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September 24, 2018

The Kids may be fine, but please bring in men with experience

Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (C) celebrates his goal against Arsenal with team mates Arjen Robben (2nd L) and Philipp Lahm (2nd R) during their Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London February 19
Bayern Munich's Thomas Muller (C) celebrates his goal against Arsenal with team mates Arjen Robben (2nd L) and Philipp Lahm (2nd R) during their Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match at the Emirates Stadium in London February 19

I love it when Arsenal win but here is why I wouldn’t want the Gunners to do well in the Champions League. We have a good team and I even respect the young Yaya Sanogo, but manager Arsene Wenger simply needs to differentiate between emerging talent and experience.

Arsenal have great emerging talent and if I look back at the nine dry trophyless seasons, the Gunners have never lacked emerging talent. The problem is Wenger has somehow struggled to hang onto that talent once it begins to mature. You can never blame the great players who have left Arsenal over the years, because all they wanted was to win silverware and most of them have since leaving.

Cesc Fabregas won about three pieces of silverware within two weeks of leaving Arsenal for Barcelona. The Champions League is a tournament that deserves a lot of respect because of the great players and teams who have participated in and even won it over the years! The tournament has never been won by a team that didn’t deserve it.

It’s been won by managers who invested in their sides and players who were experienced enough and, perhaps, struggled for years to earn the right to lift the big ears! And, while I commend how Arsenal played in the early stages and even when down to 10-men against Bayern, it irritated me that supporters felt we were done in by the referee. Wosjiech Szczesny did not deserve to be sent off because the ball was heading away from goal, but it’s a risk for any keeper to bring down a player in the box.

I blame that whole episode on Monreal, who lost concentration at such a crucial moment, forcing Szczesny to be a little wreckless. Szczesny has the experience but he needs to have confidence in the squad playing ahead of him. Overall while Arsenal have a very special team, Wenger just doesn’t have the manpower to tackle the likes of Bayern; whether playing with 10 men or a full squad.

That’s just my opinion. I think Arsenal can still win the Premier League because that’s how good we are, but on the continent we need more experienced goal scorers. I imagine Wenger had planned to sub Sanogo but couldn’t because two subs were forced after Kieran Gibbs got injured and Szczesny was red carded. But nevertheless, Wenger should have enough proven strikers to pick from who can play for the full 90 minutes and score. Thank you for what you’ve done for us so far this season Wenger, but it falls short of the Arsenal I long for. Talk to me on @CarolRadull on twitter and www.facebook.com/CarolRadull

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