, and that came against a rejuvenated Spurs side under Harry Redknapp. Chelsea, meanwhile, are beating opponents by convincing margins and have only lost to Liverpool this year. Manchester United, who are being written off by far too many people, have already gone away to the rest of the Big Four clubs and will still be above Arsenal if they win their game in hand. None of these three sides look like they’ll be letting up any time soon.
  5. No true wingers. Almost all of the world’s top clubs have worldclass wingers, and Arsenal are clearly an exception to this rule. The situation got so bad that Arsene Wenger began playing temperamental Emmanuel Eboue as a right midfielder (sorry, Arsene, but I don’t think it worked all that well). Tomas Rosicky is the closest thing to a natural winger that Arsenal have, and he’s out on a long term injury. Aleksander Hleb is also gone from the club, and a replacement for him was not found. Arsenal’s lack of wingers means they heavily depend on their central midfielders – if Cesc Fabregas or Samir Nasri come down with serious injuries then Arsenal will struggle going forward (yes, they’ve got great central midfield coverage, but these players are mainly defensive minded).
  6. Injury prone. In recent years Arsenal fans have been quick to point out that their terrible luck with injuries led to a few trophyless campaigns. And yes, I will admit it, Arsenal are a bit unlucky with these. Robin van Persie always seems to be hurt, and to have such a skilled player out doesn’t help. The aforementioned Rosicky injury leaves Arsenal a bit stranded in the winger position, so the onus is on the club’s youth to step up. A few more injuries to key players will leave Arsenal in the same situation as last season – doing well until they stumble across the finish line with a depleted squad.
  7. Arsene Wenger’s stubborness. There’s no doubt about it, Arsene Wenger is a great tactician. He is, however, also known as a stubborn man, especially when it comes to transfers. Even though all fans know that some experience is needed, Wenger simply refuses to splash money around. Often times this results in a youngster being bought for the future, and while that youngster may pan out down the line, it doesn’t help the club now. Look at Arsenal’s summer signings and you’ll see names like Amaury Bischoff, a player who has talent but won’t make an impact this year. Mr. Wenger, it’s time you go out and buy yourself a star today.

These are the key seven reasons that have affected Arsenal this season and will continue to. While they may be towards the top of the table now, don’t get your hopes up – they set the league’s pace for much of last season before falling long before the they reached the finish line.

What are your thoughts? Can Arsenal go the distance this year? Have your say in the comments section or on the Premiership Talk Forum. Predict Arsenal’s score against Aston Villa this weekend in the Premiership Talk Predictions Game.

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  1. [...] is one club that starts off the season strong, but as noted as reason #6 in the article “7 Reasons Why Arsenal Won’t Win the Premiership,” they are injury prone. They always have a knack for limping across the finish line rather [...]

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