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September 22, 2018

For a Gunner I have to bite the bullet and concede title is gone

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacts during their Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal v Southampton at the Emirates Stadium - 2/2/16
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger reacts during their Barclays Premier League match against Arsenal v Southampton at the Emirates Stadium - 2/2/16

It’s pretty obvious what I’m going to say today given that Arsenal are no longer a title contender. Yes I said it! Arsenal are no longer a title contender and why am I not surprised! Arsene Wenger is not the manager to return Arsenal to premier league glory. His tactics and transfer habits are outdated and we need young blood, or just a young minded manager to change things at Arsenal.

The Southampton game was the nail in the coffin for Arsenal because the “top of the league” trophy is really gone now. Some fans may argue we dominated that Southampton game and we did, but domination doesn’t win you games, goals do!

And this was Arsenal’s fourth game in a row where we dropped points so it isn’t just being unlucky! We have won just one league game in five this year and that isn’t the sign of a team that wants to win the league. And given that our shortage of goals came when the transfer window was still open and our transfer kitty sitting at 200 million pounds, show that Wenger is to blame. Olivier Giroud had a good run early in the season but his lack of consistency was evident for everyone to see throughout January. And yet Wenger didn’t think for one second, knowing how February always is for Arsenal, that we need another striker.

As much as Thierry Henry has since swallowed his words about Arsenal being unable to win the league with Giroud as the main striker; I’m afraid Henry now needs to swallow his apology. He was right the first time. Giroud is good no doubt; but he is not world class. He can win games; but not leagues and tournaments. Arsenal needs a Kun Aguero, a James Vardy, a player that can score even when his chips are down. I also question why Wenger takes so long to bring players back from injury even after they have been in training for a while and it’s costing us. We waited until a desperate moment to bring Alexis Sanchez into the Stoke game and it was too late to get maximum points. We did the same with Francis Coquelin against Southampton. He was only brought in when the pressure was too much, forcing Coquelin to commit fouls in desperation in efforts to change the game. Wenger’s tactics, line up selection and subs are making less and less sense each week. Against Chelsea we needed goals, but he removed Giroud. The transfer window is closed; we have a February that can give even the healthiest Arsenal fan acidity just thinking about the fixtures. This is a squad that is cute at a time when we need a squad that is fierce! Cute wins FA Cup; fierce wins the league. I think right now every single premier league fan, critic and player is admiring what Leicester have managed to do with a squad that had no superstars when the season began. Of course Vardy and Riyad Mahrez have since become house-hold names but what Claudio Ranieri has achieved is nothing short of astounding! Only now; after 24 games played are some people beginning to believe that they really can win the league. And for a Gunner like me who’s given up on Arsenal winning the league; my preferred alternative would be Leicester. What a Cinderella story that would be. Talk to me on @CarolRadull on twitter or www.facebook.com/CarolRadull

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