Season after season the question remains the same – why can’t Arsenal win the title again?
By Kyran Wallace – @kyrano14
Their last came in 2003 with the famous ‘Invincibles’ emphatically taking the league but a lot has changed since then.
And one FA Cup and a Charity Shield is hardly anything to write home about.
What the Invincibles had that Arsenal’s teams of more recent times haven’t is a strong British core.
They may boast players of immense talent such as Jack Wilshere, Aaron Ramsay and Theo Walcott but compare them to Tony Adams, Ray Parlour and Ian Wright – I know who I, and many other Arsenal fans, would take.
The inexperience in the dressing room is hitting them hard – and that was again demonstrated in a difficult week drawing at home to Anderlecht and losing away to Swansea.
Wenger inherited an English-heavy squad from the George Graham/Bruce Rioch era which included Wright, Parlour, Paul Merson and David Seaman among others. He then added foreign brilliance like Dennis Bergkamp, Patrick Vieira and Thierry Henry.
But where have the British ingredients gone? THAT is Wenger’s biggest mistake.
You only have to look at the teams competing at the top end of the English Premier League.
Chelsea are many people’s favourites to take the title with world-class stars like Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa hugely impressive.
But something has to be said for the solid foundation provided by Gary Cahill and John Terry in the centre of defence. Is that something Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny are capable of giving?
Manchester City have Joe Hart and James Milner as their main English contingent but they’re surrounded by players who have long Premier League experience.
Liverpool showed the right balance between English and foreign players, as have Everton over Roberto Martinez’s reign.
Arsenal just don’t have that.
Wenger’s team needs a shake-up and he must begin looking closer to home. Signing ‘yes-men’ from abroad and squeaky clean english youngsters may bode well with the directors and management but it’s not going to bring success anytime soon.