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Is a lack of leadership key to Arsenal slump?

By Avenell Dave

Do you know what Southend, Crystal Palace, Coventry and Leeds United have in common?
All of them, lower league teams, have knocked M*nure out of domestic Cup competitions in the last few years.
That United have won other trophies during that time including the Champions League and the title somewhat mitigates the defeats, but it gives a little context to the double humiliation we Addicts have suffered this season.
As Arsene Wenger said, the team he put out was packed full of internationals and should have been good enough to win.
Granted, we may have lacked some wit and finishing, but the fact is, that team was good enough to beat Blackburn.
That it didn't speaks volumes for some of the players.
We know that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain has not pushed on this season and while all the experiences he is having will serve him well in future, he is perhaps not in the form to rely upon at the business end of the season.
Abou Diaby has flitted between brilliant and blase far too often during his Arsenal career and factor in the injuries and he should certainly be moved on. Let him join PSG and howevere he does, it's not our concern anymore.
Mikel Arteta is a solid, dependable midfielder but he is not a driving force - he is sometimes slow and lacks the urgency required to control a game.
I am glad the Spaniard plays for us but we need warriors and he is not that sort of character.
Gervinho has used up way too many lives and another costly miss hardly inspires confidence. He was so revered when he played for Lille, supposedly as outstanding a player as Eden Hazard and yet he has rarely shown that sort of form for us.
Olivier Giroud came in for some stick as well and while he could have been better, the focus on his conversion rate over the course of the season, but everyone is entitled to a bad game.
The problem we have is that we dont have enough quality within the squad to give players a rest or to try a different approach.
If you look at the money they've spent, it of course makes a difference, but Citeh have a tenacious and skilful striker in Tevez, a rangey Giroud-esque striker in Dzeko and an Henry-esque scorer in Aguero. All of whom would walk into our team.
People talk about us having deadwood, of signing the wrong players and that's certainly true but it's the case of all big teams. Some players work out, others don't. Did Shevchenko or Torres work out at the Chavs?
Did Anderson or Berbatov work out at M*nure?
The fact is, we lack leaders and it comes from the top.
Stan Kroenke may be a safe pair of hands but a football club owner, however well the team is doing, needs to be dynamic, innovative and get the balance between being wise and being ruthless.
The calls for Arsene Wenger's head are growing and he should know more than anyone else that patience only lasts so long.
Wenger has been responsible for turning us from a middling top flight club to one of Europe's second team power houses and yet, while he deserves plenty of credit for sustaining our competitiveness while the stadium debt has been repaid, he must see how our recent malaise is having an impact on everyone around the club.
The downward spiral that has set in has created a negative atmosphere around the club and that must affect the players when things go wrong.
Equally, they too often act as if they need only turn up when winners fight as if their lives depended on it every single game.
We can cite legends such as Vieira, Adams, Keown, Bergkamp and Henry who never knew when the team was defeated but even they have played during fallow years.
Does Wenger have too much power? Is he too set in his ways. Is he a miser refusing to spend or adapt to new technology? Is he too loyal to his players even when they under-perform or should he remain so given how the likes of RvP came good?
Part of me is sick to the back teeth of how season after season we underperform, we beat ourselves, how we lack the leaders needed to win trophies, to remain competitive and to make us, the fans, proud that even if we lose, we gave our all. Only Jack Wilshere makes the grade in that respect.
Part of me (and I know most of you will think me mad) is willing to wait and see what happens in the summer when improved commercial income and a better transfer market could see us become competitive again, particularly as everyone who is key is signed up now.
But we have to stop being in transition.
We have to stop hoping for a better tomorrow.
We moved to a new stadium to become one of the top sides in Europe.
Presently, we're no more than an also-ran in our domestic competitions. 

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